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User interface
Paradigm multi-paradigm: educational, procedural, agent-based, simulation
Designed by Uri Wilensky
First appeared 1999; 17 years ago (1999)
Stable release 5.2.1 / October 6, 2015; 3 months ago (2015-10-06)
Typing discipline dynamic
OS Cross-platform (JVM)
License GPL
Filename extensions nlogo, nlogo3d, nls
Influenced by
StarLogo, Logo

NetLogo is an agent-based programming language and integrated modeling environment.


NetLogo was designed, in the spirit of the Logo programming language, to be "low threshold and no ceiling". It teaches programming concepts using agents in the form of turtles, patches, links and the observer.[1] NetLogo was designed for multiple audiences in mind, in particular: teaching children in the education community, and for domain experts without a programming background to model related phenomena. [2] Many scientific articles have been published using NetLogo.[3]

The NetLogo environment enables exploration of emergent phenomena. It comes with an extensive models library including models in a variety of domains, such as economics, biology, physics, chemistry, psychology, system dynamics.[4] NetLogo allows exploration by modifying switches, sliders, choosers, inputs, and other interface elements.[5] Beyond exploration, NetLogo allows authoring of new models and modification of existing models.

NetLogo is freely available from the NetLogo website. It is in use in a wide variety of educational contexts from elementary school to graduate school.[6][7][8][9] Many teachers make use of NetLogo in their curricula.[10]

NetLogo was designed and authored by Uri Wilensky, director of Northwestern University's Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling.[11]


A number of books have been published about NetLogo.[12]

Books available in print include:

  • Uri Wilensky; William Rand (2015). An introduction to agent-based modeling: Modeling natural, social and engineered complex systems with NetLogo. Cambridge: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-73189-8. 
  • Britt Anderson (2014). Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Modeling. London: Sage. ISBN 978-1-4462-4930-7. 

Books available online include:

Online courses[edit]

Several massive open online courses are currently being offered that use NetLogo for assignments and/or demonstrations:

Technical foundation[edit]

NetLogo is free and open source software, under a GPL license.[13] Commercial licenses are also available. It is written in Scala and Java and runs on the Java Virtual Machine.[14] At its core is a hybrid interpreter/compiler that partially compiles user code to JVM bytecode.[15]

A version that runs on JavaScript, instead of the JVM, is currently under development.[16]


A simple multiagent model in NetLogo is the Wolf-Sheep Predation model,[17] which is shown in the screenshot above. It models the population growth of a predator/prey system over time. It has the following characteristics:

  • There are two breed of turtles, called sheep and wolves.
  • Sheep and wolves move randomly and have limited energy.
  • Wolves and sheep lose energy by moving. If a wolf or sheep has zero energy, it dies.
  • Sheep gain energy by eating grass.
  • Wolves gain energy by eating sheep.
  • Both wolves and sheep can reproduce, sharing energy with their offspring.


HubNet is a technology that uses NetLogo to run participatory simulations in the classroom.[18] In a participatory simulation, a whole group of users takes part in enacting the behavior of a system. Using an individual device, such as a networked computer or Texas Instruments graphing calculator, each user acts as a separate, independent agent. One example of a HubNet activity is "Tragedy of the Commons",[19] which models the economic problem called tragedy of the commons.


  1. ^ Types of Agents in NetLogo
  2. ^ Daniel Kornhauser; William Rand; Uri Wilensky (November 15–17, 2007). Visualization Tools for Agent-Based Modeling in NetLogo (PDF). Agent2007. Chicago, IL. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Models included with NetLogo
  5. ^
  6. ^ l
  7. ^ l
  8. ^ l
  9. ^ l
  10. ^
  11. ^ Seth Tisue; Uri Wilensky. NetLogo: Design and Implementation of a Multi-Agent Modeling Environment (PDF). Agent2004. Chicago, IL. Retrieved October 4, 2012 ! date = October 2004.  line feed character in |accessdate= at position 16 (help); Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Forrest Stonedahl; Seth Tisue; Uri Wilensky. Breeding faster turtles: Progress towards a NetLogo compiler (PDF). Agent 2006. Chicago, IL. Retrieved October 22, 2012 ! date = 2006.  line feed character in |accessdate= at position 17 (help); Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  16. ^
  17. ^ Wolf Sheep Predation
  18. ^ HubNet
  19. ^

External links[edit]