There are not so many resources out there for AnyLogic. Look on StackOverflow, there are 1536420 questions for Java and only 524 questions for AnyLogic.
However, AnyLogic is still easy to get into, as it naturally supports your natural desire to experiment around. Remember when you were a child and you got a box full of Lego bricks for christmas? Also then you had no manual, but still you had no problem to learn how to use them and eventually built that giant castle with the trapdoor and the dragon.
In this article I want to give an overview over existing resources to learn AnyLogic and give tips on how to progress.
You want to create simulation models with AnyLogic but don't know how to start?
- Get AnyLogic PLE (non-commercial free learning version) here
- Work through the official training book from AnyLogic, and go through the excercises
That's it! After you completed to work through the book, you'll have a basic understanding of:
- How the AnyLogic editor looks like
- What modeling approaches there are (Agents, System Dynamics and Discrete Event)
- How the basic modeling approach in AnyLogic works like
Now, it get's a bit more freestyle! No more step-by-step following the rules but exploring the possibilities yourself! Fortunately there are some ressources to help you:
- The AnyLogic How-To videos on Youtube
- The AnyLogic tutorials, where certain topics (eg. Agents, GIS, Pedestrians,....) are being explained by giving you step-by-step guidance on building example models. You can find them on the Welcome page of the AnyLogic editor
- Get the "Big Book of Simulation Modeling". Contrary to the training book from the last section, this doesn't contain step-by-step explanations, but rather explains in great detail all the basic modeling concepts of AnyLogic in a very practical way. To give you an example: How would you model an complete interactive movie theater layout in just a couple of minutes - you'll find out in this book. Although it was written for AnyLogic 6, trust me, 80% of the content is still valid for AnyLogic 8. A real life saver!
- Study the AnyLogic Help, which is actually more then just a dry documentation, it contains manuals for each library and element
- Get (more) familar with Java, you'll need it. You don't have to become a Java expert, but you need the basics. Read the Java section of the AnyLogic manual. Study a lecture on the topic. And practice, practice, practice
- Ask questions (after you tried on your own before), on StackOverflow and in the LinkedIn Usergroup
- Get professional training: Either an AnyLogic online class, or an official training by AnyLogic
Ok, so you know more or less most parts of AnyLogic, you've done projects with it. How to become even better?
- Study the example models provided by AnyLogic. There are tons of them, and they are created with great care, you can learn a lot from them
- Study the AnyLogic FAQ carefully, every piece of information in there is of great value and can save you hours of annoying debugging
- Read blogs: AnyLogic, Benjamin Schumann, Felipe Haro, Alvaro Gil, Stuart Rossiter
- Study the lecture notes of the university course Agent-Based Modeling for Health Policy by Nathaniel Osgood. It contains extensive AnyLogic knowledge. An chaotic YouTube channel comes with the lecture
- Ask & answer questions, on StackOverflow and in the LinkedIn Usergroup
- Learn how others use AnyLogic by visiting conferences (eg. WSC ) and reading scientific publications that make use of AnyLogic
- Use the power of Java. Remember, you can include ANY Java library that exists out there into your model. There is (almost) no limit to what you can do. Having a graph solver for custom route finding in your network ? No problem
- Get a custom training or a coaching specifically for your modelling challenge with one of the AnyLogic partners or a freelancer like Felipe Haro and Benjamin Schumann
The learning curve for AnyLogic is steep. With the help of the tutorials, example modes and the documentation and you will progess in short time!
The biggest obstacle in your way to build powerful and flexible models will eventually be missing Java knowledge. But for Java there is also tons of great learning resources, and once you have mastered it good enough for AnyLogic, you will have endless opportunities to built great models.