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What policy measures are effective in redistributing essential resources during crisis situations such as climate change impacts? We model a collective action institution with different rules for designing and organizing it, and make our analysis specific to various societal contexts.
Our model captures a generic societal context of unequal vulnerability and climate change impact in a stylized form. We represent a community of people who harvest and consume an essential resource to maintain their well-being. However, their ability to harvest the resource is not equal; people are characterized by a ‘resource access’ attribute whose values are uniformly distributed from 0 to 1 in the population. A person’s resource access value determines the amount of resource units they are able to harvest, and therefore the welfare levels they are able to attain. People travel to the centralized resource region and derive well-being or welfare, represented as an energy gain, by harvesting and consuming resource units.
The community is subject to a climate change impact event that occurs with a certain periodicity and over a certain duration. The capacity of resource units to regenerate diminishes during the impact events. Unequal capacities to access the essential resource results in unequal vulnerability among people with regards to their ability to maintain a sufficient welfare level, especially during impact events.
Background: Establishing a human settlement on Mars is an incredibly complex engineering problem. The inhospitable nature of the Martian environment requires any habitat to be largely self-sustaining. Beyond mining a few basic minerals and water, the colonizers will be dependent on Earth resupply and replenishment of necessities via technological means, i.e., splitting Martian water into oxygen for breathing and hydrogen for fuel. Beyond the technical and engineering challenges, future colonists will also face psychological and human behavior challenges.
Objective: Our goal is to better understand the behavioral and psychological interactions of future Martian colonists through an Agent-Based Modeling (ABM simulation) approach. We seek to identify areas of consideration for planning a colony as well as propose a minimum initial population size required to create a stable colony.
Methods: Accounting for engineering and technological limitations, we draw on research regarding high performing teams in isolated and high stress environments (ex: submarines, Arctic exploration, ISS, war) to include the 4 NASA personality types within the ABM. Interactions between agents with different psychological profiles are modeled at the individual level, while global events such as accidents or delays in Earth resupply affect the colony as a whole.
Results: From our multiple simulations and scenarios (up to 28 Earth years), we found that an initial population of 22 was the minimum required to maintain a viable colony size over the long run. We also found that the Agreeable personality type was the one more likely to survive.
Conclusion We developed a simulation with easy to use GUI to explore various scenarios of human interactions (social, labor, economic, psychological) on a future colony on Mars. We included technological and engineering challenges, but our focus is on the behavioral and psychological effects on the sustainability of the colony on the long run. We find, contrary to other literature, that the minimum number of people with all personality types that can lead to a sustainable settlement is in the tens and not hundreds.
This model aims at creating agent populations that have “personalities”, as described by the Big Five Model of Personality. The expression of the Big Five in the agent population has the following properties, so that they resemble real life populations as closely as possible:
-The population mean of each trait is 0.5 on a scale from 0 to 1.
-The population-wide distribution of each trait approximates a normal distribution.
-The intercorrelations of the Big Five are close to those observed in the Literature.
The literature used to fit the model was a publication by Dimitri van der Linden, Jan te Nijenhuis, and Arnold B. Bakker:
An Agent-Based Model to simulate agent reactions to threatening information based on the anxiety-to-approach framework of Jonas et al. (2014).
The model showcases the framework of BIS/BAS (inhibitory and approach motivated behavior) for the case of climate information, including parameters for anxiety, environmental awareness, climate scepticism and pro-environmental behavior intention.
Agents receive external information according to threat-level and information frequency. The population dynamic is based on the learning from that information as well as social contagion mechanisms through a scale-free network topology.
The model uses Netlogo 6.2 and the network extension.
The Social Identity Model of Protest Emergence (SIMPE), an agent-based model of national identity and protest mobilisations.
I developed this model for my PhD project, “Polarisation and Protest Mobilisation Around Secessionist Movements: an Agent-Based Model of Online and Offline Social Networks”, at the University of Glasgow (2019-2023).
The purpose of this model is to simulate protest emergence in a given country where there is an independence movement, fostering the self-categorisation process of national identification. In order to contextualised SIMPE, I have used Catalonia, where an ongoing secessionist movement since 2011 has been present, national identity has shown signs of polarisation, and where numerous mobilisations have taken place over the last decade. Data from the Catalan Centre of Opinion Studies (CEO) has been used to inform some of the model parameters.
This model is an implementation of a predator-prey simulation using NetLogo programming language. It simulates the interaction between fish, lionfish, and zooplankton. Fish and lionfish are both represented as turtles, and they have their own energy level. In this simulation, lionfish eat fish, and fish eat zooplankton. Zooplankton are represented as green patches on the NetLogo world. Lionfish and fish can reproduce and gain energy by eating other turtles or zooplankton.
This model was created to help undergraduate students understand how simulation models might be helpful in addressing complex environmental problems. In this case, students were asked to use this model to make predictions about how the introduction of lionfish (considered an invasive species in some places) might alter the ecosystem.
This model implements two types of network diffusion from an initial group of activated nodes. In complex contagion, a node is activated if the proportion of neighbour nodes that are already activated exceeds a given threshold. This is intended to represented the spread of health behaviours. In simple contagion, an activated node has a given probability of activating its inactive neighbours and re-tests each time step until all of the neighbours are activated. This is intended to represent information spread.
A range of networks are included with the model from secondary school friendship networks. The proportion of nodes initially activated and the method of selecting those nodes are controlled by the user.
The purpose of the simulation is to evaluate alternative interventions by a value chain development program, aiming to improve rural livelihood and food and nutrition security. In northern Ghana, where distrust between the partners can be a problem in the functioning of value chains, the program supports the incorporation of smallholder farmers in soy clusters or agriculture APEX organization (farmers’ co-operatives) with a fair business environment. The goal is to to include the smallholder farmers in a strong value chain and reduce distrust.