Scientific Research (Agent Based Modelling-ABMS and Gaming Simulation)

Hi everyone,

I am a PhD student, and I am planning to do a research based on social simulation of Agent Based Modeling (ABMS) and model verification by gaming simulation.

My research methodology is centralized around scientific modelling, but I intend to do verification side of the model by implementing a BP based game play via UE4.

So there are some questions coming to my mind, but I can not answer them myself. I made a search by keywords including “research”, “agent based model”, “agent based”…

But results are too irrelevant. So I wish you guys to help me with the questions. Thanks in advance for any kind help of yours.

By the way I am sorry if I put the topic in the wrong place. I could not find any specific area, so I understand that it might be replaced…

My questions:

  1. Is it possible? As far as I learned from 3 months experience of engine, I can understand that social simulation and gaming simulation both have similar grounds and specifications. But it might be my misunderstanding that it is feasible at all…

2 Was there any tool or plugin that helps to do ABMS or similar social simulation out there?

  1. Was there any BP based tutorial or a piece of written instructions to achieve such an objective inside engine?

  2. Am I allowed to do such a thing? I will implement a game that people come and play knowing that they are part of a research and their anonymous data would be used for scientific purposes. But what is the general attitude of Epic Games about this topic?

  3. Can I use free market place assets? I know that those assets are there for the reason being they are donated for community. But I want to make sure that it extends to my use case.


I know it might be a little late reply, but as I am in a similar situation (PhD student looking to make a multi-agent system proof of concept on a game engine), I thought I might help you with some ressources I found during my own research.

  1. First of all, working with game engines to make multi-agent systems can be a bit tricky because of the structure of game engines not being thought for MAS in the first place (see the following article for further details)

It is however possible to implement MAS in game engines, as a few examples already exist in the literature (see the previous article’s references, and another example below) :

So I can only say that it is possible, though depending on the goal of your simulation it might require quite a lot of work on the technical aspects. I am not sure it is possible to do it with only BP though, it might require a bit of coding in order to do proper MAS.

2 & 3. I did not find any tools or plugins yet, nor did I find tutorials, so I cannot provide any useful link here.

  1. I guess it is fine, knowing some research projects were previously made. If you have doubts about the specific application of your research game though, the best is probably to ask Epic directly. It might also depend on whether it is public research or private research, and whether money is involved or not.

  2. My first guess would be “yes”, but it is best to check the conditions of use of each asset before using them.

Since the questions were asked two months ago, maybe you managed to find more informations or ressources. Being in a similar situation, I would appreciate if you could share them too.

1 Like

Oh, welcome and thank you first of all… No, it is not so late :slight_smile:

I did not even think that my questions would be answered, so sincerely thank you very much for your kind answers. Good to know that there are others interested to do such a similar thing :slight_smile:

And yes, I have already found lots of related researches about the topic. Many of them are not so much related but, I guess using game engine for social simulation etc. has gained attention around 00s and then it seems academic interest was lost ? Idk…

After posting my questions here, I lost my interest following the forum. So I started digging about games development deeper. I started with assets, then followed the game creation and different game styles etc. Lastly I found myself enjoying topics like color theory, krita for concept design and blender for assets creation :slight_smile:

Coming to my questions (especially after seeing some other topics on reddit and also your answers) I guess questions are not so important since using a game engine as a simulation tool is something odd to the community… It means there would not be much resources like tutorials etc. until someone comes with something handy…

But I still see the potential, so I made another short search and I guess I can share useful resources I found however they are mostly related to ABMs and I know MAS is something different… I hope there would be much more involvement from others, or any kind of collaboration if possible…

These are some useful papers :

  1. Using gaming as a data collection tool to design rules for agents in agent-based models — A design framework by Merijn van Os (MSc. Thesis)

  2. Role-playing games as a mean to validate agent-based models: an application to stakeholder-driven urban freight transport policymaking by Michela Le Piraa, Edoardo Marcucci, Valerio Gatta

  3. Agent Based Modelling to Build Serious Games:The Learn to Lead Game by Andrea Di Ferdinando, Massimiliano Schembri, Michela Ponticorvo,and Orazio Miglino

  4. Eukaryo: An Agent-based, Interactive Simulation of a Eukaryotic Cell by Douglas Yuen and Christian Jacob (this last one is much more on the application side of the issue, personally it was much more useful to me)