HubNet Web release

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Uri Wilensky

May 20, 2024, 11:12:44 PMMay 20

The Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling at Northwestern University is pleased to announce HubNet Web (beta), which can be accessed at

HubNet Web is the latest evolution of the HubNet technology for enacting participatory simulations, which can take several forms: it can take the form of brief, educational, multiplayer simulations. It can also take the form of a research tool, where human in the simulation interact with automated agents, enabling psychological and sociological experiments. HubNet Web re-imagines HubNet as a web application that runs in any modern web browser (including on Chromebooks and smartphones), allows user connections outside of the host's local area network, provides greater flexibility in user roles, and offers a more approachable authoring experience.

HubNet Web is a big improvement over HubNet Desktop, and is easier both to use and to author. Please do give it a try.

We take note that the NetLogo user community continues to experience much growth. Maintaining the large code-base, adding features to support our users, and expanding the models library requires considerable resources. Please consider making a donation at our site All donation sizes help.

All of the original HubNet models from the NetLogo Models Library already work in HubNet Web.  Other existing HubNet models will need to be converted before they can be used in HubNet Web.  To help with this process, there is a model conversion guide available, as well as a guide to using the HubNet Web authoring tool more generally.  Documentation on general usage of HubNet Web can be found here.


HubNet Web brings with it several innovations, most notably:

  • Support for more devices and without the need for any installation, due to running in all modern web browsers
  • Support for connections over the broader Internet, and not simply over LAN
  • Ability to join HubNet sessions through a global server browser or via hotlink
  • A more approachable authoring experience, without any of the old HubNet-related language primitives
  • A more flexible role system, so that activities are not forced into the structure of "1 teacher client and N-many student clients"
  • Inclusion of an interface for chatting 

How do I cite HubNet Web?

If you are using HubNet web in a publication, please cite the software itself as:

Wilensky, U. Bertsche, J. & Stroup, W. (2024). HubNet Web 1.0 [Computer Software]. Evanston, IL: Center for Connected Learning and Computer Based Modeling, Northwestern University.

If you are using a specific model from the models library, the appropriate citation can be found in the model’s info tab, available through the "Tools" menu.

Compatible models

Each HubNet model from the NetLogo Models Library has been converted to run in HubNet Web and is accessible from the "hosting" page, including:

  • BeeSmart
  • Bird Breeders
  • Bug Hunters Adaptations
  • Bug Hunters Camouflage
  • Bug Hunters Competition
  • Client Overrides Example
  • Client Perspective Example
  • Critter Designers
  • Current in a Wire
  • Dice Stalagmite
  • Disease Doctors
  • Disease
  • Disease With Android Avoidance
  • Example
  • Fish Spotters
  • Function
  • Gridlock Alternate
  • Gridlock
  • Guppy Spots
  • Investments
  • Memory
  • Minority Game
  • MTG 1 Equal Opportunities
  • MTG 2 Random Assignment
  • MTG 3 Feedback Loop
  • Oil Cartel Alternate
  • Oil Cartel
  • Polling Advanced
  • Polling
  • Predator Prey Game
  • Prisoners Dilemma
  • Public Good
  • Restaurants
  • Root Beer Game
  • Sampler
  • Template
  • Tragedy of the Commons
  • Walking
Known issues
  • When running an activity, killing the turtle who is linked to a client can break your activity.  This also includes invoking the `resize-world`, `clear-all`, and `clear-turtles` primitives. We will fix this bug in the full HUbNet release, bur for the beta version, we have a workaround:
    • Workaround: Avoid using these primitives, or only do so before any clients connect.  In the case of `clear-all` and `clear-turtles`, calling these primitives is never entirely necessary, and can be avoided by making a more selective set of primitive calls (such to clear patches, links, globals, plots, and a specific non-client turtle breed).
Found a bug?

We encourage our users to report any bugs they find to our bugs mailing list, and other feedback to our feedback mailing list, to help shape the many updates to come.


Uri Wilensky
Lorraine H. Morton chaired Professor 
Professor of Learning Sciences, Computer Science and Complex Systems
Director, Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling (CCL)
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Northwestern University


Uri Wilensky
Lorraine H. Morton chaired Professor 
Professor of Learning Sciences, Computer Science and Complex Systems
Director, Center for Connected Learning  and Computer-Based Modeling (CCL)
Northwestern University

Christopher Ruebeck

May 22, 2024, 4:52:40 PMMay 22
to netlogo-users
This is exciting news. I've been exploring the resources and information a bit today and look forward to using them in the future.

I haven't found a way to modify and save an existing model from the HubNet Web library. It would be helpful to have these library models available as templates, in addition to the ability to upload existing desktop NetLogo models.

Christopher Ruebeck

May 23, 2024, 4:22:34 PMMay 23
to netlogo-users
I believe that I've stumbled across an answer: (a) Source code, including the library models, is at the HubNet-Web github site. That's great! Each model is in two separate files, which is helpful for comparing models to previous library versions.

Yet a problem remains: the open dialog that appears in the authoring HubNet Web page (on my Mac) does not allow me to select a file with the nlogo.json extension. Nor does it seem to prompt for a second 

I've submitted a bug report. Maybe there's something I missed, though.

There are two more solutions that I'll pursue in the meantime. (b) Copying the text from a library model on the web while in the hosting mode. This does not get the the json file, nor does it get the interface elements. (c) Upload the existing library model from my computer's NetLogo.

As much as I'd like the upload bug to be fixed so that can use (a), solution (c) will help me learn about the conversion process. That's less clean than working with (what appear to be) tuned-up models in the web library.

May 24, 2024, 2:02:37 PMMay 24
to netlogo-users
Hi Chris,

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.  On the host page, before you launch an activity, there is now a button to edit the selected library model.  I also made it so that Mac OS will allow you to choose '.nlogo.json' and '.hnw.json' files in their file picker.

I am able to confirm the bug that you've reported with Firefox and Safari that preventing the second file dialog from popping up.  I'm working on a fix for that, but things will work well in a Chrome-based browser (i.e. most browsers) in the meantime.

Jason Bertsche
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