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Symbulation Logo

Symbulation is an artificial life software tool for agent-based modeling of the evolution of biological symbiosis, which can occur along the spectrum between parasitism and mutualism.

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Try out our browser-based GUI. See our documentation at

Interested in starting a new project with Symbulation? We have a cookiecutter template here:

Symbulation is built with the Empirical platform and the cookiecutter includes our recommended directory layout and example analysis files.


Install the latest Cookiecutter:

pip install -U cookiecutter

Generate an Symbulation project:


Move into the new project directory and the SymbulationEmp directory and make:

cd SymbulationProject/SymbulationEmp

Make any changes that you wish to the file SymSettings.cfg and then run:


By default, your data will be output to the files and

We recommend that you copy your symbulation executable to your Data folders:

cp symbulation_default ../Data/sample_treatment
cd ../Data/sample_treatment

You can then use the provided Python script to run several replicates:


You can also then use the provided Python script to transform your data into a format more easily used by R:

cd ../../Analysis/sample_treatment

And then open our provided R script SampleAnalysis.R in R, set your working directory to the Analysis directory and then run all lines to observe the effect of vertical transmission rate on the interaction value evolved.

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