A Call to Arms: Standards for Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation

Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation






12 (1-11)


Standards are as old as civilization itself and they are vital to human development. Standards touch almost every part of our lives, from the water we drink to the language used to write this article. A sign of a good standard is one that we do not notice. Good standards exist and so do processes and organizations to create and maintain them. As agent-based modeling and simulation matures as a methodology, a discussion of standards applicable to it becomes increasingly important. Descriptive standards for agent-based models, such as the Overview, Design concepts, and Details protocol and agent-based extensions to the Unified Modeling Language, have already begun to emerge. Software tools for implementing such models, such as Netlogo and Repast Simphony, are increasingly well-known and have the potential to become de facto standards among the wider scientific community for agent-based simulation. Based on the findings of a series of workshops that brought together experts throughout the modeling and simulation community, we argue that agent-based modeling and simulation is no different from the other emerging technical subjects in the sense that standards, both existing and new, may be applicable to it, and that the community should both adopt existing standards that are relevant and exploit the already existing standards processes and organizations to develop new ones.


"The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS) is an Open Access journal published by the SIMSOC Consortium. All work published in JASSS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License."


0000-0002-8012-2272 (Collins)

Original Publication Citation

Collins, A., Petty, M., Vernon-Bido, D., & Sherfey, S. (2015). A call to arms: Standards for agent-based modeling and simulation. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 18(3), 1-11, Article 12. https://doi.org/10.18564/jasss.2838