Models in GAMA play the same role as classes in Java or C++: they represent both the knowledge about a particular phenomenon a user wants to simulate and the way(s) to simulate it. A model is nothing more than a text file (or a collection of text files that refer to each other), which contains instructions in a specific language called GAML (for "GAMA Modeling Language"). A model can then be theoretically edited using any text processor and later loaded into GAMA to run experiments. However, because of the richness of the language, using a dedicated tool (with online help, live validation) is clearly the best way to write correct models.
The GUI version of GAMA offers such an integrated model development environment, which is composed of a set of coupled tools to support modelers in the edition, validation, and management of models. An optional graphical modeling editor can also be installed on top of these tools to support higher-level modeling activities (similar to what a UML editor with Java bindings may provide to a Java development environment).
This chapter contains a description of these different tools and a comprehensive guide to the GAML language, including a complete reference of all the built-in structures and facilities offered in its current version.
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