Computational Model Library

Chicago’s demographic, neighborhood, sex risk behaviors, sexual network data, and HIV prevention and treatment cascade information from 2015 were integrated as input to a new agent-based model (ABM) called the Levers-of-HIV-Model (LHM). This LHM, written in NetLogo, forms patterns of sexual relations among Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) based on static traits (race/ethnicity, and age) and dynamic states (sexual relations and practices) that are found in Chicago. LHM’s five modules simulate and count new infections at the two marker years of 2023 and 2030 for a wide range of distinct scenarios or levers, in which the levels of PrEP and ART linkage to care, retention, and adherence or viral load are increased over time from the 2015 baseline levels.

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). 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.

Spatial rangeland model

Marco Janssen | Published Tue Jan 22 01:51:09 2019 | Last modified Fri Mar 4 23:21:53 2022

Spatial explicit model of a rangeland system, based on Australian conditions, where grass, woody shrubs and fire compete fore resources. Overgrazing can cause the system to flip from a healthy state to an unproductive shrub state. With the model one can explore the consequences of different movement rules of the livestock on the resilience of the system.

The model is discussed in Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling by Marco Janssen. For more information see https://intro2abm.com/.

This is an agent-based model with two types of agents: customers and insurers. Insurers are price-takers who choose how much to spend on their service quality, and customers evaluate insurers based on premium, brand preference, and their perceived service quality. Customers are also connected in a small-world network and may share their opinions with their network.

The ABM contains two types of agents: insurers and customers. These act within the environment of a motor insurance market. At each simulation, the model undergoes the following steps:

  1. Network generation: At the start of the simulation, the model generates a small world network of social links between the customers, and randomly assigns each customer to an initial insurer
  2. ...

In this model, the spread of a virus disease in a network consisting of school pupils, employed, and umemployed people is simulated. The special feature in this model is the distinction between different types of links: family-, friends-, school-, or work-links. In this way, different governmental measures can be implemented in order to decelerate or stop the transmission.

Both models simulate n-person prisoner dilemma in groups (left figure) where agents decide to C/D – using a stochastic threshold algorithm with reinforcement learning components. We model fixed (single group ABM) and dynamic groups (bad-barrels ABM). The purpose of the bad-barrels model is to assess the impact of information during meritocratic matching. In the bad-barrels model, we incorporated a multidimensional structure in which agents are also embedded in a social network (2-person PD). We modeled a random and homophilous network via a random spatial graph algorithm (right figure).

PolicySpace2: modeling markets and endogenous public policies

B Furtado | Published Thu Feb 25 13:21:22 2021 | Last modified Fri Jan 14 13:46:42 2022

Policymakers decide on alternative policies facing restricted budgets and uncertain future. Designing public policies is further difficult due to the need to decide on priorities and handle effects across policies. Housing policies, specifically, involve 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 scholarship. PS2 is applied to a comparison among three competing public policies aimed at reducing inequality and alleviating poverty: (a) house acquisition by the government and distribution to lower income households, (b) rental vouchers, and (c) monetary aid. Within the model context, the monetary aid, that is, 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.

Peer reviewed CHIME ABM of Hurricane Evacuation

Sean Bergin C Michael Barton Joshua Watts Joshua Alland Rebecca Morss | Published Mon Oct 18 18:31:05 2021 | Last modified Tue Jan 4 16:51:36 2022

The Communicating Hazard Information in the Modern Environment (CHIME) agent-based model (ABM) is a Netlogo program that facilitates the analysis of information flow and protective decisions across space and time during hazardous weather events. CHIME ABM provides a platform for testing hypotheses about collective human responses to weather forecasts and information flow, using empirical data from historical hurricanes. The model uses real world geographical and hurricane data to set the boundaries of the simulation, and it uses historical hurricane forecast information from the National Hurricane Center to initiate forecast information flow to citizen agents in the model.

ABWiSE

jeffledge Liliana Perez | Published Mon Dec 20 17:11:36 2021

The Agent-Based Wildfire Simulation Environment (ABWiSE) translates the concept of a moving fire front as a set of mobile fire agents that respond to, and interact with, vegetation, wind, and terrain. Presently, the purpose of ABWiSE is to explore how ABM, using simple interactions between agents and a simple atmospheric feedback model, can simulate emergent fire spread patterns.

Substitution of food products will be key to realising widespread adoption of sustainable diets. We present an agent-based model of decision-making and influences on food choice, and apply it to historically observed trends of British whole and skimmed (including semi) milk consumption from 1974 to 2005. We aim to give a plausible representation of milk choice substitution, and test different mechanisms of choice consideration. Agents are consumers that perceive information regarding the two milk choices, and hold values that inform their position on the health and environmental impact of those choices. Habit, social influence and post-decision evaluation are modelled. Representative survey data on human values and long-running public concerns empirically inform the model. An experiment was run to compare two model variants by how they perform in reproducing these trends. This was measured by recording mean weekly milk consumption per person. The variants differed in how agents became disposed to consider alternative milk choices. One followed a threshold approach, the other was probability based. All other model aspects remained unchanged. An optimisation exercise via an evolutionary algorithm was used to calibrate the model variants independently to observed data. Following calibration, uncertainty and global variance-based temporal sensitivity analysis were conducted. Both model variants were able to reproduce the general pattern of historical milk consumption, however, the probability-based approach gave a closer fit to the observed data, but over a wider range of uncertainty. This responds to, and further highlights, the need for research that looks at, and compares, different models of human decision-making in agent-based and simulation models. This study is the first to present an agent-based modelling of food choice substitution in the context of British milk consumption. It can serve as a valuable pre-curser to the modelling of dietary shift and sustainable product substitution to plant-based alternatives in Britain.

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