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For loop

There are two forms of for loop and two forms of while loop in Java. We will begin with the easiest form of the for loop, the so-called “enhanced” for loop:

for( <element type> <name> : <collection> ) {
	<statements> // the loop body executed for each element

This form is used to iterate through arrays and collections. Whenever you need to do something with each element of a collection, we recommend using this loop because it is more compact and easy to read, and is supported by all collection types (unlike index-based iteration).

For example, in an agent-based model, a firm’s product portfolio is modeled as a replicated products object (remember that a replicated object is a collection). The following code goes through all products in the portfolio and kills those, whose estimated ROI is less than some allowed minimum:

for( Product p : products ) {
	if( p.getEstimatedROI() < minROI )

Another example: the loop counts the number of sold seats in a movie theater. The seats are modeled as the seats Java array with the elements of the boolean type (true means sold):

boolean[] seats = new boolean[600]; // array declaration
… // some code that simulates the seats being sold 
int nsold = 0;
for (boolean sold : seats)
    if (sold)
If the body of the loop contains only one statement, the braces {…} can be dropped. In the code above, braces are dropped both in the for and the if statements.

Another more general form of the for loop is typically used for index-based iterations. In the header of the loop you can put the initialization code, for example, the declaration of the index variable, the condition that is tested before each iteration to determine whether the loop should continue, and the code to be executed after each iteration that can be used, say, to increment the index variable:

for( <initialization>; <continue condition>; <increment> ) {

The following loop finds all circles in a group of shapes and sets their fill color to red:

for( int i = 0; i < group.size(); i++) { // index-based loop
	Object obj = group.get( i ); // get the i-th element of the group
	if( obj instanceof ShapeOval ) { // test if it is a ShapeOval — AnyLogic class for ovals
		ShapeOval ov = (ShapeOval)obj; // if it is oval, “cast” it to ShapeOval
		ov.setFillColor( red ); // set the fill color to red

As long as there is no other way to iterate through the ShapeGroup contents than accessing the shapes by index, only this form of loop is applicable here.

Many Process Modeling Library blocks also offer index-based iterations. For example, this code goes through all agents in the queue from the end to the beginning and removes the first one that does not possess any resource units:

for( int i=queue.size()-1; i>=0; i-- ) { //the index goes from queue.size()-1 down to 0
	Agent a = queue.get(i); // obtain the i-th agent
	if( a.resourceUnits().isEmpty() ) { // test
		queue.remove( a ); // remove the agent from the queue
		break; // exit the loop
In this loop, the index is decremented after each iteration, and correspondingly the continue condition tests if it has reached 0. Once we have found the agent that satisfies our condition, we remove it and do not need to continue. The break statement is used to exit the loop immediately. If the agent is not found, the loop will finish in its natural way when the index after a certain iteration becomes -1.
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