Vienna, Austria

Agent-based Modelling in the Social Sciences

when 17 February 2013 - 22 February 2013
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC

Computational agent-based models (ABM) have become increasingly popular in Political Science. The purpose of an ABM is to simulate the emergence of macro-level social phenomena based on the interaction of individuals. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to ABM, drawing on examples across political science, sociology and economics. Using the free NetLogo software, students learn how to design agent-based simulation models from scratch and evaluate their output. The course starts with a discussion of ABM principles, and proceeds with a step-by-step introduction of essential ABM building blocks and their corresponding implementation in NetLogo. Further topics include the integration of empirical data, and the automatic execution of multiple simulation (―batch‖) runs. In supervised lab sessions, students develop their own implementation of an ABM. The exercises are based on the simple NetLogo programming language, and no prior experience in programming is required.

Course leader

Nils B. Weidmann
Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

Target group

Advanced students and junior researchers in political science and adjacent disciplines

Course aim

as above

Credits info

2 EC
Participants have the opportunity to gain 2 ECTS credits from the University of Vienna for attending an Introductory or Advanced Courses (15 hours). Participants must successfully complete their course, and successfully complete their project assignment in order to obtain 2 ECTS credits – Transcripts will be sent to the participants by The University of Vienna.

For all courses being attended (Introductory, Advanced and/or Software Training Courses), participants also receive a certificate of attendance.

Certificates of accreditation (if applicable) as well as certificates of attendance are sent to the participants after the Winter School has ended, by the University of Vienna

Fee info

EUR 0: ECPR Member – €495
Non-ECPR Member – €690
ECPR Member who has attended the ECPR SSMT 2012* – €445
Non-ECPR Member who has attended the ECPR SSMT 2012* – €640
*There is a €50 loyalty discount deducted from all Introductory and Advanced Courses to participants who attended the 2012
Summer School in Methods and Techniques (SSMT) in Ljubljana (this discount does not apply to Software Training Courses).


Self funded students from ECPR member institutions will be able to apply for funding in the form of scholarship funds and travel and accommodation grants. Please use the following link for further information: