ABMUS2020: The 5th International Workshop on Agent-Based Modelling of Urban Systems


Unfortunately ABMUS2020 was cancelled... but we will be back in 2021!

The ABMUS2020 workshop on Agent-based modelling of urban systems will be held on the 9th or 10th (tbc) of May 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. The workshop is part of the AAMAS2020 conference taking place between 9-13rd of May. Previously, ABMUS2016 was held in Singapore during AAMAS2016 on the 10th of May 2016, ABMUS2017 was held in Sao Paulo during AAMAS2017 on the 8th of May 2017 and afterwards ABMUS2018 was held in Stockholm during the Federated AI Meeting (FAIM2018) which included the AAMAS2018 conference and IJCAI-ECAI (International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the European Conference on Artificial Intelligence). Last year ABMUS2019 took place at AAMAS2019 in Montreal, Canada on the 14th of May 2019.

The central goal of this workshop is to bring together the community of researchers and practitioners who use agent-based models and multi-agent systems to understand and manage cities and urban infrastructure systems. Through the exchange of ideas and state-of-the-art within this area, we will pool together current thinking to discuss avenues of fruitful research and methodological challenges we face in building robust, realistic, and trusted models of urban systems.

ABMUS offers a workshop where urban and geo-spatial models appear in one concentrated session. The workshop showcases state-of-the-art applications of agent technology, showing other AAMAS participants this exciting application domain, while also offering a setting for focused discussion around common themes associated with urban system modelling and community building among researchers. The overarching theme for 2020 is multi-level modelling.

Call for Papers

Agent-based modelling has proven itself to be a useful technique for understanding and predicting changes and impact of urban form and policy on urban systems. However, recognised challenges remain in designing, developing and implementing trusted models that can be used by industry and governments to enhance decision-making, and that can incorporate real (and real-time) data sets in a meaninful way. This workshop invites submissions from researchers and practitioners who develop and use agent-based models and agent systems to understand, explore, and manage cities and urban infrastructure systems.

In particular, we invite presentations that fall under the multi-level modelling theme, describing how researchers choose spatial and temporal scales for their modelled system, and how this links to analysis at other levels of representation and abstraction. We will discuss challenges associated with model development, data interoperability, consistent representation of space and time, as well as developments in interfaces and stakeholder engagement..

Workshop topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Large scale urban simulation applications
  • Spatially explicit micro-simulation modelling
  • Agent-based modelling of urban transport, land-use, housing, energy, health, etc.
  • Simulation of household behaviour and technology adoption
  • Localized population synthesis
  • Multi-scale urban systems (temporal and spatial)
  • Social simulation of demographic transitions
  • Model development and co-development processes and protocols
  • Data structures for simulating urban environments
  • (Multi-)agent systems to provide decision support in e.g. transport, energy and air quality
  • Connection of simulation models to social and geographical theory
  • Government and industry engagement in model development and uptake
  • Processes of model co-development to enhance decision-making in urban systems
  • Development in model interfaces and engagement that enhance model uptake
  • Internet of Things (IoT), open data and data interoperability for modelling

If accepted, each presenter will be given a short time slot (max 10 minutes) to introduce their paper and/or case study, followed by 5-10 minutes in which presenters will share their views on the workshop theme. After three presentations there will be 20-30 minutes of group discussion in which presenters will act as panel members.

Papers should be submitted as an extended abstract (2-4 pages) through the workshop website. Your abstract should include a Title as well as all authors and affiliations. It should articulate the objectives of the paper and provide a brief but thorough description of the research related to the theme of the workshop and the expected gain by those attending the presentation. Accepted authors will be invited to submit a full paper after the workshop to be included in the post-workshop proceedings.

For details on how to submit please see http://modelling-urban-systems.com/abmus2020 and for more information please contact:

Submission and important dates

How to submit a paper

Participants are invited to submit an extended abstract (2-4 pages) describing their work on one or more of the topics relevant to the workshop. The submission should articulate the objectives of the paper and provide a brief but thorough description of the research related to the theme of the workshop. All submissions to the workshop will be reviewed by the organising committee and program committee, with at least two independent reviews per paper.

Authors are requested to prepare their papers by following the LNCS Springer instructions, preferably using the LaTeX template provided but an MS Word template is also available.

All papers must be submitted through the workshop's EasyChair page:

Important dates

  • 23 February 1 March 2020: extended deadline for abstract submissions
  • 8 March 2020: Notification of acceptance following the review process
  • 16 March: early bird registration ends
  • 29 March 2020: Deadline for submitting camera-ready papers for inclusion in the pre-proceedings
  • 9/10 May 2020: ABMUS workshop in AucklandABMUS2020 was cancelled
  • Following the workshop, invitation for full papers


The organising committee consists of:

  • Dr Minh Le Kieu, University of Auckland
  • Dr Koen H. van Dam, Imperial College London
  • Dr Jason Thompson, University of Melbourne
  • Prof Nick Malleson, University of Leeds
  • Prof Alison Heppenstall, University of Leeds
  • Dr Jiaqi Ge, University of Leeds

The members of the scientific committee will be confirmed as soon as possible.

Proceedings and special issues

All accepted extended abstracts will be made available in the pre-proceedings. Please note that at least one author must register for the workshop in order for a paper to appear in the workshop proceedings. After the conference all presenters will be invited to submit a full paper for the ABMUS2020 proceedings to appear as a special issue with the journal Systems.


ABMUS2020 was cancelled because of travel restrictions at the start of the Covid-19 crisis, but we will be back in 2021. Thanks for your patience.

Workshop format

The workshop will take place over one full day, with paper presentations grouped by theme, such as "transport", "energy", "health", "demographics" or other city sectors, and finally a session on "system interoperability and a holistic view of cities as complex systems" to bring the other themes together and enable participants to build links and discuss collaboration. Following the successful format of the previous ABMUS workshops, each presenter will be given a short time slot (max 10 minutes) to introduce the paper and/or case study, followed by 5-10 minutes in which they present their views on the workshop theme (or other shared themes identified during the review process) following a predefined format of issues. After three presentations there will be 20-30 minutes of overall discussion in which the presenters act as panel members.