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Two Popular Agent-Based Simulation Platforms: RePast and Ascape

RePast and Ascape appear to be the two most popular platforms for agent based modeling. Repast (Recursive Porous Agent Simulation Toolkit) was developed at the University of Chicago. It is intended primarily for use in the social sciences, and seeks to "support the development of extremely flexible models of living social agents." Models can be written in RePast using several programming languages, including Java, C#, and Python. As I know none of these languages, I was limited in my ability to experiment with RePast. Despite these limitations, however, I formed the opinion that RePast would be a suitable platform for our simulation game. It allows for the depth of interactions and behaviors, as well as the diversity of characterizations that are a necessity for our project.

Ascape, written in Java, is a "software framework for developing and analyzing agent-based models." In Ascape, agents exist within "Scapes" – collections of agents that are themselves agents. Agents interact within these scapes, which govern the actions of the agents contained in them. Ascape supports complex model design, but can also be explored by those unfamiliar with programming.