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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 GitLab. 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 GitLab and the ALMaSS project. 

ALMaSS is the main tool used and developed by the Centre for Social-Ecological Systems Simulation (SESS) at Aarhus University.

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 ”Jordbrugeren 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.

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

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


ALMaSS intl. meeting & workshop

November 18, 2019

We are delighted to say that our first international ALMaSS meeting 11-12 November 2019 in Denmark went well. We were met by excited and engaged participants that came together and learned about the use and future possibilities of ALMaSS. 

The meeting was followed by a workshop 13-22nd November where the Danish ALMaSS team was available to help the participants with technical issues, model development, tool set-up etc.

We look forward to keep in touch with the participants, and to the future collaboration and events together with the international ALMaSS users.