Computational Model Library

Purpose

Brain drain can be defined as the emigration of highly trained or qualified people from a particular country, which has many undesirable effects for the source country. Purpose of the model is to understand the dynamics of brain drain; and provide an initial version of a simulation-based decision support tool which can be used in discovering future trends for such emigration, and design effective social policies which can reduce, stop, or reverse the brain drain. The model proposes that skilled people would like to emigrate to maximise their utility, yet actual emigration is constrained with barriers, luck, and individuals’ social network.

Entities, state variables, and scales

The Episim framework builds upon the established transportation simulation MATSim and is capable of tracking agents’ movements within a network and thus computing infection chains. Several characteristics of the virus and the environment can be parametred, whilst the infection dynamics is computed based upon a compartment model. The spread of the virus can be mitigated by restricting the agents’ activity in certain places.

The integrated and spatially-explicit ABM, called DIReC (Demography, Industry and Residential Choice), has been developed for Aberdeen City and the surrounding Aberdeenshire (Ge, Polhill, Craig, & Liu, 2018). The model includes demographic (individual and household) models, housing infrastructure and occupancy, neighbourhood quality and evolution, employment and labour market, business relocation, industrial structure, income distribution and macroeconomic indicators. DIReC includes a detailed spatial housing model, basing preference models on house attributes and multi-dimensional neighbourhood qualities (education, crime, employment etc.).
The dynamic ABM simulates the interactions between individuals, households, the labour market, businesses and services, neighbourhoods and economic structures. It is empirically grounded using multiple data sources, such as income and gender-age distribution across industries, neighbourhood attributes, business locations, and housing transactions. It has been used to study the impact of economic shocks and structural changes, such as the crash of oil price in 2014 (the Aberdeen economy heavily relies on the gas and oil sector) and the city’s transition from resource-based to a green economy (Ge, Polhill, Craig, & Liu, 2018).

Policymakers decide on alternative policies facing restricted budgets and uncertain, ever-changing future. Designing housing policies is further difficult giving the heterogeneous characteristics of properties themselves and the intricacy of housing markets and the spatial context of cities. We propose PolicySpace2 (PS2) as an adapted and extended version of the open source PolicySpace agent-based model. PS2 is a computer simulation that relies on empirically detailed spatial data to model real estate, along with labor, credit and goods and services markets. Interaction among workers, firms, a bank, households and municipalities follow the literature benchmarks to integrate economic, spatial and transport literature. PS2 is applied to a comparison among three competing municipal housing policies aimed at alleviating poverty: (a) property acquisition and distribution, (b) rental vouchers and (c) monetary aid. Within the model context, the monetary aid, that is, a smaller amounts of help for a larger number of households, makes the economy perform better in terms of production, consumption, reduction of inequality and maintenance of financial duties. PS2 as such is also a framework that may be further adapted to a number of related research questions.

Bicycle model

Dana Kaziyeva Gudrun Wallentin Martin Loidl | Published Thu Jan 10 21:30:34 2019 | Last modified Mon Feb 22 14:32:32 2021

The purpose of the model is to generate the spatio-temporal distribution of bicycle traffic flows at a regional scale level. Disaggregated results are computed for each network segment with the minute time step. The human decision-making is governed by probabilistic rules derived from the mobility survey.

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.

Exploring Urban Shrinkage 2

njiang13 Andrew Crooks | Published Thu Jan 14 20:28:05 2021

While the world’s total urban population continues to grow, not all cities are witnessing such growth, some are actually shrinking. This shrinkage causes several problems to emerge including population loss, economic depression, vacant properties and the contraction of housing markets. Such problems challenge efforts to make cities sustainable. While there is a growing body of work on study shrinking cities, few explore such a phenomenon from the bottom up using dynamic computational models. To overcome this issue this paper presents an spatially explicit agent-based model stylized on the Detroit Tri-county area, an area witnessing shrinkage. Specifically, the model demonstrates how through the buying and selling of houses can lead to urban shrinkage from the bottom up. The model results indicate that along with the lower level housing transactions being captured, the aggregated level market conditions relating to urban shrinkage are also captured (i.e., the contraction of housing markets). As such, the paper demonstrates the potential of simulation to explore urban shrinkage and potentially offers a means to test polices to achieve urban sustainability.

This model represnts an unique human-aquifer interactions model for the Li-extraction in Salar de Atacama, Chile. It describes the local actors’ experience of mining-induced changes in the socio-ecological system, especially on groundwater changes and social stressors. Social interactions are designed specifically according to a long-term local fieldwork by Babidge et al. (2019, 2020). The groundwater system builds on the FlowLogo model by Castilla-Rho et al. (2015), which was then parameterized and calibrated with local hydrogeological inputs in Salar de Atacama, Chile. The social system of the ABM is defined and customozied based on empirical studies to reflect three major stressors: drought stress, population stress, and mining stress. The model reports evolution of groundwater changes and associated social stress dynamics within the modeled time frame.

This model simulates different seeding strategies for information diffusion in a social network adjusted to a case study area in rural Zambia. It systematically evaluates different criteria for seed selection (centrality measures and hierarchy), number of seeds, and interaction effects between seed selection criteria and set size.

NetLogo agent-based model to simulate the transmission of COVID-19 in a university dormitory. User can set the number of initial students, buildings, floors, rooms, number of initially infected, and transmission rate. They can also test the effect of masks, sanitizations, elevator allowance, and visits on the effect of the SEIR curve.

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