Agent-based modeling and simulation with Simio

Simulation of an agent-based model with Simio

by Thomas Kehl (University of Applied Science in Rapperswil)


Agent-based modeling and simulation is a relatively modern approach to modeling systems. It allows modeling of the dynamics of complex and cybernetic systems. These are often self-organizing systems which produce emergent effects, e.g. the escape behavior of people. The goal is the design of a library for agent-based simulation in Simio.

Discrete event simulation as base for agent-based simulation


Due to the concept model for agent-based modeling and simulation, a problem setting was formulated. This includes a pedestrian-model in which spontaneous fire can occur. This results in an escape-behavior of the pedestrians. On the basis of this problem setting, the concept model for agent-based modeling was specifically implemented in Simio. These basics were used to develop the basis for a library for agent-based modeling and simulation in Simio. The core is the agent object with the following properties:

  • Movement behavior
  • Perception
  • Communication

The focus was firstly on the fulfillment of the requirements for the agent-based modeling and on the other hand the reusability of the components as a library.

System model for agent-based modelling in Simio


The result is a basic library for agent-based modeling and simulation in Simio. This library constits of a Simio-Project including the effective library and a UserExtension including the implementation for the SteeringBehaviors of the agents. For this purpose, the concept model for the practical implementation in Simio was adapted accordingly. A concept for PathFinding has been implemented for the behavior of the agents by the implementation of various algorithms. Finally, the results were analyzed with regard to reusability. An analysis of the library was also carried out with regard to optimization and further development.

Download .dll

Download the User Extension files. These files needs to be placed in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Simio\UserExtensions folder.