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written against the .NET 1.1 runtime, and appears not to have been updated since. The software source code contains project files which are not compatible with later versions of Visual Studio (Visual Studio 2008 was tried), and so extensive troubleshooting to correct this issue was skipped in favor of using other versions of Repast.

Repast Simphony is the latest version of Repast, combining the powerful Eclipse integrated development environment with automated connectors to additional tools such as R, VisAD, Weka, MATLAB, and iReport. This paper will showcase both RepastPy and Repast Simphony.

MetaABM is a powerful agent-based modeling system written by Miles Parker and including a neutral, standards-based representational format using the Eclipse Modeling Framework. MetaABM also features a powerful GUI environment based on Eclipse which can export models to other environments, including Repast Simphony and Ascape (another Swarm successor).


All toolkits and software listed above, with the exception of Swarm (due to the existence of newer systems) and NetLogo (due to its Logo foundations) were installed and run using two machines: a Dell D830 Laptop with 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo with 4GB of RAM, and a MacBook running MacOSX 10.5.3.

Repast was initially designed to meet the needs for ABM in social sciences , including the use of geographic information systems. Repast Simphony offers a more robust toolset for 2 and 3D lattice simulations in the physical sciences.

Repast was chosen for several reasons:

  • Ability to use several languages (Python, Java, .NET)

  • Quality of documentation

  • Quality of Repast Simphony IDE

    • o

      Currently uses Groovy, a dynamic language for the Java Virtual Machine that compiles to Java byte-codes, but offers features like Domain-Specific Language support, annotations, generics, and meta-programming. [26]

      • o

        Ability to “freeze-dry” simulations. Models can be run, serialized to a flat file structure (similar to Python’s pickle), and then re-hydrated to pick up where the simulation left off on a different system.

      • o

        Built-in support for the export of data to movies, VisAd (interactive visualization toolkit) [27], Weka (machine learning toolkit) [28], or MatLab.

  • Currency of Implementation In particular, Simphony installs on current versions of operating systems such as Windows Vista. (Although RepastPy must run as Administrator, which presents issues of file storage in that the user must be able to access the same directory used by the Administrator to save the model, and the default Documents directory is the Administrators’

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