Reference 〉 Function

Helipad.spatial( int|tuple dim = 10, bool wrap = True, bool|float diag = False )

Sets up functions, properties, and methods for spatial models. This function should be run before the control panel is drawn.

The function does several things:

  1. Creates a patch primitive to represent map coordinates. In addition to the usual agent methods, the patch primitive has the following methods and properties:
    • patch.up(), patch.down(), patch.left(), and patch.right() — return the patch one over from the current patch in the specified direction.
    • patch.neighbors() — returns a list of the four (or eight, if diag==True) surrounding patches.
    • patch.agentsOn —  a list of all agents currently on the patch.
  2. Creates a network named 'space' connecting each patch to its neighbors.
  3. Adds a model.patches property, a dict of dicts by coordinates. A patch at coordinates (2,5) can be accessed using model.patches[2][5].
  4. Adds movement methods and properties to agents of all primitives except patches, which cannot move.
    • agent.moveUp(), agent.moveDown(), agent.moveLeft(), and agent.moveRight() — move the agent one patch over starting from the current location.
    • agent.move(x, y) — moves the agent some number of patches over and some number of patches down.
    • agent.moveTo(x, y) or agent.moveTo(patch) — moves the agent to the patch located at (x,y) or the location of the patch.
    • agent.distanceFrom(agent) — calculates the spatial distance between the current agent and another.
    • agent.position — the current coordinates of the agent. Patches also have patch.position, but it cannot be modified. Integer locations correspond to the center of a patch, so the range of the x dimension is -0.5 to model.param('x')-0.5, and mutatis mutandis for y.
    • agent.orientation — the angle in degrees of the agent’s current heading.
    • agent.orientTo(agent) — Sets the agent’s orientation toward a particular patch or another agent.
    • agent.forward(steps) — Moves the agent some distance in the direction of its current orientation.
    • agent.patch — The patch that the agent is currently on.
  5. Registers the Charts visualizer and a network plot with a patchgrid layout upon it. The plot object has a config() method that allows various aspects of the map to be customized. By default patches are displayed in a grid with colors corresponding to a specified parameter, and agents are displayed as dots of their breed color. The model.visual object can be used to display other chart plots alongside the spatial map. Note that functions calling model.spatial() do not then need to call model.useVisual().
  6. Creates a 'dimension' parameter or 'x' and 'y' parameters for the size of the map, depending on if the map is set to square or not.
  7. Creates an agentPosition hook that takes an agent object and the model object, and returns x,y coordinates. If not specified, agents are randomly positioned when instantiated.


  • dim int|tuple, optional

    The map dimensions. Pass an integer for a square map, or a two-element tuple to specify (x,y) dimensions.

    Default value: 10

  • wrap bool, optional

    Whether patches at the edges of the map should be connected to patches on the opposite edge.

    Default value: True

  • diag bool|float, optional

    Whether to connect patches to their diagonals, and if so, the weight of the connection (between 0 and 1).

    Default value: False

Return Value NetworkPlot

The NetworkPlot object, subclass of ChartPlot, which can be used to customize various aspects of the map visualization. See especially the options in NetworkPlot.config().

Notes and Examples

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