Agent based model

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This technology has been developed in the FIThydro project! See Innovative technologies from FIThydro for a complete list.

Quick summary

Figure 1: Result of CASiMiR-Migration illustrating migration corridor suitability and predicted path for grayling
Figure 2: Migration model results for barbel at 40 m³/s with additional flow releasen of 1 and 3 m³/s from the fish pass entrance: migration suitability barbel at dotation 1 m³/s (left top) and 3 m³/s (right top), migration path barbel at dotation 1 m³/s (left bottom), path barbel at dotation 3 m³/s (right bottom), fish pass entrance area marked with red and white rectangles

Date: Development of current version started in 2017.

Developed by: SJE Ecohydraulic Engineering GmbH

Type: Tool


The agent-based model CASiMiR-Migration for attraction flow assessment is a module of the fish habitat simulation system CASiMiR (Noack et al. 2014, Schneider et al. 2016). The model is designed to mimic fish movements in the environment of upstream migration fish pass outlets. It is implemented as a combination of habitat suitability model and agent-based model. The tool uses knowledge on hydraulic preferences of fish in the period before entering a fish pass, on etho-hydraulic thresholds for flow velocities and on the searching behaviour of individual fish. It is the progression of a first model version based purely on flow velocity vectors (Kopecki et al. 2014, 2016).

The knowledge processed in this extended model version in terms of fuzzy-rule systems has been gained by field data (fish tracks), expert judgement and literature. The application of the model is aiming at the assessment of probability for fish being routed into the lower end of fishways. An outcome of this assessment is, that the fishway design can be adaptively improved focussing on the entrance position and geometry in conjunction with the amount and orientation of the prescribed attraction flow.


The model can be used for the investigation of different locations and designs of fish pass outlets as well as for different release flows. Basis for the model application is a 2D or 3D hydrodynamic model providing information on the spatial distribution of water depth and flow velocity. Habitat suitability (migration corridor suitability) is calculated, and fish agents are placed in the model. Following behavioural rules that integrate habitat suitability, flow velocity magnitude and direction, swim direction and random behaviour the fish agents generate tracks that either lead them to the fish pass entrance or not. Depending on the percentage of agents finding the fish pass the attraction flow is rated. Running the model for different scenarios of the fish pass location and design as well as morphological and hydraulic variants the planning can be optimized, or the functionality of existing system can be assessed.

CASiMiR migration has been developed and applied in the FIThydro test case Altusried at river Iller. Figure 2 shows the application of the model for two different release from the fish pass entrance area. First results seem to indicate that higher flow releases in the fishpass outlet area do not significantly improve attraction flow for barbel that approach from the downstream central part of the river. Another first impression the results give is that an increased flow in the river, i.e. a smaller relative flow release from the fish pass is not necessarily negative for the attraction. However, the number of scenarios modelled has to be increased and the evaluation of the database is ongoing.

Relevant mitigation measures and test cases

Relevant measures
Baffle fishways
Fish lifts, screws, locks, and others
Fishways for eels and lampreys
Nature-like fishways
Pool-type fishways
Vertical slot fishways
Relevant test cases Applied in test case?
Altheim test case -
Altusried test case Yes
Anundsjö test case -
Bannwil test case -
Freudenau test case -
Gotein test case -
Guma and Vadocondes test cases -
Günz test case -
Ham test case -
Las Rives test case -
Schiffmühle test case Yes
Trois Villes test case -

Other information

The model is not yet available for third parties but is intended to be made accessible in a licensed version in future under, where current demo versions of other CASiMiR-modules are available for download

Relevant literature

  • Kopecki, I., Tuhtan, J., Schneider, M., Ortlepp, J., Thonhauser, S., Schletterer, M. (2014): Assessing Fishway Attraction Flows Using an Ethohyraulic Approach. 3rd IAHR Europe Congress, Porto, April 14-16.
  • Kopecki, I., Schneider, M., Tuhtan, J., Ortlepp, J., Thonhauser, S., Schletterer, M. (2016): Attraction flow at upstream migration facilities: Assessment and optimization via etho-hydraulic modelling (in German). WasserWirtschaft, 2016/10, 37-42.
  • Noack, M., Schneider, M. and Wieprecht, S. (2013): The Habitat Modelling System CASiMiR: A Multivariate Fuzzy Approach and its Applications; in Ecohydraulics: An Integrated Approach, Chapter 6 (75-93); Editors I. Maddock, A. Harby, P. Kemp, P. Wood, John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Schneider, M., Kopecki, I., Tuhtan, J., Sauterleute, J., Zinke, P., Bakken, T., Zakowski, T., Merigoux, S. (2016): A Fuzzy Rule-based Model for the Assessment of Macrobenthic Habitats under Hydropeaking Impact. River Research and Applications, 1467-1535

Contact information

Information on CASiMiR software:

Developer and seller:

SJE Ecohydraulic Engineering GmbH, Viereichenweg 12, 70569 Stuttgart, Tel. +49 711 677-3435,,