EffLab was built to support the study of the efficiency of agents in an evolving complex adaptive system. In particular:
- There is a definition of efficiency used in ecology, and an analogous definition widely used in business. In ecological studies it is called EROEI (energy returned on energy invested), or, more briefly, EROI (pronounced E-Roy). In business it is called ROI (dollars returned on dollars invested).
- In addition, there is the more well-known definition of efficiency first described by Sadi Carnot, and widely used by engineers. It is usually represented by the Greek letter ‘h’ (pronounced as ETA). These two measures of efficiency bear a peculiar relationship to each other: EROI = 1 / ( 1 - ETA )
In EffLab, blind seekers wander through a forest looking for energy-rich food. In this multi-generational world, they live and reproduce, or die, depending on whether they can find food more effectively than their contemporaries. Data is collected to measure their efficiency as they evolve more effective search patterns.
The model reflects the predator-prey mustelid-vole population dynamics, typically observed in boreal systems. The goal of the model is to assess which intrinsic and extrinsic factors (or factor combinations) are needed for the generation of the cyclic pattern typically observed in natural vole populations. This goal is achieved by contrasting the alternative model versions by “switching off” some of the submodels in order to reflect the four combinations of the factors hypothesized to be driving vole cycles.
In 1985 Dr Michael Palmiter, a high school teacher, first built a very innovative agent-based model called “Simulated Evolution” which he used for teaching the dynamics of evolution. In his model, students can see the visual effects of evolution as it proceeds right in front of their eyes. Using his schema, small linear changes in the agent’s genotype have an exponential effect on the agent’s phenotype. Natural selection therefore happens quickly and effectively. I have used his approach to managing the evolution of competing agents in a variety of models that I have used to study the fundamental dynamics of sustainable economic systems. For example, here is a brief list of some of my models that use “Palmiter Genes”:
- ModEco - Palmiter genes are used to encode negotiation strategies for setting prices;
- PSoup - Palmiter genes are used to control both motion and metabolic evolution;
- TpLab - Palmiter genes are used to study the evolution of belief systems;
- EffLab - Palmiter genes are used to study Jevon’s Paradox, EROI and other things.
EiLab - Model I - is a capital exchange model. That is a type of economic model used to study the dynamics of modern money which, strangely, is very similar to the dynamics of energetic systems. It is a variation on the BDY models first described in the paper by Dragulescu and Yakovenko, published in 2000, entitled “Statistical Mechanics of Money”. This model demonstrates the ability of capital exchange models to produce a distribution of wealth that does not have a preponderance of poor agents and a small number of exceedingly wealthy agents.
This is a re-implementation of a model first built in the C++ application called Entropic Index Laboratory, or EiLab. The first eight models in that application were labeled A through H, and are the BDY models. The BDY models all have a single constraint - a limit on how poor agents can be. That is to say that the wealth distribution is bounded on the left. This ninth model is a variation on the BDY models that has an added constraint that limits how wealthy an agent can be? It is bounded on both the left and right.
EiLab demonstrates the inevitable role of entropy in such capital exchange models, and can be used to examine the connections between changing entropy and changes in wealth distributions at a very minute level.
Organisms, Individuals and Organizations face the dilemma of exploration vs. exploitation
Identifying the optimal trade-off between the two is a challenge
Too much exploration (e.g. gaining new knowledge) can be detrimental to day-to-day survival and too much exploitation (applying existing knowledge) could be detrimental to long term survival esp. if conditions change over time
The purpose of the model is to investigate how the amount of resources acquired (wealth/success) is related to persistence with the strategy of local exploration under different resource distributions, availability of resources over time and cost of relocation
The model answers the question how homophily and number of close-links in small-world network influences behavior of consumats. The results show that the more close-links the more probable the consumat follows the major behavior, but homophilly blocks the major behavior and supports survival of the minor behavior.
Individually parameterized mussels (Mytilus californianus) recruit, grow, move and die in a 3D environment while facing predation (in the form of seastar agents), heat and desiccation with increased tide height, and storms. Parameterized with data collected by Wootton, Paine, Kandur, Donahue, Robles and others. See my 2019 CoMSES video presentation to learn more.
The purpose of this agent-based model is to compare different variants of crowdworking in a general way, so that the obtained results are independent of specific details of the crowdworking platform. It features many adjustable parameters that can be used to calibrate the model to empirical data, but also when not calibrated it yields essential results about crowdworking in general.
Agents compete for contracts on a virtual crowdworking platform. Each agent is defined by various properties like qualification and income expectation. Agents that are unable to turn a profit have a chance to quit the crowdworking platform and new crowdworkers can replace them. Thus the model has features of an evolutionary process, filtering out the ill suited agents, and generating a realistic distribution of agents from an initially random one. To simulate a stable system, the amount of contracts issued per day can be set constant, as well as the number of crowdworkers. If one is interested in a dynamically changing platform, the simulation can also be initialized in a way that increases or decreases the number of crowdworkers or number of contracts over time. Thus, a large variety of scenarios can be investigated.
Is the mass shooter a maniac or a relatively normal person in a state of great stress? According to the FBI report (Silver, J., Simons, A., & Craun, S. (2018). A Study of the Pre-Attack Behaviors of Active Shooters in the United States Between 2000 – 2013. Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice,Washington, D.C. 20535.), only 25% of the active shooters were known to have been diagnosed by a mental health professional with a mental illness of any kind prior to the offense.
The main objects of the model are the humans and the guns. The main factors influencing behavior are the population size, the number of people with mental disabilities (“psycho” in the model terminology) per 100,000 population, the total number of weapons (“guns”) in the population, the availability of guns for humans, the intensity of stressors affecting humans and the threshold level of stress, upon reaching which a person commits an act of mass shooting.
The key difference (in the model) between a normal person and a psycho is that a psycho accumulates stressors and, upon reaching a threshold level, commits an act of mass shooting. A normal person is exposed to stressors, but reaching the threshold level for killing occurs only when the simultaneous effect of stressors on him exceeds this level.
The population dynamics are determined by the following factors: average (normally distributed) life expectancy (“life_span” attribute of humans) and population growth with the percentage of newborns set by the value of the TickReprRatio% slider of the current population volume from 16 to 45 years old.Thus, one step of model time corresponds to a year.