The Animal, Landscape and Man Simulation System

Short introduction to ALMaSS

Alle under sider til ALMaSS findes i øjeblikket kun på engelsk

ALMaSS , The Animal, Landscape and Man Simulation System is a landscape scale simulation system for investigating the effect of changes in landscape structure and management on the population size and distribution of animals in the Danish landscape.

ALMaSS is since 2010 an open-source open-science project hosted on CCPForge. The ALMaSS project page provides news, access to reprints and codes, and forums to discuss the ALMaSS project. Anyone interested in using or contributing to ALMaSS is encouraged to join CCPForge and the ALMaSS project. 

ALMaSS Overview

ALMaSS is an agent-based model system, which means that the animals are modelled as individuals (agents) which will move around inside a virtual landscape to breed and die much in the same way as the real animals do in their natural environment.

Apart from the detail often used in ALMaSS models, what sets this system apart from others is that from its conception it has utilized dynamic landscapes rather than static maps. A very substantial part of the system is therefore the modelling of environment that the animal models are placed into. See Landscape for further details.

 Development of ALMaSS was initiated in 1998 using a strategic research project under the ”Jorbrugeren som landskabsforvalter” programme. Development has continued unabated since that point until the code base for ALMaSS is some 70 000 lines of C++ describing the behaviour and ecology of a range of species  as well as their virtual world.

The primary goals of ALMaSS at its conception were:

  • To create an impact assessment and management tool to evaluate the effect of changing landscape structure and management on animal populations in the Danish landscape.
  • To integrate current knowledge regarding key animal species into a single model and use this to guide future scientific endeavour.

Subsequently ALMaSS has been applied to a wide range of projects including assessing the impact proposed development of land, analysing impacts of proposed and potential government policy change, for risk assessment of agrochemicals, population genetics and for theoretical population ecology.

Documenatation of the ALMaSS code is an ongoing project and the latest documentation version can be found here:  ALMaSS ODdox 

This documenation is in ODdox format, a format we have devised to describe large agent-based models in an easily navigable form.