Computational Model Library

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This is an extension of the original RAGE model (Dressler et al. 2018), where we add learning capabilities to agents, specifically learning-by-doing and social learning (two processes central to adaptive (co-)management).

The extension module is applied to smallholder farmers’ decision-making - here, a pasture (patch) is the private property of the household (agent) placed on it and there is no movement of the households. Households observe the state of the pasture and their neighrbours to make decisions on how many livestock to place on their pasture every year. Three new behavioural types are created (which cannot be combined with the original ones): E-RO (baseline behaviour), E-LBD (learning-by-doing) and E-RO-SL1 (social learning). Similarly to the original model, these three types can be compared regarding long-term social-ecological performance. In addition, a global strategy switching option (corresponding to double-loop learning) allows users to study how behavioural strategies diffuse in a heterogeneous population of learning and non-learning agents.

An important modification of the original model is that extension agents are heterogeneous in how they deal with uncertainty. This is represented by an agent property, called the r-parameter (household-risk-att in the code). The r-parameter is catch-all for various factors that form an agent’s disposition to act in a certain way, such as: uncertainty in the sensing (partial observability of the resource system), noise in the information received, or an inherent characteristic of the agent, for instance, their risk attitude.

This is a replication of the SequiaBasalto model, originally built in Cormas by Dieguez Cameroni et al. (2012, 2014, Bommel et al. 2014 and Morales et al. 2015). The model aimed to test various adaptations of livestock producers to the drought phenomenon provoked by climate change. For that purpose, it simulates the behavior of one livestock farm in the Basaltic Region of Uruguay. The model incorporates the price of livestock, fodder and paddocks, as well as the growth of grass as a function of climate and seasons (environmental submodel), the life cycle of animals feeding on the pasture (livestock submodel), and the different strategies used by farmers to manage their livestock (management submodel). The purpose of the model is to analyze to what degree the common management practices used by farmers (i.e., proactive and reactive) to cope with seasonal and interannual climate variations allow to maintain a sustainable livestock production without depleting the natural resources (i.e., pasture). Here, we replicate the environmental and livestock submodel using NetLogo.

One year is 368 days. Seasons change every 92 days. Each day begins with the growth of grass as a function of climate and season. This is followed by updating the live weight of cows according to the grass height of their patch, and grass consumption, which is determined based on the updated live weight. After consumption, cows grow and reproduce, and a new grass height is calculated. Cows then move to the patch with less cows and with the highest grass height. This updated grass height value will be the initial grass height for the next day.

Riparian forests are one of the most vulnerable ecosystems to the development of biological invasions, therefore limiting their spread is one of the main challenges for conservation. The main factors that explain plant invasions in these ecosystems are the capacity for both short- and long-distance seed dispersion, and the occurrence of suitable habitats that facilitate the establishment of the invasive species. Large floods constitute an abiotic filter for invasion.

This model simulates the spatio-temporal spread of the woody invader Gleditsia. triacanthos in the riparian forest of the National Park Esteros de Farrapos e Islas del Río Uruguay, a riparian system in the coast of the Uruguay river (South America). In this model, we represent different environmental conditions for the development of G. triacanthos, long- and short-distance spread of its fruits, and large floods as the main factor of mortality for fruit and early stages.

Field results show that the distribution pattern of this invasive species is limited by establishment, i.e. it spreads locally through the expansion of small areas, and remotely through new invasion foci. This model recreates this dispersion pattern. We use this model to derive management implications to control the spread of G. triacanthos

The S-uFUNK Model

Davide Secchi | Published Friday, March 17, 2023

This version 2.1.0 of the uFunk model is about setting a business strategy (the S in the name) for an organization. A team of managers (or executives) meet and discuss various options on the strategy for the firm. There are three aspects that they have to agree on to set the strategic positioning of the organization.
The discussion is on market, stakeholders, and resources. The team (it could be a business strategy task force) considers various aspects of these three elements. The resources they use to develop the discussion can come from a traditional approach to strategy or from non-traditional means (e.g., so-called serious play, creativity and imagination techniques).
The S-uFunk 2.1.0 Model wants to understand to which extent cognitive means triggered by traditional and non-traditional resources affect the making of the strategy process.

The SIM-VOLATILE model is a technology adoption model at the population level. The technology, in this model, is called Volatile Fatty Acid Platform (VFAP) and it is in the frame of the circular economy. The technology is considered an emerging technology and it is in the optimization phase. Through the adoption of VFAP, waste-treatment plants will be able to convert organic waste into high-end products rather than focusing on the production of biogas. Moreover, there are three adoption/investment scenarios as the technology enables the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), single-cell oils (SCO), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). However, due to differences in the processing related to the products, waste-treatment plants need to choose one adoption scenario.

In this simulation, there are several parameters and variables. Agents are heterogeneous waste-treatment plants that face the problem of circular economy technology adoption. Since the technology is emerging, the adoption decision is associated with high risks. In this regard, first, agents evaluate the economic feasibility of the emerging technology for each product (investment scenarios). Second, they will check on the trend of adoption in their social environment (i.e. local pressure for each scenario). Third, they combine these two economic and social assessments with an environmental assessment which is their environmental decision-value (i.e. their status on green technology). This combination gives the agent an overall adaptability fitness value (detailed for each scenario). If this value is above a certain threshold, agents may decide to adopt the emerging technology, which is ultimately depending on their predominant adoption probabilities and market gaps.

Roman Amphora reuse

Tom Brughmans | Published Wednesday, August 07, 2019 | Last modified Wednesday, March 15, 2023

UPDATE in V1.1.0: missing input data files added; relative paths to input data files changed to “../data/FILENAME”

A model that allows for representing key theories of Roman amphora reuse, to explore the differences in the distribution of amphorae, re-used amphorae and their contents.

This model generates simulated distributions of prime-use amphorae, primeuse contents (e.g. olive oil) and reused amphorae. These simulated distributions will differ between experiments depending on the experiment’s variable settings representing the tested theory: variations in the probability of reuse, the supply volume, the probability of reuse at ports. What we are interested in teasing out is what the effect is of each theory on the simulated amphora distributions.

The model aims to illustrate how Earned Value Management (EVM) provides an approach to measure a project’s performance by comparing its actual progress against the planned one, allowing it to evaluate trends to formulate forecasts. The instance performs a project execution and calculates the EVM performance indexes according to a Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB), which integrates the description of the work to do (scope), the deadlines for its execution (schedule), and the calculation of its costs and the resources required for its implementation (cost).

Specifically, we are addressing the following questions: How does the risk of execution delay or advance impact cost and schedule performance? How do the players’ number or individual work capacity impact cost and schedule estimations to finish? Regardless of why workers cause delays or produce overruns in their assignments, does EVM assess delivery performance and help make objective decisions?

To consider our model realistic enough for its purpose, we use the following patterns: The model addresses classic problems of Project Management (PM). It plays the typical task board where workers are assigned to complete a task backlog in project performance. Workers could delay or advance in the task execution, and we calculate the performance using the PMI-recommended Earned Value.

This model has been created with and for the researcher-farmers of the Muonde Trust (http://www.muonde.org/), a registered Zimbabwean non-governmental organization dedicated to fostering indigenous innovation. Model behaviors and parameters (mashandiro nemisiyano nedzimwe model) derive from a combination of literature review and the collected datasets from Muonde’s long-term (over 30 years) community-based research. The goals of this model are three-fold (muzvikamu zvitatu):
A) To represent three components of a Zimbabwean agro-pastoral system (crops, woodland grazing area, and livestock) along with their key interactions and feedbacks and some of the human management decisions that may affect these components and their interactions.
B) To assess how climate variation (implemented in several different ways) and human management may affect the sustainability of the system as measured by the continued provisioning of crops, livestock, and woodland grazing area.
C) To provide a discussion tool for the community and local leaders to explore different management strategies for the agro-pastoral system (hwaro/nzira yekudyidzana kwavanhu, zvipfuo nezvirimwa), particularly in the face of climate change.

Peer reviewed PolicySpace2: modeling markets and endogenous public policies

B Furtado | Published Thursday, February 25, 2021 | Last modified Friday, January 14, 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.

The Price Evolution with Expectations model provides the opportunity to explore the question of non-equilibrium market dynamics, and how and under which conditions an economic system converges to the classically defined economic equilibrium. To accomplish this, we bring together two points of view of the economy; the classical perspective of general equilibrium theory and an evolutionary perspective, in which the current development of the economic system determines the possibilities for further evolution.

The Price Evolution with Expectations model consists of a representative firm producing no profit but producing a single good, which we call sugar, and a representative household which provides labour to the firm and purchases sugar.The model explores the evolutionary dynamics whereby the firm does not initially know the household demand but eventually this demand and thus the correct price for sugar given the household’s optimal labour.

The model can be run in one of two ways; the first does not include money and the second uses money such that the firm and/or the household have an endowment that can be spent or saved. In either case, the household has preferences for leisure and consumption and a demand function relating sugar and price, and the firm has a production function and learns the household demand over a set number of time steps using either an endogenous or exogenous learning algorithm. The resulting equilibria, or fixed points of the system, may or may not match the classical economic equilibrium.

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