Computational Model Library

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Large outbreaks of Shigella sonnei among children in Haredi Jewish (ultra-Orthodox) communities in Brooklyn, New York have occurred every 3–5 years since at least the mid-1980s. These outbreaks are partially attributable to large numbers of young children in these communities, with transmission highest in child care and school settings, and secondary transmission within households. As these outbreaks have been prolonged and difficult to control, we developed an agent-based model of shigellosis transmission among children in these communities to support New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene staff. Simulated children were assigned an initial susceptible, infectious, or recovered (immune) status and interacted and moved between their home, child care program or school, and a community site. We calibrated the model according to observed case counts as reported to the Health Department. Our goal was to better understand the efficacy of existing interventions and whether limited outreach resources could be focused more effectively.

How do bots influence beliefs on social media? Why do beliefs propagated by social bots spread far and wide, yet does their direct influence appear to be limited?

This model extends Axelrod’s model for the dissemination of culture (1997), with a social bot agent–an agent who only sends information and cannot be influenced themselves. The basic network is a ring network with N agents connected to k nearest neighbors. The agents have a cultural profile with F features and Q traits per feature. When two agents interact, the sending agent sends the trait of a randomly chosen feature to the receiving agent, who adopts this trait with a probability equal to their similarity. To this network, we add a bot agents who is given a unique trait on the first feature and is connected to a proportion of the agents in the model equal to ‘bot-connectedness’. At each timestep, the bot is chosen to spread one of its traits to its neighbors with a probility equal to ‘bot-activity’.

The main finding in this model is that, generally, bot activity and bot connectedness are both negatively related to the success of the bot in spreading its unique message, in equilibrium. The mechanism is that very active and well connected bots quickly influence their direct contacts, who then grow too dissimilar from the bot’s indirect contacts to quickly, preventing indirect influence. A less active and less connected bot leaves more space for indirect influence to occur, and is therefore more successful in the long run.


Kristin Crouse | Published Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Identifying how organisms respond to environmental stressors remains of central importance as human impacts continue to shift the environmental conditions for countless species. Some mammals are able to mitigate these environmental stressors at the cellular level, but the mechanisms by which cells are able to do this and how these strategies vary among species is not well understood. At the cellular level, it is difficult to identify the temporal dynamics of the system through empirical data because fine-grained time course samples are both incomplete and limited by available resources. To help identify the mechanisms by which animal cells mitigate extreme environmental conditions, we propose an agent-based model to capture the dynamics of the system. In the model, agents are regulatory elements and genes, and are able to impact the behaviors of each other. Rather than imposing rules for these interactions among agents, we will begin with randomized sets of rules and calibrate the model based on empirical data of cellular responses to stress. We will apply a common-garden framework to cultured cells from 16 mammalian species, which will yield genomic data and measures of cell morphology and physiology when exposed to different levels of temperature, glucose, and oxygen. These species include humans, dolphins, bats, and camels, among others, which vary in how they respond to environmental stressors, offering a comparative approach for identifying mechanistic rules whereby cells achieve robustness to environmental stressors. For calibration of the model, we will iteratively select for rules that best lead to the emergent outcomes observed in the cellular assays. Our model is generalized for any species, any cell type, and any environmental stressor, offering many applications of the model beyond our study. This study will increase our understanding of how organisms mitigate environmental stressors at the cellular level such that we can better address how organisms are impacted by and respond to extreme environmental conditions.

Peer reviewed AgentEx-Meta

Nanda Wijermans Helen Fischer | Published Friday, October 28, 2022

The purpose of the study is to unpack and explore a potentially beneficial role of sharing metacognitive information within a group when making repeated decisions about common pool resource (CPR) use.

We explore the explanatory power of sharing metacognition by varying (a) the individual errors in judgement (myside-bias); (b) the ways of reaching a collective judgement (metacognition-dependent), (c) individual knowledge updating (metacognition- dependent) and d) the decision making context.

The model (AgentEx-Meta) represents an extension to an existing and validated model reflecting behavioural CPR laboratory experiments (Schill, Lindahl & Crépin, 2015; Lindahl, Crépin & Schill, 2016). AgentEx-Meta allows us to systematically vary the extent to which metacognitive information is available to agents, and to explore the boundary conditions of group benefits of metacognitive information.

SeaROOTS ABM is a quite generic agent-based modeling system, for simulating and evaluating potential terrestrial and maritime mobility of artificial hominin groups, configured by available archaeological data and hypotheses. Necessary bathymetric, geomorphological and paleoenvironmental data are combined in order to reconstruct paleoshorelines for the study area and produce an archaeologically significant agent environment. Paleoclimatic and archaeological data are incorporated in the ABM in order to simulate maritime crossings and assess the emergent patterns of interaction between human agency and the sea.

SeaROOTS agent-based system includes completely autonomous, utility-based agents (Chliaoutakis & Chalkiadakis 2016), representing artificial hominin groups, with partial knowledge of their environment, for simulating their evolution and potential maritime mobility, utilizing alternative Least Cost Path analysis modeling techniques (Gustas & Supernant 2017, Gravel-Miguel & Wren 2021). Two groups of hominins, Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, are chosen in order to study the challenges and actions employed as a response to the fluctuating sea-levels, as well as probability scenarios with respect to sea-crossings via buoyant vessels (rafting) or the human body itself (swimming). SeaROOTS ABM aims to simulate various scenarios and investigate the degree climatic fluctuations influenced such activities and interactions in the Middle Paleolithic period.

The model focuses on simulating potential terrestrial and maritime routes, explore the interactions and relations between autonomous agents and their environment, as well as to test specific research questions; for example, when and under what conditions would Middle Paleolithic hominins be more likely to attempt a crossing and successfully reach the islands? By which agent type (Sapiens or Neanderthals) and how (e.g. swimming or by sea-vessels) could such short sea crossings be (mostly) attempted, and which (sea) routes were usually considered by the agents? When does a sea-crossing become a choice and when is it a result of forced migration, i.e. disaster- or conflict-induced displacement? Results show that the dynamic marine environment of the Inner Ionian, our case study in this work, played an important role in their decision-making process.

A Picit Jeu is an agent-based model (ABM) developed as a supporting tool for a role-playing game of the same name. The game is intended for stakeholders involved in land management and fire prevention at a municipality level. It involves four different roles: farmers, forest technicians, municipal administrators and forest private owners. The model aims to show the long-term effects of their different choices about forest and pasture management on fire hazard, letting them test different management strategies in an economically constraining context. It also allows the players to explore different climatic and economic scenarios. A Picit Jeu ABM reproduces the ecological, social and economic characteristics and dynamics of an Alpine valley in north-west Italy. The model should reproduce a primary general pattern: the less players undertake landscape management actions, by thinning and cutting forests or grazing pastures, the higher the probability that a fire will burn a large area of land.

Swidden farming by individual households

C Michael Barton | Published Sunday, April 27, 2008 | Last modified Saturday, April 27, 2013

Swidden Farming is designed to explore the dynamics of agricultural land management strategies.

This model is intended to study the way information is collectively managed (i.e. shared, collected, processed, and stored) in a system and how it performs during a crisis or disaster. Performance is assessed in terms of the system’s ability to provide the information needed to the actors who need it when they need it. There are two main types of actors in the simulation, namely communities and professional responders. Their ability to exchange information is crucial to improve the system’s performance as each of them has direct access to only part of the information they need.

In a nutshell, the following occurs during a simulation. Due to a disaster, a series of randomly occurring disruptive events takes place. The actors in the simulation need to keep track of such events. Specifically, each event generates information needs for the different actors, which increases the information gaps (i.e. the “piles” of unaddressed information needs). In order to reduce the information gaps, the actors need to “discover” the pieces of information they need. The desired behavior or performance of the system is to keep the information gaps as low as possible, which is to address as many information needs as possible as they occur.

This model simulates the dynamics of agricultural land use change, specifically the transition between agricultural and non-agricultural land use in a spatial context. It explores the influence of various factors such as agricultural profitability, path dependency, and neighborhood effects on land use decisions.

The model operates on a grid of patches representing land parcels. Each patch can be in one of two states: exploited (green, representing agricultural land) or unexploited (brown, representing non-agricultural land). Agents (patches) transition between these states based on probabilistic rules. The main factors affecting these transitions are agricultural profitability, path dependency, and neighborhood effects.
-Agricultural Profitability: This factor is determined by the prob-agri function, which calculates the probability of a non-agricultural patch converting to agricultural based on income differences between agriculture and other sectors. -Path Dependency: Represented by the path-dependency parameter, it influences the likelihood of patches changing their state based on their current state. It’s a measure of inertia or resistance to change. -Neighborhood Effects: The neighborhood function calculates the number of exploited (agricultural) neighbors of a patch. This influences the decision of a patch to convert to agricultural land, representing the influence of surrounding land use on the decision-making process.

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