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Agent Geography

One of the key strengths of Agent Based Modeling is that it allows us to study the geographic relationship between our agents. So if we are developing a disease model we do not have to assume that all the agents are perfectly mixed together like atoms in a gas (such as we generally would in System Dynamics). Instead, using Agent Based Modeling we can explicitly define the physical relationship between the different agents and study how this geography affects the spread of the disease.

In general when we talk about geography we mean spatial geography: the locations of people within a region in terms of their latitude and longitude (and sometimes their elevation). Insight Maker supports this kind of geography, but it also supports a second kind of geography: network geography. Insight Maker allows the specification of "connections" between agents. This leads to a new type of geography where you have centrally located agents (ones connected to many other agents) and agents far from the network's center (those that are unconnected or just connected to a very few other agents).

Both these types of geographies can be useful in exploring important features of real-world systems. In the following sections, we will introduce their properties and show you how to utilize them in your own models.