Computational Model Library

Our aim is to show effects of group living when only low-level cognition is assumed, such as pattern recognition needed for normal functioning, without assuming individuals have knowledge about others around them or warn them actively.
The model is of a group of vigilant foragers staying within a patch, under attack by a predator. The foragers use attentional scanning for predator detection, and flee after detection. This fleeing action constitutes a visual cue to danger, and can be received non-attentionally by others if it occurs within their limited visual field. The focus of this model is on the effectiveness of this non-attentional visual information reception.
A blind angle obstructing cue reception caused by behaviour can exist in front, morphology causes a blind angle in the back. These limitations are represented by two visual field shapes. The scan for predators is all-around, with distance-dependent detection; reception of flight cues is limited by visual field shape.
Initial parameters for instance: group sizes, movement, vision characteristics for predator detection and for cue reception. Captures (failure), number of times the information reached all individuals at the same time (All-fled, success), and several other effects of the visual settings are recorded.

Peer reviewed BAMERS: Macroeconomic effect of extortion

Alejandro Platas López | Published Mon Mar 23 16:32:53 2020

Inspired by the European project called GLODERS that thoroughly analyzed the dynamics of extortive systems, Bottom-up Adaptive Macroeconomics with Extortion (BAMERS) is a model to study the effect of extortion on macroeconomic aggregates through simulation. This methodology is adequate to cope with the scarce data associated to the hidden nature of extortion, which difficults analytical approaches. As a first approximation, a generic economy with healthy macroeconomics signals is modeled and validated, i.e., moderate inflation, as well as a reasonable unemployment rate are warranteed. Such economy is used to study the effect of extortion in such signals. It is worth mentioning that, as far as is known, there is no work that analyzes the effects of extortion on macroeconomic indicators from an agent-based perspective. Our results show that there is significant effects on some macroeconomics indicators, in particular, propensity to consume has a direct linear relationship with extortion, indicating that people become poorer, which impacts both the Gini Index and inflation. The GDP shows a marked contraction with the slightest presence of extortion in the economic system.

This model is an extension of the Artificial Long House Valley (ALHV) model developed by the authors (Swedlund et al. 2016; Warren and Sattenspiel 2020). The ALHV model simulates the population dynamics of individuals within the Long House Valley of Arizona from AD 800 to 1350. Individuals are aggregated into households that participate in annual agricultural and demographic cycles. The present version of the model incorporates features of the ALHV model including realistic age-specific fertility and mortality and, in addition, it adds the Black Mesa environment and population, as well as additional methods to allow migration between the two regions.

As is the case for previous versions of the ALHV model as well as the Artificial Anasazi (AA) model from which the ALHV model was derived (Axtell et al. 2002; Janssen 2009), this version makes use of detailed archaeological and paleoenvironmental data from the Long House Valley and the adjacent areas in Arizona. It also uses the same methods as the original AA model to estimate annual maize productivity of various agricultural zones within the Long House Valley. A new environment and associated methods have been developed for Black Mesa. Productivity estimates from both regions are used to determine suitable locations for households and farms during each year of the simulation.

This model extends the original Artifical Anasazi (AA) model to include individual agents, who vary in age and sex, and are aggregated into households. This allows more realistic simulations of population dynamics within the Long House Valley of Arizona from AD 800 to 1350 than are possible in the original model. The parts of this model that are directly derived from the AA model are based on Janssen’s 1999 Netlogo implementation of the model; the code for all extensions and adaptations in the model described here (the Artificial Long House Valley (ALHV) model) have been written by the authors. The AA model included only ideal and homogeneous “individuals” who do not participate in the population processes (e.g., birth and death)–these processes were assumed to act on entire households only. The ALHV model incorporates actual individual agents and all demographic processes affect these individuals. Individuals are aggregated into households that participate in annual agricultural and demographic cycles. Thus, the ALHV model is a combination of individual processes (birth and death) and household-level processes (e.g., finding suitable agriculture plots).

As is the case for the AA model, the ALHV model makes use of detailed archaeological and paleoenvironmental data from the Long House Valley and the adjacent areas in Arizona. It also uses the same methods as the original model (from Janssen’s Netlogo implementation) to estimate annual maize productivity of various agricultural zones within the valley. These estimates are used to determine suitable locations for households and farms during each year of the simulation.

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.

CHAAHK: a Spatial Simulation of the Maya Elevated Core Region

Alex Kara | Published Tue Dec 4 23:33:28 2018 | Last modified Thu Sep 26 20:45:13 2019

This thesis presents an abstract spatial simulation model of the Maya Central Lowlands coupled human and natural system from 1000 BCE to the present day. It’s name is the Climatically Heightened but Anothropogenically Achieved Historical Kerplunk model (CHAAHK). The simulation features features virtual human groups, population centers, transit routes, local resources, and imported resources. Despite its embryonic state, the model demonstrates how certain anthropogenic characteristics of a landscape can interact with externally induced trauma and result in a prolonged period of relative sociopolitical uncomplexity. Analysis of batch simulation output suggests decreasing empirical uncertainties about ancient wetland modification warrants more investment. This first submission of CHAAHK’s code represents the simulation’s implementation that was featured in the author’s master’s thesis.

MERCURY extension: population

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

This model is an extended version of the original MERCURY model (https://www.comses.net/codebases/4347/releases/1.1.0/ ) . 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.

Agent-based model of risk behavior in adolescence

N Schuhmacher P Van Geert L Ballato | Published Mon Jun 24 16:33:51 2013 | Last modified Mon Apr 8 20:43:17 2019

The computer model simulates the development of a social network (i.e. formation of friendships and cliques), the (dyadic) interactions between pupils and the development of similarities and differences in their behavioral profiles.

Brazil has initiated two territorial public policies for a rural sustainable development, the National Program for Sustainable Development of the Rural Territories (PRONAT) and Citizenship Territory Program (PTC). These public policies aims, as a condition for its effectiveness, the equilibrium of the power relations between actors which participate in the Collegiate for Territorial Development (CODETER) of each Rural Territory. Our research studies the hypotheses that, in the Rural Territories submitted to the PRONAT and PTC public policies, the power and reciprocity relations between actors engaged in the CODETER effectively have evolved in favor of the civil society representatives to the detriment of the public powers, notably the mayors.

The SocLab approach has been applied in two case studies and four models representing the Southern Rural Territory of Sergipe (TRSS) and the São Francisco Rural Territory (TRBSF) were designed for two referential periods, 2008-2012 and 2013-2017. These models were developed to evaluate the empowerment of the civil society in these rural territories due to thes two public policies, PRONAT and PTC.

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.

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