Computational Model Library

Ants Digging Networks

Elske van der Vaart | Published Fri Sep 14 13:21:46 2018

This is a NetLogo version of Buhl et al.’s (2005) model of self-organised digging activity in ant colonies. It was built for a master’s course on self-organisation and its intended use is still educational. The ants’ behavior can easily be changed by toggling switches on the interface, or, for more advanced students, there is R code included allowing the model to be run and analysed through RNetLogo.

In order to test how prosocial strategies (compassionate altruism vs. reciprocity) grow over time, we developed an evolutionary simulation model where artificial agents are equipped with different emotionally-based drivers that vary in strength. Evolutionary algorithms mimic the evolutionary selection process by letting the chances of agents conceiving offspring depend on their fitness. Equipping the agents with heritable prosocial strategies allows for a selection of those strategies that result in the highest fitness. Since some prosocial attributes may be more successful than others, an initially heterogeneous population can specialize towards altruism or reciprocity. The success of particular prosocial strategies is also expected to depend on the cultural norms and environmental conditions the agents live in.

Crowd dynamics have important applications in evacuation management systems relevant to organizing safer large scale gatherings. For crowd safety, it is very important to study the evolution of potential crowd behaviours by simulating the crowd evacuation process. Planning crowd control tasks by studying the impact of crowd behaviour evolution towards evacuation could mitigate the possibility of crowd disasters. During a typical emergency evacuation scenario, conflict among agents occurs when agents intend to move to the same location as a result of the interaction with their nearest neighbours. The effect of the agent response towards their neighbourhood is vital in order to understand the effect of variation of crowd behaviour on the whole environment. In this work, we model crowd motion subject to exit congestion under uncertainty conditions in a continuous space via computer simulations. We model best-response, risk-seeking, risk-averse and risk-neutral behaviours of agents via certain game theoretic notions. We perform computer simulations with heterogeneous populations in order to study the effect of the evolution of agent behaviours towards egress flow under threat conditions. Our simulation results show the relation between the local crowd pressure and the number of injured agents. We observe that when the proportion of agents in a population of risk-seeking agents is increased, the average crowd pressure, average local density and the number of injured agents increases. Besides that, based on our simulation results, we can infer that crowd disasters could be prevented if the agent population consists entirely of risk-averse and risk-neutral agents despite circumstances that lead to threats.

MERCURY extension: transport-cost

Tom Brughmans | Published Mon Jul 23 11:08:11 2018

This is extended version of the MERCRUY model (Brughmans 2015) incorporates a ‘transport-cost’ variable, and is otherwise unchanged. This extended model is described in this publication: Brughmans, T., 2019. Evaluating the potential of computational modelling for informing debates on Roman economic integration, in: Verboven, K., Poblome, J. (Eds.), Structural Determinants in the Roman World.

Brughmans, T., 2015. MERCURY: an ABM of tableware trade in the Roman East. CoMSES Comput. Model Libr. URL https://www.comses.net/codebases/4347/releases/1.1.0/

Decision-makers often have to act before critical times to avoid the collapse of ecosystems using knowledge \textcolor{red}{that can be incomplete or biased}. Adaptive management may help managers tackle such issues. However, because the knowledge infrastructure required for adaptive management may be mobilized in several ways, we study the quality and the quantity of knowledge provided by this knowledge infrastructure. In order to analyze the influence of mobilized knowledge, we study how the following typology of knowledge and its use may impact the safe operating space of exploited ecosystems: 1) knowledge of the past based on a time series distorted by measurement errors; 2) knowledge of the current systems’ dynamics based on the representativeness of the decision-makers’ mental models of the exploited ecosystem; 3) knowledge of future events based on decision-makers’ likelihood estimates of extreme events based on modeling infrastructure (models and experts to interpret them) they have at their disposal. We consider different adaptive management strategies of a general regulated exploited ecosystem model and we characterize the robustness of these strategies to biased knowledge. Our results show that even with significant mobilized knowledge and optimal strategies, imperfect knowledge may still shrink the safe operating space of the system leading to the collapse of the system. However, and perhaps more interestingly, we also show that in some cases imperfect knowledge may unexpectedly increase the safe operating space by suggesting cautious strategies.
The code enables to calculate the safe operating spaces of different managers in the case of biased and unbiased knowledge.

The largely dominant meritocratic paradigm of highly competitive Western cultures is rooted on the belief that success is due mainly, if not exclusively, to personal qualities such as talent, intelligence, skills, smartness, efforts, willfulness, hard work or risk taking. Sometimes, we are willing to admit that a certain degree of luck could also play a role in achieving significant material success. But, as a matter of fact, it is rather common to underestimate the importance of external forces in individual successful stories. It is very well known that intelligence (or, more in general, talent and personal qualities) exhibits a Gaussian distribution among the population, whereas the distribution of wealth - often considered a proxy of success - follows typically a power law (Pareto law), with a large majority of poor people and a very small number of billionaires. Such a discrepancy between a Normal distribution of inputs, with a typical scale (the average talent or intelligence), and the scale invariant distribution of outputs, suggests that some hidden ingredient is at work behind the scenes. In a recent paper, with the help of this very simple agent-based model realized with NetLogo, we suggest that such an ingredient is just randomness. In particular, we show that, if it is true that some degree of talent is necessary to be successful in life, almost never the most talented people reach the highest peaks of success, being overtaken by mediocre but sensibly luckier individuals. As to our knowledge, this counterintuitive result - although implicitly suggested between the lines in a vast literature - is quantified here for the first time. It sheds new light on the effectiveness of assessing merit on the basis of the reached level of success and underlines the risks of distributing excessive honors or resources to people who, at the end of the day, could have been simply luckier than others. With the help of this model, several policy hypotheses are also addressed and compared to show the most efficient strategies for public funding of research in order to improve meritocracy, diversity and innovation.

Emergent Firms Model

J Applegate | Published Fri Jul 13 15:04:37 2018

The Emergent Firm (EF) model is based on the premise that firms arise out of individuals choosing to work together to advantage themselves of the benefits of returns-to-scale and coordination. The Emergent Firm (EF) model is a new implementation and extension of Rob Axtell’s Endogenous Dynamics of Multi-Agent Firms model. Like the Axtell model, the EF model describes how economies, composed of firms, form and evolve out of the utility maximizing activity on the part of individual agents. The EF model includes a cash-in-advance constraint on agents changing employment, as well as a universal credit-creating lender to explore how costs and access to capital affect the emergent economy and its macroeconomic characteristics such as firm size distributions, wealth, debt, wages and productivity.

We employ this spatially explicit agent-based model to begin to examine how time-averaging can affect the spatial scale of cultural similarity in archaeological assemblage data. The model was built to address this question: to what extent does time-averaging affect the scale of local spatial association in the relative frequency of the most prevalent cultural variant in an archaeological landscape?

A series of studies show the applicability of the NK model in the crowdsourcing research, but it also exposes a problem that the application of the NK model is not tightly integrated with crowdsourcing process, which leads to lack of a basic crowdsourcing simulation model. Accordingly, by introducing interaction relationship among task decisions to define three tasks of different structure: local task, small-world task and random task, and introducing bounded rationality and its two dimensions are taken into account: bounded rationality level that used to distinguish industry types and bounded rationality bias that used to differentiate professional users and ordinary users, an agent-based model that simulates the problem-solving process of tournament-based crowdsourcing is constructed by combining the NK fitness landscapes and the crowdsourcing framework of “Task-Crowd-Process-Evaluation”.

The model explores how corruption may spread endogenously within a closed society by depicting the behavior within a cellular automaton context (CA) between bureaucrats and citizens. Within the model, corruption is characterized as a behavior product dependent upon an individual’s personal disposition towards honesty, rational decisionmaking processes, and neighbors’ behavior.

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