Agent-based Modeling and Network Simulation

Through a class of computational models, agent-based modeling (ABM) is able to simulate the interaction of autonomous agents or organizations with a view to assessing their effects on the system as a whole. The global behavior and pattern will emerge as a result of interactions of many individual behaviors. ABM is a suitable tool to study complex engineering systems.

Project Summary

This research aims to understand, improve and predict the energy dynamics that occur in networks of building occupants.  If occupants in these networks can view energy utilization of their own and their peers, they may change their energy using patterns. Four energy utilization experiments in residential and administrative buildings have been performed to empirically assess and model the complex inter-relationships between occupants and occupant networks in influencing energy use decisions. The experimental results were integrated into an agent-based simulation model to predict the impact of building occupant network dynamics on achieving sustained energy conservation in and across buildings.


Jiayu Chen, Rishee Jain and John E. Taylor, “Block Configuration Modeling: A Novel Simulation Model to Emulate Building Occupant Peer Networks and their Impact on Building Energy Consumption”, Applied Energy, 105:358-368.

Jiayu Chen and John E. Taylor, “Layering Residential Peer Networks and Geospatial Building Networks to Modeling Networks to Model Changes Energy Saving Behaviors”, Energy and Buildings, 2013,58: 151-162.

Jiayu Chen, John E. Taylor and His-Hsien Wei, “Modeling building occupant network energy consumption decision-making: the interplay between network structure and conservation”, Energy and Buildings, 2012, 47: 515-524.

Jiayu Chen, John E. Taylor and His-Hsien Wei “Toward a Building Occupant Network Agent-based Model to Simulate Peer-Induced Energy Conservation Behavior” Winter Simulation Conference (WSC 2011), Phoenix, AZ, USA

Collaborators and Students


Network Dynamic Lab is the pioneer in the research of building eco-feedback system and global project virtual environment. Jiayu used to work under the guidance of Dr. John E. Taylor on the building energy efficiency research.


Dr. John E. Taylor;

Dr. Rishee Jain; Dr. Semra Come; Dr. Amy Tang; Dr. Xiaoqi Xu; Dr. Josh Iorio; Rimas Gulbinas; Qi Wang; Aruna Muthumanickam, etc.