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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(11), 1126;

ABS-SOCI: An Agent-Based Simulator of Student Sociograms

Department of Computer Science and Engineering of Systems, University of Zaragoza, 44003 Teruel, Spain
Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Aragón, University of Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Department of Psychology and Sociology, University of Zaragoza, 44003 Teruel, Spain
Department of Electronics Engineering and Communications, University of Zaragoza, 44003 Teruel, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-Agent Systems)
PDF [607 KB, uploaded 1 November 2017]


Sociograms can represent the social relations between students. Some kinds of sociograms are more suitable than others for achieving a high academic performance of students. However, for now, at the beginning of an educative period, it is not possible to know for sure how the sociogram of a group of students will be or evolve during a semester or an academic year. In this context, the current approach presents an Agent-Based Simulator (ABS) that predicts the sociogram of a group of students taking into consideration their psychological profiles, by evolving an initial sociogram through time. This simulator is referred to as ABS-SOCI (ABS for SOCIograms). For instance, this can be useful for organizing class groups for some subjects of engineering grades, anticipating additional learning assistance or testing some teaching strategies. As experimentation, ABS-SOCI has been executed 100 times for each one of four real scenarios. The results show that ABS-SOCI produces sociograms similar to the real ones considering certain sociometrics. This similarity has been corroborated by statistical binomial tests that check whether there are significant differences between the simulations and the real cases. This experimentation also includes cross-validation and an analysis of sensitivity. ABS-SOCI is free and open-source to (1) ensure the reproducibility of the experiments; (2) to allow practitioners to run simulations; and (3) to allow developers to adapt the simulator for different environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: [-5]agent-based simulation; agent-based social simulation; multi-agent system; agent-oriented software engineering; sociogram [-5]agent-based simulation; agent-based social simulation; multi-agent system; agent-oriented software engineering; sociogram

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.17632/ffy73gfkzc.1
    Description: Source code of the agent-based simulator of student sociograms called ABS-SOCI

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MDPI and ACS Style

García-Magariño, I.; Lombas, A.S.; Plaza, I.; Medrano, C. ABS-SOCI: An Agent-Based Simulator of Student Sociograms. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 1126.

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