Computational Model Library

A spatio-temporal Agent Based Modeling (ABM) framework developed to probabilistically predict farmers’ decisions concerning their future farming practices when faced with potential water scarcity induced by future climate change. The proposed framework forecasts farmers’ behavior assuming varying utility functions.

The BASAR model aims to investigate different approaches to describe small-scale farmers’ decision-making in the context of diversified agroforestry adoption in rural Rwanda. Thereby, it compares random behaviour with perfect rationality (non-discounted and discounted utility maximization), bounded rationality (satisficing and fast and frugal decision tree heuristics), Theory of Planned Behaviour, and a probabilistic regression-based approach. It is aimed at policy-makers, extension agents, and cooperatives to better understand how rural farmers decide about implementing innovative agricultural practices such as agroforestry and at modelers to support them in selecting an approach to represent human decision-making in ABMs of Social-Ecological Systems. The overall objective is to identify a suitable approach to describe human decision-making and therefore improve forecasts of adoption rates and support the development and implementation of interventions that aim to raise low adoption rates.

This is model that explores how a few farmers in a Chinese village, where all farmers are smallholders originally, reach optimal farming scale by transferring in farmland from other farmers in the context of urbanization and aging.

Peer reviewed An Agent-Based Model of Campaign-Based Watershed Management

Samuel Assefa Aad Kessler Luuk Fleskens | Published Mon Sep 21 13:47:41 2020 | Last modified Fri Jun 4 15:23:59 2021

The model simulates the national Campaign-Based Watershed Management program of Ethiopia. It includes three agents (farmers, Kebele/ village administrator, extension workers) and the physical environment that interact with each other. The physical environment is represented by patches (fields). Farmers make decisions on the locations of micro-watersheds to be developed, participation in campaign works to construct soil and water conservation structures, and maintenance of these structures. These decisions affect the physical environment or generate model outcomes. The model is developed to explore conditions that enhance outcomes of the program by analyzing the effect on the area of land covered and quality of soil and water conservation structures of (1) enhancing farmers awareness and motivation, (2) establishing and strengthening micro-watershed associations, (3) introducing alternative livelihood opportunities, and (4) enhancing the commitment of local government actors.

RiskNetABM

Meike Will Jürgen Groeneveld Karin Frank Birgit Müller Friederike Lenel | Published Mon Jul 20 13:41:17 2020 | Last modified Mon May 3 16:26:34 2021

The fight against poverty is an urgent global challenge. Microinsurance is promoted as a valuable instrument for buffering income losses due to health or climate-related risks of low-income households in developing countries. However, apart from direct positive effects they can have unintended side effects when insured households lower their contribution to traditional arrangements where risk is shared through private monetary support.

RiskNetABM is an agent-based model that captures dynamics between income losses, insurance payments and informal risk-sharing. The model explicitly includes decisions about informal transfers. It can be used to assess the impact of insurance products and informal risk-sharing arrangements on the resilience of smallholders. Specifically, it allows to analyze whether and how economic needs (i.e. level of living costs) and characteristics of extreme events (i.e. frequency, intensity and type of shock) influence the ability of insurance and informal risk-sharing to buffer income shocks. Two types of behavior with regard to private monetary transfers are explicitly distinguished: (1) all households provide transfers whenever they can afford it and (2) insured households do not show solidarity with their uninsured peers.

The model is stylized and is not used to analyze a particular case study, but represents conditions from several regions with different risk contexts where informal risk-sharing networks between smallholder farmers are prevalent.

AmphorABM

Stefani Crabtree | Published Tue Jan 5 18:07:20 2021

This model examines the economic interaction between Gaulish wheat farmers and Etruscan and Greek wine farming in 7th century B.C. France.

This model simulates a group of farmers that have encounters with individuals of a wildlife population. Each farmer owns a set of cells that represent their farm. Each farmer must decide what cells inside their farm will be used to produce an agricultural good that is self in an external market at a given price. The farmer must decide to protect the farm from potential encounters with individuals of the wildlife population. This decision in the model is called “fencing”. Each time that a cell is fenced, the chances of a wildlife individual to move to that cell is reduced. Each encounter reduces the productive outcome obtained of the affected cell. Farmers, therefore, can reduce the risk of encounters by exclusion. The decision of excluding wildlife is made considering the perception of risk of encounters. In the model, the perception of risk is subjective, as it depends on past encounters and on the perception of risk from other farmers in the community. The community of farmers passes information about this risk perception through a social network. The user (observer) of the model can control the importance of the social network on the individual perception of risk.

AMBAWA simulates the flows of biomass between crop and livestock systems at the field, farm, and village scales in order to showcase innovating management practices of soil fertility in West Africa.

ALABAMA-ABM

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 rapid environmental changes currently underway in many dry regions of the world, and the deep uncertainty about their consequences, underscore a critical challenge for sustainability: how to maintain cooperation that ensures the provision of natural resources when the benefits of cooperating are variable, sometimes uncertain, and often limited. We present an agent-based model that simulates the economic decisions of households to engage, or not, in labor-sharing agreements under different scenarios of water supply, water variability, and socio-environmental risk. We formulate the model to investigate the consequences of environmental variability on the fate of labor-sharing agreements between farmers. The economic decisions were implemented in the framework of prospect theory.

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