Madeira PATRES tutorial workshop

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Simplifying individual-based models and computing viable or resilient action policies

21 - 23 October: 2.5 day Tutorial workshop in Madeira - sponsored by EU project PATRES: 50 € per participant for food, lodging and courses. It will take place in 4 star Hotel Escola.


  • Nigel Gilbert (university of Surrey, UK)
  • Volker Grimm (UFZ, Leipzig, Germany)
  • Guillaume Deffuant (Cemagref, Clermont-Ferrand, France)

and members of their teams.


Resilience is generally defined in the framework of dynamic system theory (attractors, attraction domains, bifurcations): a system is resilient to a perturbation when this perturbation keeps the system in domains of attractors where the system shows the desired properties or functions. However, this definition has two strong limitations: (i) It supposes no possibility to modify the dynamics, whereas socio-ecological systems often involve stakeholders and managers who want to define efficient policies of action. (ii) It supposes that a set of the dynamics attractors show the desired properties, whereas these properties could appear only at non-equilibrium states.

This approach has nevertheless a drawback: it is very demanding computationally. This is why the workshop will also introduce methods to simplify complex models, and particularly individual-based models. These methods, inspired from physics, can, under certain conditions, derive simple dynamical systems (involving a small set of synthetic variables) representing the main features (patterns) of the dynamics observed in a complex individual or agent based model.



Students should download a set of software to save time.

  • Kaviar: Software developed partly in PATRES project for computing viability kernels and resilience indices. Please go to this page, and download:
    • user_guide_SVMVC.pdf
    • kaviar-1.1-SNAPSHOT.jar
  • NetBeans, an integrated development environment (IDE) for Java, will be used include a new model into Kaviar. Please download from here.
  • Scilab, free software for mathematical programming, will be used in the tutorial about moment approximations. Please download from here.
  • SimExplorer, software partly developed in PATRES project, to help programming and launchin experimental designs on simulations. Please download from here.

Complementary information

The workshop draws on research conducted by the PATRES (Pattern resilience) project, funded by the European Commission under FP6, as part of its New and Emerging Science and Technology (NEST) programme.

A limited number of places are available for a nominal registration fee, with no charge for meals and accommodation. Early application is advised (see below).

There is a nominal charge of 50 euros for attendance at the workshop, payable in advance. Participants are responsible for arranging and paying for their travel to Madeira. There are frequent flights from many European airports <>.

The workshop will be held on the island of Madeira from Wednesday 21 October to Friday 23 October 2009 (with arrival on Tuesday and departure on Friday afternoon) at the Hotel Escola <>.

The tutorial workshop will include talks on 'What is resilience?', 'Viability and resilience', 'Computing viability and resilience, 'The macro description of individual based models', 'Bridging the gap between structurally realistic models and viability theory in savanna ecosystems', 'Bacterial biofilms', Viability and resilience in the dynamics of language competition', 'Resilience in the dynamics of collaborative Web communities' 'Resilience and viability problems in social dilemma modelling', and software sessions.

Participants will be expected to have some background in mathematics and an interest in complexity science.


Applications are now closed.