Agent-based simulation of animal behaviour

C.M. Jonker, J Treur

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the biological literature on animal behaviour, in addition to real experiments and field studies, also simulation experiments are a useful source of progress. Often specific mathematical modelling techniques are adopted and directly implemented in a programming language. Modelling more complex agent behaviours is less adequate using the usually adopted mathematical modelling techniques. The literature on AI and Agent Technology offers more specific methods to design and implement (also more complex) intelligent agents and agent societies on a conceptual level. One of these methods is the compositional multi-agent system design method DESIRE. In this paper it is shown how (depending on the complexity of the required behaviour) a simulation model for animal behaviour can be designed at a conceptual level in an agent-based manner. Different models are shown for different types of behaviour, varying from purely reactive behaviour to pro-active, social and adaptive behaviour. The compositional design method for multi-agent systems DESIRE and its software environment supports the conceptual and detailed design, and execution of these models. A number of experiments reported in the literature on animal behaviour have been simulated for different agent models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-115
Number of pages33
JournalApplied Intelligence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2001


  • computer simulation
  • agent
  • animal behaviour
  • delayed response
  • reactive
  • pro-active
  • social
  • adaptive


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