At the upcoming Multi-Agent-Based Simulation (MABS) workshop, we have a paper entitled “The MASON Simulation Toolkit: Past, Present, and Future” in which we discuss MASON’s development history, its design and (probably more interesting) where MASON is going. This includes:
- Making it more robust (i.e. easier to run parameter tests),
- Making it distributed in order to run large scale models including geographical explicit ones along for optimization and validation purposes.
- Making it more coder-friendly by adding code templates that allow users to generate code skeletons for common MASON patterns and a way to easily record outputs and statistics.
- Making it more community-friendly by hopefully developing a special online repository to enable researchers to distribute models as jar files along with education aids and examples. Relating to this last point we have added a number of example models (code and data) from our own research to GitHub, see: https://github.com/eclab/mason/tree/master/contrib/geomason/sim/app/geo and the data to run the models is either there or here https://cs.gmu.edu/~eclab/projects/mason/extensions/geomason/geodemodata.zip (note this is 1.5 GB).
Below you can read the abstract from the paper along with a link to the paper itself.
MASON is a widely-used open-source agent-based simulation toolkit that has been in constant development since 2002. MASON’s architecture was cutting-edge for its time, but advances in computer technology now offer new opportunities for the ABM community to scale models and apply new modeling techniques. We are extending MASON to provide these opportunities in response to community feedback. In this paper we discuss MASON, its history and design, and how we plan to improve and extend it over the next several years. Based on user feedback will add distributed simulation, distributed GIS, optimization and sensitivity analysis tools, external language and development environment support, statistics facilities, collaborative archives, and educational tools.
Keywords: Agent-Based Simulation, Open Source, Library
Luke, S., Simon, R., Crooks, A.T., Wang, H., Wei, E., Freelan, D., Spagnuolo, C., Scarano, V., Cordasco, G. and Cioffi-Revilla, C. (2018), The MASON Simulation Toolkit: Past, Present, and Future, 19th International Workshop on Multi-Agent-Based Simulation (MABS2018), Stockholm, Sweden. (pdf)
This research is supported by the National Science Foundation (Grant 1727303).