Digital Library

of the European Council for Modelling and Simulation



Agent-Based And Population-Based Simulation:

A Comparative Case Study For Epidemics


S. Waqar Jaffry, Jan Treur

Published in:


ECMS 2008 Proceedings

Edited by: Loucas S. Louca, Yiorgos Chrysanthou, Zuzana Oplatkova, Khalid Al-Begain


ISBN: 978-0-9553018-6-5

Doi: 10.7148/2008


22nd European Conference on Modelling and Simulation,

Nicosia, June 3-6, 2008


Citation format:

Jaffry, S. W., & Treur, J. (2008). Agent-Based And Population-Based Simulation: A Comparative Case Study For Epidemics. ECMS 2008 Proceedings edited by: L. S. Louca, Y. Chrysanthou, Z. Oplatkova, K. Al-Begain (pp. 123-130). European Council for Modeling and Simulation. doi:10.7148/2008-0123



This paper reports a comparative evaluation of population-based simulation in comparison to agent- based simulation for different numbers of agents. Population-based simulation, such as for example in the classical approaches to predator-prey modelling and modelling of epidemics, has computational advantages over agent-based modelling with large numbers of agents. Therefore the latter approaches can be considered useful only when the results are expected to deviate from the results of population-based simulation, and are considered more realistic. However, there is sometimes also a silent assumption that for larger numbers of  agents, agent-based simulations approximate population-based simulations, which would indicate that agent-based simulation just can be replaced by population-based simulation. The paper evaluates this assumption by a detailed comparative case study in epidemics.

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