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Large-Scale Computing Techniques for Complex System Simulations by Bernard Schott, Krzysztof Kurowski, Werner Dubitzky

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Chapter 5

Repast HPC: A Platform for Large-Scale Agent-Based Modeling

Nicholson Collier and Michael North

Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA

5.1 INTRODUCTION

In the last decade, agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) has been successfully applied to a variety of domains, demonstrating the potential of this technique to advance science, engineering, and policy analysis (North and Macal, 2007). However, realizing the full potential of ABMS to find breakthrough results in research areas such as social science and microbial biodiversity will surely require far greater computing capability than is available through current ABMS tools. The Repast for High Performance Computing (Repast HPC) project hopes to realize this potential by developing a next-generation ABMS system explicitly focusing on large-scale distributed computing platforms.

This chapter’s contribution is its detailed presentation of the implementation of Repast HPC as a useful and usable framework. Section 5.2 discusses agent simulation in general, providing a context for the more detailed discussion of Repast HPC that follows. Section 5.3 describes the motivation for our work and the limits of current attempts to increase the computational capacity of ABMS toolkits. Section 5.4 discusses the salient aspects of our existing Repast HPC toolkit that guide the development of Repast HPC. In Section 5.5, we explore the parallelization of an ABMS in a more general way, and Section 5.6 describes the current implementation. ...

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