Behavior Patterns: Bridging Conceptual Models and Agent-Based Simulations in Interactive Learning Environments

We describe a technique that takes conceptual, declarative Structure-Behavior-Function (SBF) models of a complex system, and simulates the behavior of the system in Net Logo, an agent-based simulation environment. Our technique uses a library of behavior patterns, where a behavior pattern is a parameterized generic abstraction over classes of SBF models. Given an SBF model constructed by a student, our technique first recognizes the model as an instance of a behavior pattern, then uses the parameters of the pattern to set up the Net Logo simulation, and finally runs the simulation to produce an animation that acts as feedback on the conceptual model.