Computational Model Library

Large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) threaten smallholder livelihoods globally. Despite more than a decade of research on the LSLA phenomenon, it remains a challenge to identify governance conditions that may foster beneficial outcomes for both smallholders and investors. One potentially promising strategy toward this end is contract farming (CF), which more directly involves smallholder households in commodity production than conditions of acquisition and displacement.

To improve understanding of how CF may mediate the outcomes of LSLAs, we developed an agent-based model of smallholder livelihoods, which we used as a virtual laboratory to experiment on a range of hypothetical LSLA and CF implementation scenarios.

The model represents a community of smallholder households in a mixed crop-livestock system. Each agent farms their own land and manages a herd of livestock. Agents can also engage in off-farm employment, for which they earn a fixed wage and compete for a limited number of jobs. The principal model outputs include measures of household food security (representing access to a single, staple food crop) and agricultural production (of a single, staple food crop).

This model is an agent-based simulation written in Python 2.7, which simulates the cost of social care in an ageing UK population. The simulation incorporates processes of population change which affect the demand for and supply of social care, including health status, partnership formation, fertility and mortality. Fertility and mortality rates are drawn from UK population data, then projected forward to 2050 using the methods developed by Lee and Carter 1992.

The model demonstrates that rising life expectancy combined with lower birthrates leads to growing social care costs across the population. More surprisingly, the model shows that the oft-proposed intervention of raising the retirement age has limited utility; some reductions in costs are attained initially, but these reductions taper off beyond age 70. Subsequent work has enhanced and extended this model by adding more detail to agent behaviours and familial relationships.

The version of the model provided here produces outputs in a format compatible with the GEM-SA uncertainty quantification software by Kennedy and O’Hagan. This allows sensitivity analyses to be performed using Gaussian Process Emulation.

Peer reviewed Minding Norms in an Epidemic Does Matter

Klaus Troitzsch | Published Sat Feb 27 10:04:04 2021 | Last modified Mon Sep 13 13:03:36 2021

This paper tries to shed some light on the mutual influence of citizen behaviour and the spread of a virus in an epidemic. While the spread of a virus from infectious to susceptible persons and the outbreak of an infection leading to more or less severe illness and, finally, to recovery and immunity or death has been modelled with different kinds of models in the past, the influence of certain behaviours to keep the epidemic low and to follow recommendations of others to apply these behaviours has rarely been modelled. The model introduced here uses a theory of the effect of norm invocations among persons to find out the effect of spreading norms interacts with the progress of an epidemic. Results show that norm invocations matter. The model replicates the histories of the COVID-19 epidemic in various region, including “second waves”, and shows that the calculation of the reproduction numbers from current reported infections usually overestimates the “real” but in practice unobservable reproduction number.

The Price Evolution with Expectations model provides the opportunity to explore the question of non-equilibrium market dynamics, and how and under which conditions an economic system converges to the classically defined economic equilibrium. To accomplish this, we bring together two points of view of the economy; the classical perspective of general equilibrium theory and an evolutionary perspective, in which the current development of the economic system determines the possibilities for further evolution.

The Price Evolution with Expectations model consists of a representative firm producing no profit but producing a single good, which we call sugar, and a representative household which provides labour to the firm and purchases sugar.The model explores the evolutionary dynamics whereby the firm does not initially know the household demand but eventually this demand and thus the correct price for sugar given the household’s optimal labour.

The model can be run in one of two ways; the first does not include money and the second uses money such that the firm and/or the household have an endowment that can be spent or saved. In either case, the household has preferences for leisure and consumption and a demand function relating sugar and price, and the firm has a production function and learns the household demand over a set number of time steps using either an endogenous or exogenous learning algorithm. The resulting equilibria, or fixed points of the system, may or may not match the classical economic equilibrium.

CINCH1 (Covid-19 INfection Control in Hospitals)

N Gotts | Published Sun Aug 29 13:13:03 2021

CINCH1 (Covid-19 INfection Control in Hospitals), is a prototype model of physical distancing for infection control among staff in University College London Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic, developed at the University of Leeds, School of Geography. It models the movement of collections of agents in simple spaces under conflicting motivations of reaching their destination, maintaining physical distance from each other, and walking together with a companion. The model incorporates aspects of the Capability, Opportunity and Motivation of Behaviour (COM-B) Behaviour Change Framework developed at University College London Centre for Behaviour Change, and is aimed at informing decisions about behavioural interventions in hospital and other workplace settings during this and possible future outbreaks of highly contagious diseases. CINCH1 was developed as part of the SAFER (SARS-CoV-2 Acquisition in Frontline Health Care Workers – Evaluation to Inform Response) project
(https://www.ucl.ac.uk/behaviour-change/research/safer-sars-cov-2-acquisition-frontline-health-care-workers-evaluation-inform-response), funded by the UK Medical Research Council. It is written in Python 3.8, and built upon Mesa version 0.8.7 (copyright 2020 Project Mesa Team).

This agent-based simulation model for group interaction is rooted in social psychological theory. The
model integrates affect control theory with networked interaction structures and sequential behavior protocols as they are often encountered in task groups. By expressing status hierarchy through network structure we build a bridge between expectation states theory and affect control theory, and are able to reproduce central results from the expectation states research program in sociological social psychology. Furthermore, we demonstrate how the model can be applied to analyze specialized task groups or sub-cultural domains by combining it with empirical data sources. As an example, we simulate groups of open-source software developers and analyze how cultural expectations influence the occupancy of high status positions in these groups.

Style_Net_01

Andrew White | Published Tue Aug 3 16:06:06 2021

Style_Net_01 is a spatial agent-based model designed to serve as a platform for exploring geographic patterns of tool transport and discard among seasonally mobile hunter-gatherer populations. The model has four main levels: artifact, person, group, and system. Persons make, use, and discard artifacts. Persons travel in groups within the geographic space of the model. The movements of groups represent a seasonal pattern of aggregation and dispersal, with all groups coalescing at an aggregation site during one point of the yearly cycle. The scale of group mobility is controlled by a parameter. The creation, use, and discard of artifacts is controlled by several parameters that specify how many tools each person carries in a personal inventory, how many times each tool can be used before it is discarded, and the frequency of tool usage. A lithic source (representing a geographically-specific, recognizable source of stone for tools) can be placed anywhere in the geographic space of the model.

The purpose of this model is to understand the role of trade networks and their interaction with different fish resources, for fish provision. The model is developed based on a multi-methods approach, combining agent-based modeling, network analysis and qualitative data based on a small-scale fisheries study case. The model can be used to investigate both how trade network structures are embedded in a social-ecological context and the trade processes that occur within them, to analyze how they lead to emergent outcomes related to the resilience of fish provision. The model processes are informed by qualitative data analysis, and the social network analysis of an empirical fish trade network. The network analysis can be used to investigate diverse network structures to perform model experiments, and their influence on model outcomes.

The main outcomes we study are 1) the overexploitation of fish resources and 2) the availability and variability of fish provision to satisfy different market demands, and 3) individual traders’ fish supply at the micro-level. The model has two types of trader agents, seller and dealer. The model reveals that the characteristics of the trade networks, linked to different trader types (that have different roles in those networks), can affect the resilience of fish provision.

The purpose of the model is to explore the influence of the design of circular business models (CBMs) on CBM viability. The model represents an Industrial Symbiosis Network (ISN) in which a processor uses the organic waste from suppliers to produce biogas and nutrient rich digestate for local reuse. CBM viability is expressed as value captured (e.g., cash flow/tonne waste/agent) and the survival of the network over time (shown in the interface).

In the model, the value captured is calculated relative to the initial state, using incineration costs as a benchmark. Moderating variables are interactions with the waste incinerator and actor behaviour factors. Actors may leave the network when the waste supply for local production is too low, or when personal economic benefits are too low. When the processor decides to leave, the network fails. Theory of planned behaviour can be used to include agent behaviour in the simulations.

Risk assessments are designed to measure cumulative risk and promotive factors for delinquency and recidivism, and are used by criminal and juvenile justice systems to inform sanctions and interventions. Yet, these risk assessments tend to focus on individual risk and often fail to capture each individual’s environmental risk. This agent-based model (ABM) explores the interaction of individual and environmental risk on the youth. The ABM is based on an interactional theory of delinquency and moves beyond more traditional statistical approaches used to study delinquency that tend to rely on point-in-time measures, and to focus on exploring the dynamics and processes that evolve from interactions between agents (i.e., youths) and their environments. Our ABM simulates a youth’s day, where they spend time in schools, their neighborhoods, and families. The youth has proclivities for engaging in prosocial or antisocial behaviors, and their environments have likelihoods of presenting prosocial or antisocial opportunities.

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