Computational Model Library

Schelling famously proposed an extremely simple but highly illustrative social mechanism to understand how strong ethnic segregation could arise in a world where individuals do not necessarily want it. Schelling’s simple computational model is the starting point for our extensions in which we build upon Wilensky’s original NetLogo implementation of this model. Our two NetLogo models can be best studied while reading our chapter “Agent-based Computational Models” (Flache and de Matos Fernandes, 2021). In the chapter, we propose 10 best practices to elucidate how agent-based models are a unique method for providing and analyzing formally precise, and empirically plausible mechanistic explanations of puzzling social phenomena, such as segregation, in the social world. Our chapter addresses in particular analytical sociologists who are new to ABMs.

In the first model (SegregationExtended), we build on Wilensky’s implementation of Schelling’s model which is available in NetLogo library (Wilensky, 1997). We considerably extend this model, allowing in particular to include larger neighborhoods and a population with four groups roughly resembling the ethnic composition of a contemporary large U.S. city. Further features added concern the possibility to include random noise, and the addition of a number of new outcome measures tuned to highlight macro-level implications of the segregation dynamics for different groups in the agent society.

In SegregationDiscreteChoice, we further modify the model incorporating in particular three new features: 1) heterogeneous preferences roughly based on empirical research categorizing agents into low, medium, and highly tolerant within each of the ethnic subgroups of the population, 2) we drop global thresholds (%-similar-wanted) and introduce instead a continuous individual-level single-peaked preference function for agents’ ideal neighborhood composition, and 3) we use a discrete choice model according to which agents probabilistically decide whether to move to a vacant spot or stay in the current spot by comparing the attractiveness of both locations based on the individual preference functions.

This model was created to investigate the potential impacts of large-scale recreational and transport-related physical activity promotion strategies on six United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related outcomes—road traffic deaths (SDG 3), transportation mode share (SDG 9), convenient access to public transport, levels of fine particulate matter, and access to public open spaces (SDG 11), and levels of carbon dioxide emissions (SDG 13)—in three cities designed as abstract representations of common city types in high-, middle-, and low-income countries.

MELBIS-V1 is a spatially explicit agent-based model that allows the geospatial simulation of the decision-making process of newcomers arriving in the bilingual cities and boroughs of the island of Montreal, Quebec in CANADA, and the resulting urban segregation spatial patterns. The model was implemented in NetLogo, using geospatial raster datasets of 120m spatial resolution.

MELBIS-V2 enhances MELBIS-V1 to implement and simulate the decision-making processes of incoming immigrants, and to analyze the resulting spatial patterns of segregation as immigrants arrive and settle in various cities in Canada. The arrival and segregation of immigrants is modeled with MELBIS-V2 and compared for three major Canadian immigration gateways, including the City of Toronto, Metro Vancouver, and the City of Calgary.

MHCABM is an agent-based, multi-hazard risk interaction model with an integrated applied dynamic adaptive pathways planning component. It is designed to explore the impacts of climate change adaptation decisions on the form and function of a coastal human-environment system, using as a case study an idealised patch based representation of the Mount North-Omanu area of Tauranga city, New Zealand. The interacting hazards represented are erosion, inundation, groundwater intrusion driven by intermittent heavy rainfall / inundations (storm) impacts, and sea level rise.


Jennifer Badham | Published Tue Jun 8 10:09:29 2021

Zombies move toward humans and humans move (faster) away from zombies. They fight if they meet, and humans who lose become zombies.

The integrated and spatially-explicit ABM, called DIReC (Demography, Industry and Residential Choice), has been developed for Aberdeen City and the surrounding Aberdeenshire (Ge, Polhill, Craig, & Liu, 2018). The model includes demographic (individual and household) models, housing infrastructure and occupancy, neighbourhood quality and evolution, employment and labour market, business relocation, industrial structure, income distribution and macroeconomic indicators. DIReC includes a detailed spatial housing model, basing preference models on house attributes and multi-dimensional neighbourhood qualities (education, crime, employment etc.).
The dynamic ABM simulates the interactions between individuals, households, the labour market, businesses and services, neighbourhoods and economic structures. It is empirically grounded using multiple data sources, such as income and gender-age distribution across industries, neighbourhood attributes, business locations, and housing transactions. It has been used to study the impact of economic shocks and structural changes, such as the crash of oil price in 2014 (the Aberdeen economy heavily relies on the gas and oil sector) and the city’s transition from resource-based to a green economy (Ge, Polhill, Craig, & Liu, 2018).

This model examines an important but underappreciated mechanism affecting urban segregation and integration: urban venues. The venue- an area where urbanites interact- is an essential aspect of city life that tends to influence how satisfactory any location is. We study the venue/segregation relationship by installing venues into Schelling’s classic agent-based segregation model.

The MML is a hybrid modeling environment that couples an agent-based model of small-holder agropastoral households and a cellular landscape evolution model that simulates changes in erosion/deposition, soils, and vegetation.


Gudrun Wallentin | Published Tue Apr 21 07:20:07 2020 | Last modified Tue Apr 21 08:59:02 2020

Model of the Corona pandemic outbreak

The COVID-19 ABM aims to predict the qualitative behaviour of the CoViD-19 epidemic dynamics for the greater region of Salzburg City. Specifically, by means of scenario testing, it aims to help assessing how containment interventions can allow a stepwise relaxation of the lockdown without risking a new outbreak.

Urban greenery such as vertical greenery systems (VGS) can effectively absorb air pollutants emitted by different agents, such as vehicles and manufacturing enterprises. The main challenge is how to protect socially important objects, such as kindergartens, from the influence if air pollution with the minimum of expenditure. There is proposed the hybrid individual- and particle-based model of interactions between vertical greenery systems and air pollutants to identify optimal locations of tree clusters and high-rise buildings where horizontal greenery systems and VGS should be implemented, respectively. The model is implemented in the AnyLogic simulation tool.

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