Agent Based Modelling Workshop – Concepts and Application, 16 April 2014

Workshop Description:

This Agent-Based Modelling workshop is an intensive, hands-on tutorial that seeks to provide health science researchers with a systematic, practical and accessible introduction to agent-based modeling for health, using familiar language and concepts. The tutorial will cover a broad set of topics in agent-based modeling and emphasize the complementary insights when agent-based modeling is combined with traditional health sciences approaches and with other systems science methods. The tutorial will employ a hands-on teaching style where participants will learn concepts while interactively exploring existing modeling software, model structure and model results. The instructor will use examples to highlight unique features of agent-based models, and the types of questions that on which they offer particular advantage, and limitations of such models.

Specifically, it will cover:  

  • Core concepts of agent-based modeling

  • Agent-based modeling process

  • Agent characteristics & heterogeneity, intra-agent dynamics, network structure and dynamics

Registered participants will be given access to examples prior to the tutorial, and will be provided usable evaluation versions of AnyLogic 7, which will be activated by a single key provided to participants. Participants are requested to bring their own laptops to the workshop.


Instructor: Nathaniel Osgood serves as Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Associate Faculty in the Department of Community Health & Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan. His research is focused on providing tools to inform understanding of population health trends and health policy tradeoffs. Dr. Osgood has been applying agent-based modeling to improve decision making (particularly in health) for over 20 years, including work conducted in the communicable, chronic and zoonotic disease areas, and to social and environmental epidemiology and tobacco policy. On the methodological front, Dr. Osgood has contributed multi-scale modeling and other approaches that hybridize agent-based models with System Dynamics and Social Networks Analysis approaches, techniques combining dynamic modeling with Markov Chain Monte Carlo and Sequential Monte Carlo statistical methods, combining simulation models with decision analytic approaches to reduce barriers to use of Agent-Based models. Dr. Osgood earned a doctorate in Computer Science from MIT in 1999, and worked for many years in a number of academic and industry positions. 


Target Audience: Academics, clinician researchers, health administrators, policy analysts, students.  


Level: Introductory. No background in computer programming or mathematics required. The workshop is also suitable for those researchers previously familiar with some form of dynamic modeling but who are seeking to develop skill in agent-based modeling. 


Fees: This workshop is offered free of cost. However, participants will be selected on the basis of their research interests and relevance to their future research. Please enter your registration information on our online registration form. Participants will be selected on a rolling basis – so the earlier you register the better your chances of being selected. 


Registration deadline: 20 March 2014


Please email for enquiries.  

Sponsored by the Signature Research Program in Health Services and Systems Research (HSSR), Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School through an NMRC grant awarded to develop capacity in Singapore.

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