Introduction to Building your own ABM
Here you have a choice of frameworks to explore, depending on your machine.
Unfortunately Repast now needs admin rights to install, but if you have your own laptop you can work through the Zombie Apocalypse intro practical.
Mason is much easier to run - you just download the jar file and either add it in Eclipse or make your java files in the same directory and add it to the classpath, thus:
javac -classpath .;mason.18.jar *.java
java -classpath .;mason.18.jar MyFileToRun
MASON has a nice tutorial on gang culture (well, school gangs!) in the manual. You can find the jar file and manual on the MASON page. Note in the tutorial there is one typo: the line:
needs commenting out until the section where you add the buddies network.
If you're interested to see how to cook up and agent based model from scratch, we run an annual Summer School for researchers and PhDs which does this. It is basically the same materials as your Core Programming course, but using the classes to build an agent-based model, rather than a GIS. Anyhow, the materials are here: Summer School, but you can find all the practicals here: listing. As you'll see, the practicals end with running a genetic algorithm calibration in parallel, which is kind of cool, even if I do say so myself.
Finally, if you go to the bottom of the homepage for Advanced Programming, there are some Additional Practicals from a previous version of the Summer School, which includes stuff on Spatial Interaction Modelling and some other bits an pieces that might be of interest.