Computational Model Library

This model aims to explore how gambling-like behavior can emerge in loot box spending within gaming communities. A loot box is a purchasable mystery box that randomly awards the player a series of in-game items. Since the contents of the box are largely up to chance, many players can fall into a compulsion loop of purchasing, as the fear of missing out and belief in the gambler’s fallacy allow one to rationalize repeated purchases, especially when one compares their own luck to others. To simulate this behavior, this model generates players in different network structures to observe how factors such as network connectivity, a player’s internal decision making strategy, or even common manipulations games use these days may influence a player’s transactions.

The purpose of this curricular model is to teach students the basics of modeling complex systems using agent-based modeling. It is a simple SIR model that simulates how a disease spreads through a population as its members change from susceptible to infected to recovered and then back to susceptible. The dynamics of the model are such that there are multiple emergent outcomes depending on the parameter settings, initial conditions, and chance.

The curricular model can be used with the chapter Agent-Based Modeling in Mixed Methods Research (Moritz et al. 2022) in the Handbook of Teaching Qualitative & Mixed Methods (Ruth et al. 2022).

The instructional videos can be accessed on YouTube: Video 1 (; Video 2 (; and Video 3 (

Livestock drought insurance model

Felix John Birgit Müller Russell Toth Karin Frank Jürgen Groeneveld | Published Tue Dec 19 16:37:15 2017 | Last modified Sat Apr 14 13:56:11 2018

The model analyzes the economic and ecological effects of a provision of livestock drought insurance for dryland pastoralists. More precisely, it yields qualitative insights into how long-term herd and pasture dynamics change through insurance.

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