Computational Model Library

The Bronze Age Collapse model (BACO model) is written using free NetLogo software v.6.0.3. The purpose of using the BACO model is to develop a tool to identify and analyse the main factors that made the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age socio-ecological system resilient or vulnerable in the face of the environmental aridity recorded in the Aegean. The model explores the relationship between dependent and independent variables. Independent variables are: a) inter-annual rainfall variability for the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in the eastern Mediterranean, b) intensity of raiding, c) percentage of marine, agricultural and other calorie sources included in the diet, d) soil erosion processes, e) farming assets, and d) storage capacity. Dependent variables are: a) human pressure for land, b) settlement patterns, c) number of commercial exchanges, d) demographic behaviour, and e) number of migrations.

Studies of colonization processes in past human societies often use a standard population model in which population is represented as a single quantity. Real populations in these processes, however, are structured with internal classes or stages, and classes are sometimes created based on social differentiation. In this present work, information about the colonization of old Providence Island was used to create an agent-based model of the colonization process in a heterogeneous environment for a population with social differentiation. Agents were socially divided into two classes and modeled with dissimilar spatial clustering preferences. The model and simulations assessed the importance of gregarious behavior for colonization processes conducted in heterogeneous environments by socially-differentiated populations. Results suggest that in these conditions, the colonization process starts with an agent cluster in the largest and most suitable area. The spatial distribution of agents maintained a tendency toward randomness as simulation time increased, even when gregariousness values increased. The most conspicuous effects in agent clustering were produced by the initial conditions and behavioral adaptations that increased the agent capacity to access more resources and the likelihood of gregariousness. The approach presented here could be used to analyze past human colonization events or support long-term conceptual design of future human colonization processes with small social formations into unfamiliar and uninhabited environments.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, governments agreed on and accepted CO2 reduction targets in order to counter climate change. In Europe one of the main policy instruments to meet the agreed reduction targets is CO2 emission-trading (CET), which was implemented as of January 2005. In this system, companies active in specific sectors must be in the possession of CO2 emission rights to an amount equal to their CO2 emission. In Europe, electricity generation accounts for one-third of CO2 emissions. Since the power generation sector, has been liberalized, reregulated and privatized in the last decade, around Europe autonomous companies determine the sectors’ CO2 emission. Short-term they adjust their operation, long-term they decide on (dis)investment in power generation facilities and technology selection. An agent-based model is presented to elucidate the effect of CET on the decisions of power companies in an oligopolistic market. Simulations over an extensive scenario-space show that there CET does have an impact. A long-term portfolio shift towards less-CO2 intensive power generation is observed. However, the effect of CET is relatively small and materializes late. The absolute emissions from power generation rise under most scenarios. This corresponds to the dominant character of current capacity expansion planned in the Netherlands (50%) and in Germany (68%), where companies have announced many new coal based power plants. Coal is the most CO2 intensive option available and it seems surprising that even after the introduction of CET these capacity expansion plans indicate a preference for coal. Apparently in power generation the economic effect of CO2 emission-trading is not sufficient to outweigh the economic incentives to choose for coal.

In this agent-based model, agents decide to adopt a new product according to a utility function that depends on two kinds of social influences. First, there is a local influence exerted on an agent by her closest neighbors that have already adopted, and also by herself if she feels the product suits her personal needs. Second, there is a global influence which leads agents to adopt when they become aware of emerging trends happening in the system. For this, we endow agents with a reflexive capacity that allows them to recognize a trend, even if they can not perceive a significant change in their neighborhood.

Results reveal the appearance of slowdown periods along the adoption rate curve, in contrast with the classic stylized bell-shaped behavior. Results also show that network structure plays an important role in the effect of reflexivity: while some structures (e.g., scale-free networks) may amplify it, others (e.g., small-world structure) weaken such an effect.

The model aims to investigate the role of Microfinance Institutes (MFIs) in strengthening the coping capacity of slum-dwellers (residents) in case of frequent disasters. The main purpose of the model is system understanding. It aids in understanding the following research question: Are the microcredits provided by MFI to start a small business helpful in increasing coping capacity of a slum dweller for recovering from frequent and intense disasters?

This model was built to estimate the impacts of exogenous fodder input and credit loans services on livelihood, rangeland health and profits of pastoral production in a small holder pastoral household in the arid steppe rangeland of Inner Mongolia, China. The model simulated the long-term dynamic of herd size and structure, the forage demand and supply, the cash flow, and the situation of loan debt under three different stocking strategies: (1) No external fodder input, (2) fodders were only imported when natural disaster occurred, and (3) frequent import of external fodder, with different amount of available credit loans. Monte-Carlo method was used to address the influence of climate variability.

Peer reviewed COMMAND-AND-CONTROL

Farzaneh Davari | Published Tue Sep 10 19:53:53 2019 | Last modified Thu Sep 12 03:07:04 2019

The command and control policy in natural resource management, including water resources, is a longstanding established policy that has been theoretically and practically argued from the point of view of social-ecological complex systems. With the intention of making a system ecologically resilient, these days, policymakers apply the top-down policies of controlling communities through regulations. To explore how these policies may work and to understand whether the ecological goal can be achieved via command and control policy, this research uses the capacity of Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) as an experimental platform in the Urmia Lake Basin (ULB) in Iran, which is a social-ecological complex system and has gone through a drought process.

Despite the uncertainty of the restorability capacity of the lake, there has been a consensus on the possibility to artificially restore the lake through the nationally managed Urmia Lake Restoratoin Program (ULRP). To reduce water consumption in the Basin, the ULRP widely targets the agricultural sector and proposes the project of changing crop patterns from high-water-demand (HWD) to low-water-demand (LWD), which includes a component to control water consumption by establishing water-police forces.

Using a wide range of multidisciplinary studies about Urmia Lake at the Basin and sub-basins as well as qualitative information at micro-level as the main conceptual sources for the ABM, the findings under different strategies indicate that targeting crop patterns change by legally limiting farmers’ access to water could force farmers to change their crop patterns for a short period of time as long as the number of police constantly increases. However, it is not a sustainable policy for either changing the crop patterns nor restoring the lake.

We study three obstacles of the expansion of contract rice farming in the Mekong Delta (MKD) region. The failure of buyers in building trust-based relationship with small-holder farmers, unattractive offered prices from the contract farming scheme, and limited rice processing capacity have constrained contractors from participating in the large-scale paddy field program. We present an agent-based model to examine the viability of contract farming in the region from the contractor perspective.

The model focuses on financial incentives and trust, which affect the decision of relevant parties on whether to participate and honor a contract. The model is also designed in the context of the MKD’s rice supply chain with two contractors engaging in the contract rice farming scheme alongside an open market, in which both parties can renege on the agreement. We then evaluate the contractors’ performances with different combinations of scenarios related to the three obstacles.

Our results firstly show that a fully-equipped contractor who opportunistically exploits a relatively small proportion (less than 10%) of the contracted farmers in most instances can outperform spot market-based contractors in terms of average profit achieved for each crop. Secondly, a committed contractor who offers lower purchasing prices than the most typical rate can obtain better earnings per ton of rice as well as higher profit per crop. However, those contractors in both cases could not enlarge their contract farming scheme, since either farmers’ trust toward them decreases gradually or their offers are unable to compete with the benefits from a competitor or the spot market. Thirdly, the results are also in agreement with the existing literature that the contract farming scheme is not a cost-effective method for buyers with limited rice processing capacity, which is a common situation among the contractors in the MKD region.

The Cardial Spread Model

Sean Bergin | Published Fri Sep 29 18:53:33 2017 | Last modified Mon Feb 4 20:35:27 2019

The purpose of this model is to provide a platform to test and compare four conceptual models have been proposed to explain the spread of the Impresso-Cardial Neolithic in the west Mediterranean.

SKIN_ACAP

Morteza Mahmoudzadeh | Published Tue Sep 25 11:38:47 2018

Modified SKIN Model based on absorptive capacity concept.

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