Digital Library

of the European Council for Modelling and Simulation



ECOSIMNET: A Framework For Ecological Simulations


António Pereira, Luís Paulo Reis, Pedro Duarte

Published in:


(2009).ECMS 2009 Proceedings edited by J. Otamendi, A. Bargiela, J. L. Montes, L. M. Doncel Pedrera. European Council for Modeling and Simulation. doi:10.7148/2009 


ISBN: 978-0-9553018-8-9


23rd European Conference on Modelling and Simulation,

Madrid, June 9-12, 2009

Citation format:

Pereira, A., Reis, L. P., & Duarte, P. (2009). ECOSIMNET: A Framework For Ecological Simulations. ECMS 2009 Proceedings edited by J. Otamendi, A. Bargiela, J. L. Montes, L. M. Doncel Pedrera (pp. 219-225). European Council for Modeling and Simulation. doi:10.7148/2009-0219-0225



Simulating ecological models is always a difficult task, not only because of its complexity but also due to the slowness associated with each simulation run as more variables and processes are incorporated into the complex ecosystem model. The computational overhead becomes a very important limitation for model calibration and scenario analysis, due to the large number of model runs generally required. This paper presents a framework for ecological simulations that intends to increase system performance through the ability to do parallel simulations, allowing the joint analysis of different scenarios. This framework evolved from the usage of one simulator and several agents, that configure the simulator to run specific scenarios, related to possible ecosystem management options, one at a time, to the use of several simulators, each one simulating a different scenario concurrently, speeding up the process and reducing the time for decision between the alternative scenarios proposed by the agents. This approach was tested with a farmer agent that seeks optimal combinations of bivalve seeding areas in a large mariculture region, maximizing the production without exceeding the total allowed seeding area. Results obtained showed that the time needed to acquire  a “near” optimal solution decreases proportionally with the number of simulators in the network, improving the performance of the agent’s optimization process, without compromising its rationality. This work is a step forward towards an agent based decision support system to optimize complex environmental problems.

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