Computational Model Library

AncientS-ABM is an agent-based model for simulating and evaluating the potential social organization of an artificial past society, configured by available archaeological data. Unlike most existing agent-based models used in archaeology, our ABM framework includes completely autonomous, utility-based agents. It also incorporates different social organization paradigms, different decision-making processes, and also different cultivation technologies used in ancient societies. Equipped with such paradigms, the model allows us to explore the transition from a simple to a more complex society by focusing on the historical social dynamics; and to assess the influence of social organization on agents’ population growth, agent community numbers, sizes and distribution.

AncientS-ABM also blends ideas from evolutionary game theory with multi-agent systems’ self-organization. We model the evolution of social behaviours in a population of strategically interacting agents in repeated games where they exchange resources (utility) with others. The results of the games contribute to both the continuous re-organization of the social structure, and the progressive adoption of the most successful agent strategies. Agent population is not fixed, but fluctuates over time, while agents in stage games also receive non-static payoffs, in contrast to most games studied in the literature. To tackle this, we defined a novel formulation of the evolutionary dynamics via assessing agents’ rather than strategies’ fitness.

As a case study, we employ AncientS-ABM to evaluate the impact of the implemented social organization paradigms on an artificial Bronze Age “Minoan” society, located at different geographical parts of the island of Crete, Greece. Model parameter choices are based on archaeological evidence and studies, but are not biased towards any specific assumption. Results over a number of different simulation scenarios demonstrate better sustainability for settlements consisting of and adopting a socio-economic organization model based on self-organization, where a “heterarchical” social structure emerges. Results also demonstrate that successful agent societies adopt an evolutionary approach where cooperation is an emergent strategic behaviour. In simulation scenarios where the natural disaster module was enabled, we observe noticeable changes in the settlements’ distribution, relating to significantly higher migration rates immediately after the modeled Theran eruption. In addition, the initially cooperative behaviour is transformed to a non-cooperative one, thus providing support for archaeological theories suggesting that the volcanic eruption led to a clear breakdown of the Minoan socio-economic system.


Bartosz Bartkowski Michael Strauch | Published Wed Mar 4 09:08:10 2020

A simple model that aims to demonstrate the influence of agri-environmental payments on land-use patterns in a virtual landscape. The landscape consists of grassland (which can be managed extensively or intensively) and a river. Agri-environmental payments are provided for extensive management of grassland. Additionally, there are boni for (a) extensive grassland in proximity of the river; and (b) clusters (“agglomerations”) of extensive grassland. The farmers, who own randomly distributed grassland patches, make decisions either on the basis of simple income maximization or they maximize only up to an income threshold beyond which they seize making changes in management. The resulting landscape pattern is evaluated by means of three simple models for (a) agricultural yield, (b) habitat/biodiversity and (c) water quality. The latter two correspond to the two boni. The model has been developed within a small project called Aligning Agent-Based Modelling with Multi-Objective Land-Use Allocation (ALABAMA).

The current rate of production and consumption of meat poses a problem both to peoples’ health and to the environment. This work aims to develop a simulation of peoples’ meat consumption behaviour in Britain using agent-based modelling. The agents represent individual consumers. The key variables that characterise agents include sex, age, monthly income, perception of the living cost, and concerns about the impact of meat on the environment, health, and animal welfare. A process of peer influence is modelled with respect to the agents’ concerns. Influence spreads across two eating networks (i.e. co-workers and household members) depending on the time of day, day of the week, and agents’ employment status. Data from a representative sample of British consumers is used to empirically ground the model. Different experiments are run simulating interventions of application of social marketing campaigns and a rise in price of meat. The main outcome is the average weekly consumption of meat per consumer. A secondary outcome is the likelihood of eating meat.

Peer reviewed Collectivities

Nigel Gilbert | Published Tue Apr 9 16:16:43 2019 | Last modified Thu Aug 22 21:30:49 2019

The model that simulates the dynamic creation and maintenance of knowledge-based formations such as communities of scientists, fashion movements, and subcultures. The model’s environment is a spatial one, representing not geographical space, but a “knowledge space” in which each point is a different collection of knowledge elements. Agents moving through this space represent people’s differing and changing knowledge and beliefs. The agents have only very simple behaviors: If they are “lonely,” that is, far from a local concentration of agents, they move toward the crowd; if they are crowded, they move away.

Running the model shows that the initial uniform random distribution of agents separates into “clumps,” in which some agents are central and others are distributed around them. The central agents are crowded, and so move. In doing so, they shift the centroid of the clump slightly and may make other agents either crowded or lonely, and they too will move. Thus, the clump of agents, although remaining together for long durations (as measured in time steps), drifts across the view. Lonely agents move toward the clump, sometimes joining it and sometimes continuing to trail behind it. The clumps never merge.

The model is written in NetLogo (v6). It is used as a demonstration of agent-based modelling in Gilbert, N. (2008) Agent-Based Models (Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences). Sage Publications, Inc. and described in detail in Gilbert, N. (2007) “A generic model of collectivities,” Cybernetics and Systems. European Meeting on Cybernetic Science and Systems Research, 38(7), pp. 695–706.

Location Analysis Hybrid ABM

Lukasz Kowalski | Published Fri Feb 8 23:43:30 2019

The purpose of this hybrid ABM is to answer the question: where is the best place for a new swimming pool in a region of Krakow (in Poland)?

The model is well described in ODD protocol, that can be found in the end of my article published in JASSS journal (available online: ). Comparison of this kind of models with spatial interaction ones, is presented in the article. Before developing the model for different purposes, area of interest or services, I recommend reading ODD protocol and the article.

I published two films on YouTube that present the model: ,

The model combines agent-based modelling and microeconomic approach to simulate the decision behaviour of land developers and how this impacts on the spatio-temporal processes of urban expansion.

This is an agent-based model of the implementation of the self-enforcing agreement in cooperative teams.

Mobility USA (MUSA)

Davide Natalini Giangiacomo Bravo | Published Sun Dec 8 19:24:09 2013 | Last modified Mon Dec 30 19:22:17 2013

MUSA is an ABM that simulates the commuting sector in USA. A multilevel validation was implemented. Social network with a social-circle structure included. Two types of policies have been tested: market-based and preference-change.

Wedding Doughnut

Eric Silverman Jakub Bijak Jason Hilton Viet Cao | Published Thu Dec 20 16:04:09 2012 | Last modified Fri Sep 20 11:42:53 2013

A reimplementation of the Wedding Ring model by Francesco Billari. We investigate partnership formation in an agent-based framework, and combine this with statistical demographic projections using real empirical data.

An agent-based model of adaptive cycles of the spruce budworm

Julia Schindler | Published Sat Aug 18 11:06:30 2012 | Last modified Sat Apr 27 20:18:21 2013

This is an empirically calibrated agent-based model that replicates spruce-budworm outbreaks, one of the most cited adaptive cycles reported. The adaptive-cycle metaphor by L. H. Gunderson and C. S. Holling posits the cross-case existence of repeating cycles of growth, conservation, collapse, and renewal in many complex systems, triggered by loss of resilience. This model is one of the first agent-based models of such cycles, with the novelty that adaptive cycles are not defined by system- […]

This website uses cookies and Google Analytics to help us track user engagement and improve our site. If you'd like to know more information about what data we collect and why, please see our data privacy policy. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.