Medina, Terrance Nelson
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Agent-based Modeling and Simulation has become a mainstream tool for use in business and research in multiple disciplines. Along with its mainstream status, ABMS has attracted the attention of practitioners who are not comfortable developing software in Java, C++ or any of the scripting languages commonly used for ABMS frameworks. In particular, animal behavior researchers, or ethologists, require agent controllers that can describe complex animal behavior in dynamic, unpredictable environments. But the existing solutions for expressing agent controllers require complicated code. We present Pickle, an ABMS platform that automatically generates complete simulations and agents using behavior-based controllers from simple XML file descriptions. This novel approach allows for new approaches to understanding and reproducing collective animal behavior, by controlling and evolving the fundamental behavioral mechanisms of its agents, rather than only the physical parameters of their sensors and actuators.