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Welcome to OpenABM & CoMSES Net

The OpenABM Consortium has grown into the CoMSES Network, an NSF-supported community of researchers, educators, and professionals with a common goal of improving the way we develop, share, and utilize computational models in the social and life sciences. The Network for Computational Modeling for SocioEcological Science (CoMSES Net) is a scientific research coordination network to support and expand the development and use of computational modeling in the social and life sciences. The National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored CoMSES Net brings together social and natural scientists using (and desiring to use) advanced modeling to study coupled natural and human, or ‘socioecological’ systems (SES).

The primary goals of CoMSES Net are to confront and begin to mitigate challenges of scientific infrastructure that have impeded the widespread use of computational modeling in research domains where it could be most profitably used. These include constraints on disseminating modeling-related research through existing scientific channels, lack of frameworks that permit researchers engaged in modeling to build on each others work, the lack of a common descriptive language for models, and difficulties in evaluating the quality and applicability of modeling-related research. To accomplish this, the COMSES Net will serve as a self-organized community of practice and a conduit to expedite knowledge exchange for computational modeling in SES. It will seek to grow scientific infrastructure so as to better serve research that uses computational modeling by:

  • establishing an interactive, online library for computational models (including for review of models associated with publications) and associated standard data testbeds for model evaluation;
  • promoting a common standard for model description;
  • developing educational curricula for embedding modeling and computational thinking in the normal practice of social and natural science.
  • collaborating with journals and other scientific publishing venues to promote the exchange of knowledge about modeling concepts and methods for SES, establish protocols for peer review of computational models, and ensure that scientists creating computational models for SES research receive intellectual credit for their work.

Building on the successful, NSF-funded OpenABM Consortium, the network also will include representatives of NSF Coupled Natural Human systems projects and other projects with the established record of computational modeling in research on coupled natural and human, international modeling platform development teams and research projects, and young researchers who wish to gain new expertise in this field. Through the development of exemplar curricula and training opportunities, the project will endeavor to stimulate new interdisciplinary learning opportunities for students at multiple levels who represent the next generation of scientists. With the ever-increasing importance of information technology and related cybertools in today’s world, training in conceptualizing social issues from an algorithmic perspective and skills at using advanced modeling technology will broadly benefit students’ careers.

Contact for more information: Michael Barton (