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Use Case Example: CyberInfrastructure-enabled Agent-Based Modeling

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Yan Liu



CyberInfrastructure-enabled Agent-Based Modeling


This use case provides a multi-user online problem-solving environment for agent-based modeling (ABM) users. The capabilities of this ABM to end users include parametric study of ABM parameters, stochastic runs, and cyberinfrastructure (CI)-based ABM computation.

Initial Status


Application domain users that use ABM for domain-specific problem-solving (e.g., decision-making modeling in emergency management community)


For ABM users, two types of interface are provided:

  1. Web user interface (UI). ABM UI is integrated in the problem-solving environment (i.e., CyberGIS Gateway) to support user interactions on ABM analysis creation, computation, monitoring, visualization, and collaboration
  2. Web service interface. The web service interface defines the service API for calling ABM through authenticated and authorized access. The provisioning of ABM Web service allows the access to ABM from CyberGIS Gateway and external collaborating web sites



  • Access to CyberGIS Gateway or third-party collaborating web sites
  • Web browser with Web 2.0 (JavaScript and AJAX) support
  • ABM code integration on cyberinfrastructure
  • ABM service registration and configuration on CyberGIS service infrastructure


Basic Flow

Step-by-step Workflow:

  1. Registers and logs into CyberGIS Gateway
  2. Subscribes to ABM application and access the integrated analysis environment
  3. Prepares parameter file, runtime parameter values, and input datasets
  4. Create an ABM analysis by using the web interface and uploading input datasets
  5. ABM service is invoked to generate an ABM analysis job and submit it to Gateway job management services
  6. Gateway job management services create a set of ABM tasks based on parametric and stochastic configuration of the job, collect CI resources, and submit created tasks to CI for execution
  7. ABM tasks are executed on massive CI computational resources
  8. Output data is transferred back to CybeGIS Gateway 
  9. Gateway data and visualization service are invoked to publish output data as OGC-compliant feature and/or coverage services (WFS and/or WCS) and create visualizable mapping service
  10. User is notified of the completion of ABM job and access the visualization Web interface for interactive visualization based on different selection of parameter value combination


Post Conditions

Possible state(s) at end of use case:

  • ABM output is downloaded by user and published within Gateway as OGC data services
  • ABM output is shared to be viewed by other users 
  • Community users comment on a finished ABM analysis
  • Community users comment on ABM application itself

Alternative Flows

The computation of an ABM analysis fails and error report is generated and sent to user and CyberGIS administrators