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Using SysML for Conceptual Representation of Agent-Based Models

[+] Author Affiliations
Zhenghui Sha, Qize Le, Jitesh H. Panchal

Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Paper No. DETC2011-47476, pp. 39-50; 12 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 31st Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5479-2
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a technique used to simulate systems consisting of autonomous interacting entities called agents. It has shown great advantages in modeling complex systems with independent but interacting actors. ABM has been successfully applied to a variety of systems. Despite the availability of a large number of tools for ABM, there is limited support for the conceptual design of agent-based models. Further, the currently available tools capture both the model information and the tool-specific execution information in an integrated manner. This limits model reusability, which is an impediment to systematic validation of models. In this paper, we use the systems modeling language (SysML) for building conceptual models of agent-based models. We discuss how the different diagrams in the SysML language can be used to represent different aspects of agent-based models. Further, we propose an approach for automatically generating executable agent-based models from their conceptual SysML representations. The proposed approach is illustrated using a model of mass-collaborative processes as an example. The proposed approach for conceptual representation of agent-based models in SysML and automatic extraction of executable models has the potential to greatly improve reuse, reconfiguration, and validation of agent-based models.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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