Computational Model Library

Inquisitiveness in ad hoc teams

Davide Secchi | Published Sun Oct 18 22:09:14 2015 | Last modified Thu Jun 11 19:53:09 2020

This model builds on inquisitiveness as a key individual disposition to expand the bounds of their rationality. It represents a system where teams are formed around problems and inquisitive agents integrate competencies to find ‘emergent’ solutions.

After a little work experience, we realize that different kinds of people prefer different work environments: some enjoy a fast-paced challenge; some want to get by; and, others want to show off.

From that experience, we also realize that different kinds of people affect their work environments differently: some increase the pace; some slow it down; and, others make it about themselves.

This model concerns how three different kinds of people affect their work environment and how that work environment affects them in return. The model explores how this circular relation between people’s preferences and their environment creates patterns of association and performance over time.

IOP 2.1.2 is an agent-based simulation model designed to explore the relations between (1) employees, (2) tasks and (3) resources in an organizational setting. By comparing alternative cognitive strategies in the use of resources, employees face increasingly demanding waves of tasks that derive by challenges the organization face to adapt to a turbulent environment. The assumption tested by this model is that a successful organizational adaptation, called plastic, is necessarily tied to how employees handle pressure coming from existing and new tasks. By comparing alternative cognitive strategies, connected to ‘docility’ (Simon, 1993; Secchi, 2011) and ‘extended’ cognition (Clark, 2003, Secchi & Cowley, 2018), IOP 2.1.2 is an attempt to indicate which strategy is most suitable and under which scenario.

This model simulates a group of farmers that have encounters with individuals of a wildlife population. Each farmer owns a set of cells that represent their farm. Each farmer must decide what cells inside their farm will be used to produce an agricultural good that is self in an external market at a given price. The farmer must decide to protect the farm from potential encounters with individuals of the wildlife population. This decision in the model is called “fencing”. Each time that a cell is fenced, the chances of a wildlife individual to move to that cell is reduced. Each encounter reduces the productive outcome obtained of the affected cell. Farmers, therefore, can reduce the risk of encounters by exclusion. The decision of excluding wildlife is made considering the perception of risk of encounters. In the model, the perception of risk is subjective, as it depends on past encounters and on the perception of risk from other farmers in the community. The community of farmers passes information about this risk perception through a social network. The user (observer) of the model can control the importance of the social network on the individual perception of risk.

Load shedding enjoys increasing popularity as a way to reduce power consumption in buildings during hours of peak demand on the electricity grid. This practice has well known cost saving and reliability benefits for the grid, and the contracts utilities sign with their “interruptible” customers often pass on substantial electricity cost savings to participants. Less well-studied are the impacts of load shedding on building occupants, hence this study investigates those impacts on occupant comfort and adaptive behaviors. It documents experience in two office buildings located near Philadelphia (USA) that vary in terms of controllability and the set of adaptive actions available to occupants. An agent-based model (ABM) framework generalizes the case-study insights in a “what-if” format to support operational decision making by building managers and tenants. The framework, implemented in EnergyPlus and NetLogo, simulates occupants that have heterogeneous
thermal and lighting preferences. The simulated occupants pursue local adaptive actions such as adjusting clothing or using portable fans when central building controls are not responsive, and experience organizational constraints, including a corporate dress code and miscommunication with building managers. The model predicts occupant decisions to act fairly well but has limited ability to predict which specific adaptive actions occupants will select.

Peer reviewed Emergence of Organizations out of Garbage Can Dynamics

Guido Fioretti | Published Mon Apr 20 22:44:34 2020 | Last modified Sun Apr 26 12:54:56 2020

The Garbage Can Model of Organizational Choice (GCM) is a fundamental model of organizational decision-making originally propossed by J.D. Cohen, J.G. March and J.P. Olsen in 1972. In their model, decisions are made out of random meetings of decision-makers, opportunities, solutions and problems within an organization.
With this model, these very same agents are supposed to meet in society at large where they make decisions according to GCM rules. Furthermore, under certain additional conditions decision-makers, opportunities, solutions and problems form stable organizations. In this artificial ecology organizations are born, grow and eventually vanish with time.

In an associated paper which focuses on analyzing the structure of several egocentric networks of collective awareness platforms for sustainable innovation (CAPS), this model is developed. It answers the question whether the network structure is determinative for the sustainability of the created awareness. Based on a thorough literature review a model is developed to explain and operationalize the concept of sustainability of a social network in terms of importance, effectiveness and robustness. By developing this agent-based model, the expected outcomes after the dissolution of the CAPS are predicted and compared with the results of a network with the same participants but with different ties. Twitter data from different CAPS is collected and used to feed the simulation. The results show that the structure of the network is of key importance for its sustainability. With this knowledge and the ability to simulate the results after network changes have taken place, CAPS can assess the sustainability of their legacy and actively steer towards a longer lasting potential for social innovation. The retrieved knowledge urges organizations like the European Commission to adopt a more blended approach focusing not only on solving societal issues but on building a community to sustain the initiated development.

The agent based model presented here is an explicit instantiation of the Two-Factor Theory (Herzberg et al., 1959) of worker satisfaction and dissatisfaction. By utilizing agent-based modeling, it allows users to test the empirically found variations on the Two-Factor Theory to test its application to specific industries or organizations.

Iasiello, C., Crooks, A.T. and Wittman, S. (2020), The Human Resource Management Parameter Experimentation Tool, 2020 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling & Prediction and Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation, Washington DC.

Peer reviewed The Garbage Can Model of Organizational Choice

Guido Fioretti | Published Mon Apr 20 21:34:57 2020 | Last modified Thu Apr 23 18:55:40 2020

The Garbage Can Model of Organizational Choice is a fundamental model of organizational decision-making originally proposed by J.D. Cohen, J.G. March and J.P. Olsen in 1972. In the 2000s, G. Fioretti and A. Lomi presented a NetLogo agent-based interpretation of this model. This code is the NetLogo 6.1.1 updated version of the Fioretti-Lomi model.

Peer reviewed Multilevel Group Selection I

Garry Sotnik | Published Tue Apr 21 18:07:27 2020 | Last modified Tue Apr 28 03:46:31 2020

The Multilevel Group Selection I (MGS I) model simulates a population of contributing and non-contributing agents, competing on a social landscape for higher-value spots in an effort to withstand some selection pressure. It may be useful to both scientists and students in hypothesis testing, theory development, or more generally in understanding multilevel group selection.

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