Computational Model Library

The Informational Dynamics of Regime Change

Dominik Klein Johannes Marx | Published Sat Oct 7 20:03:20 2017 | Last modified Tue Jan 14 10:39:18 2020

We model the epistemic dynamics preceding political uprising. Before deciding whether to start protests, agents need to estimate the amount of discontent with the regime. This model simulates the dynamics of group knowledge about general discontent.

This model aims to simulate Competition and Displacement of Online Interpersonal Communication Platforms process from a bottom-up angle. Individual interpersonal communication platform adoption and abandonment serve as the micro-foundation of the simulation model. The evolution mode of platform user online communication network determines how present platform users adjust their communication relationships as well as how new users join that network. This evolution mode together with innovations proposed by individual interpersonal communication platforms would also have impacts on the platform competition and displacement process and result by influencing individual platform adoption and abandonment behaviors. Three scenes were designed to simulate some common competition situations occurred in the past and current time, that two homogeneous interpersonal communication platforms competed with each other when this kind of platforms first came into the public eye, that a late entrant platform with a major innovation competed with the leading incumbent platform during the following days, as well as that both the leading incumbent and the late entrant continued to propose many small innovations to compete in recent days, respectively.
Initial parameters are as follows: n(Nmax in the paper), denotes the final node number of the online communication network node. mi (m in the paper), denotes the initial degree of those initial network nodes and new added nodes. pc(Pc in the paper), denotes the proportion of links to be removed and added in each epoch. pst(Pv in the paper), denotes the proportion of nodes with a viscosity to some platforms. comeintime(Ti in the paper), denotes the epoch when Platform 2 joins the market. pit(Pi in the paper), denotes the proportion of nodes adopting Platform 2 immediately at epoch comeintime(Ti). ct(Ct in the paper), denotes the Innovation Effective Period length. In Scene 2, There is only one major platform proposed by Platform 2, and ct describes that length. However, in Scene 3, Platform 2 and 1 will propose innovations alternately. And so, we set ct=10000 in simulation program, and every jtt epochs, we alter the innovation proposer from one platform to the other. Hence in this scene, jtt actually denotes the Innovation Effective Period length instead of ct.

System Narrative
How do rebel groups control territory and engage with the local economy during civil war? Charles Tilly’s seminal War and State Making as Organized Crime (1985) posits that the process of waging war and providing governance resembles that of a protection racket, in which aspiring governing groups will extort local populations in order to gain power, and civilians or businesses will pay in order to ensure their own protection. As civil war research increasingly probes the mechanisms that fuel local disputes and the origination of violence, we develop an agent-based simulation model to explore the economic relationship of rebel groups with local populations, using extortion racket interactions to explain the dynamics of rebel fighting, their impact on the economy, and the importance of their economic base of support. This analysis provides insights for understanding the causes and byproducts of rebel competition in present-day conflicts, such as the cases of South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

Model Description
The model defines two object types: RebelGroup and Enterprise. A RebelGroup is a group that competes for power in a system of anarchy, in which there is effectively no government control. An Enterprise is a local civilian-level actor that conducts business in this environment, whose objective is to make a profit. In this system, a RebelGroup may choose to extort money from Enterprises in order to support its fighting efforts. It can extract payments from an Enterprise, which fears for its safety if it does not pay. This adds some amount of money to the RebelGroup’s resources, and they can return to extort the same Enterprise again. The RebelGroup can also choose to loot the Enterprise instead. This results in gaining all of the Enterprise wealth, but prompts the individual Enterprise to flee, or leave the model. This reduces the available pool of Enterprises available to the RebelGroup for extortion. Following these interactions the RebelGroup can choose to AllocateWealth, or pay its rebel fighters. Depending on the value of its available resources, it can add more rebels or expel some of those which it already has, changing its size. It can also choose to expand over new territory, or effectively increase its number of potential extorting Enterprises. As a response to these dynamics, an Enterprise can choose to Report expansion to another RebelGroup, which results in fighting between the two groups. This system shows how, faced with economic choices, RebelGroups and Enterprises make decisions in war that impact conflict and violence outcomes.

The agent-based model captures the spatio-temporal institutional dynamics of the economy over the years at the level of a Dutch province. After 1945, Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands has been subject to an active program of economic development through the stimulation of pig husbandry. This has had far-reaching effects on its economy, landscape, and environment. The agents are households. The simulation is at institutional level, with typical stakeholder groups, lobbies, and political parties playing a role in determining policies that in turn determine economic, spatial and ecological outcomes. It allows to experiment with alternative scenarios based on two political dimensions: local versus global issues, and economic versus social responsibilitypriorities. The model shows very strong sensitivity to political context. It can serve as a reference model for other cases where “artificial institutional economics” is attempted.


Pia Backmann | Published Thu Sep 19 07:54:28 2019

An individual-based model to evaluate, whether time delays in plant responses to insect herbivory can be beneficial for the plant.

MERCURY extension: population

Tom Brughmans | Published Thu May 23 06:28:44 2019

This model is an extended version of the original MERCURY model ( ) . It allows for experiments to be performed in which empirically informed population sizes of sites are included, that allow for the scaling of the number of tableware traders with the population of settlements, and for hypothesised production centres of four tablewares to be used in experiments.

Experiments performed with this population extension and substantive interpretations derived from them are published in:

Hanson, J.W. & T. Brughmans. In press. Settlement scale and economic networks in the Roman Empire, in T. Brughmans & A.I. Wilson (ed.) Simulating Roman Economies. Theories, Methods and Computational Models. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

In this paper we introduce an agent-based model of elections and government formation where voters do not have perfect knowledge about the parties’ ideological position. Although voters are boundedly rational, they are forward-looking in that they try to assess the likely impact of the different parties over the resulting government. Thus, their decision rules combine sincere and strategic voting: they form preferences about the different parties but deem some of them as inadmissible and try to block them from office. We find that the most stable and durable coalition governments emerge at intermediate levels of informational ambiguity. When voters have very poor information about the parties, their votes are scattered too widely, preventing the emergence of robust majorities. But also, voters with highly precise perceptions about the parties will cluster around tiny electoral niches with a similar aggregate effect.

Tiebout sorting

Marco Janssen | Published Thu Jan 24 19:37:29 2019

This Netlogo replication of Kollman, K., J.H. Miller and S.E. Page (1997) Political Institutions and Sorting in a Tiebout Model, American Economic Review 87(5): 977-992. The model consists of of citizens who can vote for partie and move to other jurisdictions if they expect their preferences are better served. Parties adjust their positions to increase their share in the elections.

This study investigates a possible nexus between inter-group competition and intra-group cooperation, which may be called “tribalism.” Building upon previous studies demonstrating a relationship between the environment and social relations, the present research incorporates a social-ecological model as a mediating factor connecting both individuals and communities to the environment. Cyclical and non-cyclical fluctuation in a simple, two-resource ecology drive agents to adopt either “go-it-alone” or group-based survival strategies via evolutionary selection. Novelly, this simulation employs a multilevel selection model allowing group-level dynamics to exert downward selective pressures on individuals’ propensity to cooperate within groups. Results suggest that cooperation and inter-group conflict are co-evolved in a triadic relationship with the environment. Resource scarcity increases inter-group competition, especially when resources are clustered as opposed to widely distributed. Moreover, the tactical advantage of cooperation in the securing of clustered resources enhanced selective pressure on cooperation, even if that implies increased individual mortality for the most altruistic warriors. Troubling, these results suggest that extreme weather, possibly as a result of climate change, could exacerbate conflict in sensitive, weather-dependent social-ecologies—especially places like the Horn of Africa where ecologically sensitive economic modalities overlap with high-levels of diversity and the wide-availability of small arms. As well, global development and foreign aid strategists should consider how plans may increase the value of particular locations where community resources are built or aid is distributed, potentially instigating tribal conflict. In sum, these factors, interacting with pre-existing social dynamics dynamics, may heighten inter-ethnic or tribal conflict in pluralistic but otherwise peaceful communities.

For special issue submission in JASSS.

Food supply chain innovations under public pressure

Tim Verwaart Wil Hennen Jan Buurma | Published Fri Apr 15 20:30:05 2016 | Last modified Tue Nov 27 20:11:41 2018

Aroused public opinion has led to public debates on social responsibility issues in food supply chains. This model based op opinion dynamics and the linkages between involved actors simulates the public debate leading to the transitions.

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