Daniele Deambrogio, Sarah Ferrigno, Giovanni Lalli, Antonella Luciano

Computer Science and Simulation for Economics

Project work on

"District, or not district: that is the question"

"Rising and Development of Industrial Districts"


The applet requires Java 1.4.1 or higher. It will not run on Windows 95 or Mac OS 8 or 9. Mac users must have OS X 10.2.6 or higher and use a browser that supports Java 1.4. (Safari works, IE does not. Mac OS X comes with Safari. Open Safari and set it as your default web browser under Safari/Preferences/General.) On other operating systems, you may obtain the latest Java plugin from Sun's Java site.


created with NetLogo

view/download model file: distretti.nlogo



This model simulates the rising and the expansion of industrial districts.
The agents of the model are FIRMS and WORKERS. Firms can have two skills: technology (hight and low level) and production (final, supplier, sub-supplier). We'll have a district when three firms with same tecnology and different phase of production find each other and they begin to work if they hire almost one worker. Creation of districts is inflluenced by presence of demand of products or services.
The dimension of district can increase by AGGREGATION function.


The firms are looking for others in the neighbourhood and if they don't find firms to cooperate they disappear.
Firms without workers disappear.
In every cycle the survivor firms will create a district and new firms will rise.
The new firms can join to the old districts if the aggregation function is switched on.
If the DEMAND function is switched on only the firms that are in an area with demand of products will survive.


Click the SETUP button to set up the firms and workers.
Click the GO button to start the simulation.
With the slider NUM-FIRMS and NUM-WORKERS you can choose the number of the firms and the number of the workers at the beginning of the simulation.
The switch AGGREGATION allows to start the aggregation function.
The switch DEMAND allows to start the demand function.
The MONITORS count each types of firms and the workers hired.


Watch how any SETUP quickly settles firms and workers when DEMAND switch is on.
Watch what happens in GO procedure when both the switches are off.
Watch what happens in GO procedure when only the DEMAND switch is on.
Watch what happens in GO procedure when only the AGGREGATION switch is on.
Watch what happens in GO procedure when both the switch are on.
How are the results different?


Watch what happens modifing both values of the sliders.
How are the results different?


It could be interesting to add more technology levels or more different phases of production.
You can try to give some skills to workers: age, sex and ability.