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CSYS5010 Introduction to Complex Systems 
Assessments 2-4 – Major group project 
Agent-based modelling group project 
 
 
Stage 1 (Assessment 2) – Project Proposal 
Due date: Sunday 5th of April 2020, 23:59. (end of week 6) 
Submit via: TurnItIn Assignment 2 section on our Canvas site. One submission per group 
Weighting: 25% of final mark 
Length: 1000 to 1500 words max. (hard limit) 
Format: Please use 1.5 line spacing, 12 point font. 
 
Stage 2 (Assessment 3) – Project Presentation 
Due date: Tuesday 12th of May 2020, during week 11 class 
Submit via: in-class presentation. One presentation per group 
Weighting: 25% of final mark 
Timing: 10 to 15 minute (max) presentations, plus 5 minutes QA. 
Format: Any presentation format you like that covers the required material. 
All team members must verbally participate in some fashion. 
 
Stage 3 (Assessment 4) – Project Report 
Due date: Sunday 7th of June 2020, 23:59. (end of week 14, “Stuvac”) 
Submit via: TurnItIn Assignment 4 section on our Canvas site. One submission per group 
Weighting: 40% of final mark 
Length: 3000 words max. (hard limit) 
Format: Please use 1.5 line spacing, 12 point font. 
 
We have learned in class how to build and use agent-based models. 
 
Your task is to construct and analyse an agent-based model of a complex system: 
• Form groups of 2-3 people interested in exploring the same area. 
• Select a system from your field(s) of interest that is appropriate to study further using an 
agent-based modelling approach. 
• Design and construct an agent-based model of the system in order to explore a hypothesis 
about that system. You have learned how to use NetLogo in class; you have the freedom to 
choose whether to use NetLogo or another programming environment. 
• Be guided by the modelling loop concepts (i.e. be clear about the system you are attempting 
to model, assumptions and rules inferred regarding the system, your hypothesis, experiment 
and validation technique). 
• Analyse the data produced by your model, with statistical techniques relevant to your 
hypothesis. You may incorporate analytic techniques we cover over the coming weeks (e.g. 
dynamical systems methods). 
• Critically evaluate your model and analysis. 
 
Our detailed requirements for each assessment stage are as follows: 
 
Stage 1 (Assessment 2) – Project Proposal 
For the project proposal, please include: 
1. A description of the system you choose to model, including: 
i. What is your hypothesis or experimental question you seek to answer? 
ii. Provide a high-level description of your model, including what are the agents and 
their properties, what is their environment and control parameters, how are they 
connected and interact, what are the update rules you will use, etc. 
iii. Justify why agent-based modelling is appropriate for this system. 
2. How will you measure and analyse the behaviour of the model? In particular, how will this 
relate to your hypothesis. 
3. Identify existing agent-based models for this system in the literature, and discuss how your 
model will relate to and/or extend them. 
 
Stage 2 (Assessment 3) – Project Presentation 
For your presentation to the class, please include: 
1. A description of your model, analysis and evaluation, covering the general areas required 
for both the proposal and final report. 
2. A demonstration of your model, where possible. 
 
Stage 3 (Assessment 4) – Project Report 
For the final report, please include: 
1. A brief recap of your aims and modelling design; 
2. An overview of your implementation of the model and your process in developing it; 
3. The results of your analysis of the data produced by the model (including model validation 
where possible), and an evaluation/discussion of this analysis; 
4. A critical assessment of your work on the modelling and analysis: 
i. This must include a discussion of how your findings relate to the current state of 
knowledge about this system (i.e. in the literature), what this means for the impact 
/significance of your findings, and – if you were not able to validate your model here 
–how you would go about validating your model; 
ii. This should also include other factors as you see fit, e.g.: strengths/weaknesses of 
your approach and its suitability for your aims, limitations of your model/analysis, 
potential future work or other areas of application of your work, etc.; 
5. You must submit your final code as an appendix to the report (not included in word count) 
 
As the examiners, we allow resubmission of previous work from your Stage 1 proposal in your Stage 
3 report, providing the extent and nature of its use is acknowledged in your assignment. (i.e. if you do 
reuse some material from your Stage 1 proposal, you should add an acknowledgement about that at 
the end of the article, and briefly point out which sections they occur in). 
Validation: not necessary but bonus. 
 
Notes on applicable policies: 
 
This assignment will be submitted via TurnItIn, a text-matching tool used to help detect instances of 
academic dishonesty. For more detail about TurnItIn and the Academic Honesty Policy, please see the 
Canvas site. 
 
After submission of your group assignment you will be sent an automated email that asks you to 
complete a peer evaluation of your team members using an online tool (CATME). This is a 
compulsory part of the assignment. For more detail about CATME please see the Canvas site. 
 
Please see the Canvas site regarding the late submissions policy. Extensions for the group Project 
Presentation will only be granted in the case where formal Special Consideration has been applied for 
and approved. 
 
We reserve the right to modulate the group marks for each individual: your presentation marks will be 
directly modulated based on individual performance, while the results of the peer evaluation may feed 
into a decision to modulate individual marks overall. 
Assessment 2, Stage 1: Project Proposal 
Criteria Pass Credit Distinction High distinction Weight (%) 
 
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