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Managing Business Complexity: Discovering Strategic Solutions with Agent-Based Modeling and Stimulation » (New Edition)

Book cover image of Managing Business Complexity: Discovering Strategic Solutions with Agent-Based Modeling and Stimulation by Michael J. North

Authors: Michael J. North, Charles Macal
ISBN-13: 9780195172119, ISBN-10: 0195172116
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Date Published: February 2007
Edition: New Edition

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Author Biography: Michael J. North

Michael J. North, MBA, Ph.D., is the Deputy Director of the Center for Complex Adaptive Agent Systems Simulation within the Decision and Information Sciences Division of Argonne and the University of Chicago.

Charles M. Macal, Ph.D., P.E., is the Director of the Center for Complex Adaptive Agent Systems Simulation within the Decision and Information Sciences Division of Argonne National Laboratory

Book Synopsis

Agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS), a way to simulate a large number of choices by individual actors, is one of the most exciting practical developments in business modeling since the invention of relational databases. It represents a new way to understand data and generate information that has never been available before—a way for businesses to view the future and to understand and anticipate the likely effects of their decisions on their markets and industries. It thus promises to have far-reaching effects on the way that businesses in many areas use computers to support practical decision-making.

Managing Business Complexity is the first complete business-oriented agent-based modeling and simulation resource. It has three purposes: first, to teach readers how to think about ABMS, that is, about agents and their interactions; second, to teach readers how to explain the features and advantages of ABMS to other people and third, to teach readers how to actually implement ABMS by building agent-based simulations. It is intended to be a complete ABMS resource, accessible to readers who haven't had any previous experience in building agent-based simulations, or any other kinds of models, for that matter. It is also a collection of ABMS business applications resources, all assembled in one place for the first time. In short, Managing Business Complexity addresses who needs ABMS and why, where and when ABMS can be applied to the everyday business problems that surround us, and how specifically to build these powerful agent-based models.

Table of Contents


The Challenge     3
Why This Book?     3
The Who, What, Where, When. Why, and How of Agents     3
Why Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation Is Needed Now     4
The Foundation of ABMS     5
Why ABMS Is Useful, Usable, and Used     6
How ABMS Works: An Overview     8
Incremental Discovery, Design, and Development     8
How This Book Is Organized     8
Case Studies     9
Note     9
References     9
The ABMS Paradigm     11
Parts Make the Whole     11
The Two Fundamental Types of Models     11
Nondeterminism     13
The Cycle of Innovation     14
Other Angles on Nondeterminism     16
Choosing Behaviors to Model     17
The Spectrum of Model Uses     18
Discovering That the Whole Is Greater Than the Parts     22
Summary     22
Note     23
References     23
Agents Up Close     24
Agents: An Overview     24
Agent Attributes     24
Agent Behaviors     27
Simple Agents or Proto-Agents     27
ComplexAgents     31
A Market Example     41
Discover, Design, and Develop     43
Notes     43
References     43
The Roots of ABMS     45
ABMS in Context     45
Historical Roots     45
Complexity Science     46
The Diffusion of ABMS     55
Plectics Redux     56
References     56
The Role of ABMS     59
The Big Picture of Modeling and Simulation for Business Applications     60
A Supply Chain Example     63
A Survey of Modeling Approaches     66
When to Use Agents?     93
Blended Modeling Approaches     93
Summary     94
Note     95
References     95
Discovering Agents and Agent Behaviors     97
Agents Are What They Do     97
Social Agents     97
Examples of Behavioral Theories     97
Agent Diversity     101
Other Agents     101
Multi-Agent Systems     101
Artificial Intelligence     102
Discovering Agents     102
Discovering Agent Behaviors     102
A Market Example     112
Acting Up     114
References     114
Office ABMS     116
Progressive Development     116
Prototyping     116
ABMS Environments     117
The Four Model Growth Paths     117
Leveraging Change     118
Returning to the Questions     121
Office ABMS Architectures     122
The Office ABMS Continuum     123
Examples     126
Back at the Office     128
Notes     128
References     128
How to Do Desktop ABMS     130
ABMS on the Desktop     130
Agent Spreadsheets     130
Dedicated ABMS Prototyping Environments     161
A Market Example     171
Summary     182
Notes     182
References     182
How to Do Participatory ABMS     183
Live and In Person!     183
The Start of It All     183
Strengths and Weaknesses     184
Developing Strong Minds     186
Turning Over Rocks     187
Details, Details, Details,     187
A Market Example      190
Summary     194
Note     194
References     194
How to Do Large-Scale ABMS     195
From Desktops on Up     195
Features Galore!     195
Current Toolkits     206
The Large-Scale Modeling Life Cycle     209
Designing Large-Scale Models for Use     210
Agent Patterns and Antipatterns     215
Examples     217
Summary     219
Notes     219
References     219
ABMS Verification and Validation     221
V&V Overview     221
Verification     222
Validation     226
Related Aspects of V&V     231
Summary     233
References     233
A Visual Approach to Data Collection and Cleaning     235
Tasty Morsels     235
The Fact Food Pyramid     235
A Model Diet     239
Marshmallows and Campfire Stories     239
Cooking Times Vary     240
Data Quality     241
A Recipe for Success     248
Dinner Is Served     253
A Market Example      258
Summary     259
References     260
Understanding and Presenting ABMS Results     261
Analyzing ABMS Results     261
Presenting ABMS Results     278
Seven Steps     282
Notes     282
References     282
ABMS Project Management     283
The ABMS Business Function     283
The Fundamentals     283
Project Goals     284
Stopping Mission Creep     284
Champions     285
The Domain Skills Pyramid     285
ABMS Project Structures     286
The ABMS Business Process     292
Growing Up     296
References     297
Rising to the Challenge     298
The Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How of Agents     298
Useful, Usable, and Used     299
Index     303

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