Computational Model Library

The Urban Traffic Simulator is an agent-based model developed in the Unity platform. The model allows the user to simulate several autonomous vehicles (AVs) and tune granular parameters such as vehicle downforce, adherence to speed limits, top speed in mph and mass. The model allows researchers to tune these parameters, run the simulator for a given period and export data from the model for analysis (an example is provided in Jupyter Notebook).

The data the model is currently able to output are the following:

Schelling famously proposed an extremely simple but highly illustrative social mechanism to understand how strong ethnic segregation could arise in a world where individuals do not necessarily want it. Schelling’s simple computational model is the starting point for our extensions in which we build upon Wilensky’s original NetLogo implementation of this model. Our two NetLogo models can be best studied while reading our chapter “Agent-based Computational Models” (Flache and de Matos Fernandes, 2021 [forthcoming]). In the chapter, we propose 10 best practices to elucidate how agent-based models are a unique method for providing and analyzing formally precise, and empirically plausible mechanistic explanations of puzzling social phenomena, such as segregation, in the social world. Our chapter addresses in particular analytical sociologists who are new to ABMs.

In the first model (SegregationExtended), we build on Wilensky’s implementation of Schelling’s model which is available in NetLogo library (Wilensky, 1997). We considerably extend this model, allowing in particular to include larger neighborhoods and a population with four groups roughly resembling the ethnic composition of a contemporary large U.S. city. Further features added concern the possibility to include random noise, and the addition of a number of new outcome measures tuned to highlight macro-level implications of the segregation dynamics for different groups in the agent society.

In SegregationDiscreteChoice, we further modify the model incorporating in particular three new features: 1) heterogeneous preferences roughly based on empirical research categorizing agents into low, medium, and highly tolerant within each of the ethnic subgroups of the population, 2) we drop global thresholds (%-similar-wanted) and introduce instead a continuous individual-level single-peaked preference function for agents’ ideal neighborhood composition, and 3) we use a discrete choice model according to which agents probabilistically decide whether to move to a vacant spot or stay in the current spot by comparing the attractiveness of both locations based on the individual preference functions.

The Hawk-Dove Game

Kristin Crouse | Published Tue Nov 5 04:51:09 2019

This model simulates the Hawk-Dove game as first described by John Maynard Smith, and further elaborated by Richard Dawkins in “The Selfish Gene”. In the game, two strategies, Hawks and Doves, compete against each other, and themselves, for reproductive benefits. A third strategy can be introduced, Retaliators, which act like either Hawks or Doves, depending on the context.

An empirical ABM for regional land use/cover change: a Dutch case study

Diego Valbuena | Published Sat Mar 12 12:58:20 2011 | Last modified Thu Nov 11 09:55:25 2021

This is an empirical model described in The objective of the model is to simulate how the decision-making of farmers/agents with different strategies can affect the landscape structure in a region in the Netherlands.

Communication processes occur in complex dynamic systems impacted by person attitudes and beliefs, environmental affordances, interpersonal interactions and other variables that all change over time. Many of the current approaches utilized by Communication researchers are unable to consider the full complexity of communication systems or the over time nature of our data. We apply agent-based modeling to the Reinforcing Spirals Model and the Spiral of Silence to better elucidate the complex and dynamic nature of this process. Our preliminary results illustrate how environmental affordances (i.e. social media), closeness of the system and probability of outspokenness may impact how attitudes change over time. Additional analyses are also proposed.

MUGS - Model of Urban Green Spaces

Stefano Picascia | Published Fri Sep 17 16:32:57 2021

Abstract model investigating the determinants of inter- and intra-urban inequality in contact with nature. We explore the plausibility of a social integration hypothesis - whereby the primary factor in decisions to visit Urban Green Spaces (UGS) is an assessment of who else is likely to be using the space at the same time, and the assessment runs predominantly along class lines. The model simulates four cities in Scotland and shows the conditions under which the mechanisms theorised are sufficient to reproduce observed inequalities in UGS usage.

SiFlo is an ABM dedicated to simulate flood events in urban areas. It considers the water flowing and the reaction of the inhabitants. The inhabitants would be able to perform different actions regarding the flood: protection (protect their house, their equipment and furniture…), evacuation (considering traffic model), get and give information (considering imperfect knowledge), etc. A special care was taken to model the inhabitant behavior: the inhabitants should be able to build complex reasoning, to have emotions, to follow or not instructions, to have incomplete knowledge about the flood, to interfere with other inhabitants, to find their way on the road network. The model integrates the closure of roads and the danger a flooded road can represent. Furthermore, it considers the state of the infrastructures and notably protection infrastructures as dyke. Then, it allows to simulate a dyke breaking.
The model intends to be generic and flexible whereas provide a fine geographic description of the case study. In this perspective, the model is able to directly import GIS data to reproduce any territory. The following sections expose the main elements of the model.

We study cultural dissemination in the context of an Axelrod-like agent-based model describing the spread of cultural traits across a society, with an added element of social influence. This modification produces absorbing states exhibiting greater variation in number and size of distinct cultural regions compared to the original Axelrod model, and we identify the mechanism responsible for this amplification in heterogeneity. We develop several new metrics to quantitatively characterize the heterogeneity and geometric qualities of these absorbing states. Additionally, we examine the dynamical approach to absorbing states in both our Social Influence Model as well as the Axelrod Model, which not only yields interesting insights into the differences in behavior of the two models over time, but also provides a more comprehensive view into the behavior of Axelrod’s original model. The quantitative metrics introduced in this paper have broad potential applicability across a large variety of agent-based cultural dissemination models.

Community Forest Management with Monitoring and Sanctioning

Maya Lapp Colby Long | Published Wed Apr 29 18:51:33 2020 | Last modified Fri Jul 23 02:05:14 2021

This NetLogo ABM builds on Elena Vallino’s model of Loggers using community-based natural resource management for a forest ecosystem. In it we introduce an alternative mechanism for Logger cheating and enforcement of CBNRM rules.

A minimal genetic algorithm was preliminarily developed to search for the solution of an elementary arithmetic problem. It has been modified to explore the effect of a mutator gene and the consequent entrance into a hypermutation state. The phenomenon is particularly important in some types of tumorigenesis and in a more general way, in cells and tissues submitted to chronic sublethal environmental or genomic stress.
Since a long time, some scholars suppose that organisms speed up their own evolution by varying mutation rate, but evolutionary biologists are not convinced that evolution can select a mechanism promoting more (often harmful) mutations looking forward an environmental challenge.
The model aims to shed light on these controversial points of view and it provides also the features required to check the role of sex and genetic recombination in the mutator genes diffusion.

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