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13<h1 xmlns:l="http://docbook.sourceforge.net/xmlns/l10n/1.0">Modeler Guide</h1>
14<div class="chapter" title="Modeler Guide">
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19<a name="Modeler_Guide"></a>Modeler Guide</h2>
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26<span class="section"><a href="Modeler_Guide.html#Overview">Overview</a></span>
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29<span class="section"><a href="Structure.html">Structure</a></span>
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32<span class="section"><a href="Actions_2.html">Actions</a></span>
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35<span class="section"><a href="Functions.html">Functions</a></span>
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39<div class="section" title="Overview">
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44<a name="Overview"></a>Overview</h2>
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48<p>In this section we present the design of the Agent Modeling Framework and explain how it can be used to create models that are transparent, composable and adaptable. Fundamentally, an agent-based model, or "ABM", is composed of five pieces: Agents and Context Agents, Attributes, Spaces, and Actions. The first three refer to structural components, whereas Actions define behavior. Agent models also have styles, which are a special kind of Action used to determine how to portray an agent in a visualization. Finally Actions make use of Functions. We'll describe of these components in a separate section.</p>
49<div class="section" title="Agent Modeling Framework">
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54<a name="Agent_Modeling_Framework"></a>Agent Modeling Framework</h3>
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58<p>The Eclipse Platform provides many unique features that make it ideal for an ABM platform. AMF provides easy to use and powerful tools and techniques for designing Agent-Based Models, including a common representation, editors, generators and development environment.</p>
59<p>The Agent Modeling Framework (AMF) provides high level representations for common ABM constructs, and introduces novel ways of representing agents and their behaviors. As detailed in other documentation sections, the Agent Modeling Framework and related tools have been designed to allow researchers to explore complex models in an intuitive way. One of our major design goals has been to create tools that non-programmers can use to create sophisticated models. It has been our experience that using Model-Driven Software Development (MDSD) techniques increase productivity for all developers regardless of skill level. </p>
60<p>The foundation of the Agent Modeling Framework is "Acore". The current version uses an interim version of Acore called "MetaABM". We refer to the AMF models as "meta-models" because they are used to define
61 <span class="italic">how</span> Agent-Based Models are themselves modeled. For those familiar with Eclipse Model-Driven Development tools, AMF is analogous to EMF but is targeted toward the design and execution of models composed of agents. Acore and MetaABM are defined in Ecore but provide a more direct and high-level ABM representation of agents, including spatial, behavioral and functional features sufficient to generate complete executable models for the target platforms. AMF is fully integrated with the Eclipse IDE platform, but Acore models themselves need have no dependencies on any particular technology beyond XML/XSD.
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63<p>Models designed in AMF are transparently converted to Java code for leading Agent-Based Modeling tools, such as the Escape tools which are included in AMP and allow direct execution of models within the AMP environment, and Repast Simphony, another popular Java based ABM tool. These tools create Java code that can then be compiled, executed and event modified in these environments just as with any other Java program. AMF's generative capability is designed to be pluggable and modular so that other developers can create AMF generators for their own tools. In fact, targets can be designed that have no inherent dependencies on Eclipse or even on a traditional platform.</p>
64<p>The Acore / MetaABM meta-model is made up of three main packages. This is all based on MetaABM, and while names and important details will change for Acore, the core design should be quite similar.</p>
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