Computational Model Library

AncientS-ABM is an agent-based model for simulating and evaluating the potential social organization of an artificial past society, configured by available archaeological data. Unlike most existing agent-based models used in archaeology, our ABM framework includes completely autonomous, utility-based agents. It also incorporates different social organization paradigms, different decision-making processes, and also different cultivation technologies used in ancient societies. Equipped with such paradigms, the model allows us to explore the transition from a simple to a more complex society by focusing on the historical social dynamics; and to assess the influence of social organization on agents’ population growth, agent community numbers, sizes and distribution.

AncientS-ABM also blends ideas from evolutionary game theory with multi-agent systems’ self-organization. We model the evolution of social behaviours in a population of strategically interacting agents in repeated games where they exchange resources (utility) with others. The results of the games contribute to both the continuous re-organization of the social structure, and the progressive adoption of the most successful agent strategies. Agent population is not fixed, but fluctuates over time, while agents in stage games also receive non-static payoffs, in contrast to most games studied in the literature. To tackle this, we defined a novel formulation of the evolutionary dynamics via assessing agents’ rather than strategies’ fitness.

As a case study, we employ AncientS-ABM to evaluate the impact of the implemented social organization paradigms on an artificial Bronze Age “Minoan” society, located at different geographical parts of the island of Crete, Greece. Model parameter choices are based on archaeological evidence and studies, but are not biased towards any specific assumption. Results over a number of different simulation scenarios demonstrate better sustainability for settlements consisting of and adopting a socio-economic organization model based on self-organization, where a “heterarchical” social structure emerges. Results also demonstrate that successful agent societies adopt an evolutionary approach where cooperation is an emergent strategic behaviour. In simulation scenarios where the natural disaster module was enabled, we observe noticeable changes in the settlements’ distribution, relating to significantly higher migration rates immediately after the modeled Theran eruption. In addition, the initially cooperative behaviour is transformed to a non-cooperative one, thus providing support for archaeological theories suggesting that the volcanic eruption led to a clear breakdown of the Minoan socio-economic system.

The Informational Dynamics of Regime Change

Dominik Klein Johannes Marx | Published Sat Oct 7 20:03:20 2017 | Last modified Tue Jan 14 10:39:18 2020

We model the epistemic dynamics preceding political uprising. Before deciding whether to start protests, agents need to estimate the amount of discontent with the regime. This model simulates the dynamics of group knowledge about general discontent.

We propose an ABM replicating the evolution of action oriented groups (like NPO) due to disagreement among members on the practices to implement. Looking at the stability and representativeness (ability of groups to federate) we introduce vertical communication: the possibility for group to communicate around their practices to their members. We test for three levels (to whom it is addressed) and four types (how it influences agents) of communication.

Demand planning requires processing of distributed information. In this process, individuals, their properties and interactions play a crucial role. This model is a computational testbed to investigate these aspects with respect to forecast accuracy.

The Hawk-Dove Game

Kristin Crouse | Published Tue Nov 5 04:51:09 2019

This model simulates the Hawk-Dove game as first described by John Maynard Smith, and further elaborated by Richard Dawkins in “The Selfish Gene”. In the game, two strategies, Hawks and Doves, compete against each other, and themselves, for reproductive benefits. A third strategy can be introduced, Retaliators, which act like either Hawks or Doves, depending on the context.

This NetLogo model illustrates the cultural evolution of pro-environmental behaviour patterns. It illustrates how collective behaviour patterns evolve from interactions between agents and agents (in a social network) as well as agents and the affordances (action opportunities provided by the environment) within a niche. More specifically, the cultural evolution of behaviour patterns is understood in this model as a product of:

  1. The landscape of affordances provided by the material environment,
  2. Individual learning and habituation,
  3. Social learning and network structure,
  4. Personal states (such as habits and attitudes), and

Organisms, Individuals and Organizations face the dilemma of exploration vs. exploitation
Identifying the optimal trade-off between the two is a challenge
Too much exploration (e.g. gaining new knowledge) can be detrimental to day-to-day survival and too much exploitation (applying existing knowledge) could be detrimental to long term survival esp. if conditions change over time

The purpose of the model is to investigate how the amount of resources acquired (wealth/success) is related to persistence with the strategy of local exploration under different resource distributions, availability of resources over time and cost of relocation

There is a new type of economic model called a capital exchange model, in which the biophysical economy is abstracted away, and the interaction of units of money is studied. Benatti, Drăgulescu and Yakovenko described at least eight capital exchange models – now referred to collectively as the BDY models – which are replicated as models A through H in EiLab. In recent writings, Yakovenko goes on to show that the entropy of these monetarily isolated systems rises to a maximal possible value as the model approaches steady state, and remains there, in analogy of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. EiLab demonstrates this behaviour. However, it must be noted that we are NOT talking about thermodynamic entropy. Heat is not being modeled – only simple exchanges of cash. But the same statistical formulae apply.

In three unpublished papers and a collection of diary notes and conference presentations (all available with this model), the concept of “entropic index” is defined for use in agent-based models (ABMs), with a particular interest in sustainable economics. Models I and J of EiLab are variations of the BDY model especially designed to study the Maximum Entropy Principle (MEP – model I) and the Maximum Entropy Production Principle (MEPP – model J) in ABMs. Both the MEPP and H.T. Odum’s Maximum Power Principle (MPP) have been proposed as organizing principles for complex adaptive systems. The MEPP and the MPP are two sides of the same coin, and an understanding of their implications is key, I believe, to understanding economic sustainability. Both of these proposed (and not widely accepted) principles describe the role of entropy in non-isolated systems in which complexity is generated and flourishes, such as ecosystems, and economies.

EiLab is one of several models exploring the dynamics of sustainable economics – PSoup, ModEco, EiLab, OamLab, MppLab, TpLab, and CmLab.

Local soy value chains in northern Ghana

Tim Verwaart | Published Thu Aug 29 17:54:49 2019

The purpose of the simulation is to evaluate alternative interventions by a value chain development program, aiming to improve rural livelihood and food and nutrition security. In northern Ghana, where distrust between the partners can be a problem in the functioning of value chains, the program supports the incorporation of smallholder farmers in soy clusters or agriculture APEX organization (farmers’ co-operatives) with a fair business environment. The goal is to to include the smallholder farmers in a strong value chain and reduce distrust.

Peer reviewed Organizational behavior in the hierarchy model

Smarzhevskiy Ivan | Published Tue Jun 18 10:33:33 2019 | Last modified Wed Jul 31 09:27:47 2019

In a two-level hierarchical structure (consisting of the positions of managers and operators), persons holding these positions have a certain performance and the value of their own (personal perception in this, simplified, version of the model) perception of each other. The value of the perception of each other by agents is defined as a random variable that has a normal distribution (distribution parameters are set by the control elements of the interface).
In the world of the model, which is the space of perceptions, agents implement two strategies: rapprochement with agents that perceive positively and distance from agents that perceive negatively (both can be implemented, one of these strategies, or neither, the other strategy, which makes the agent stationary). Strategies are implemented in relation to those agents that are in the radius of perception (PerRadius).
The manager (Head) forms a team of agents. The performance of the group (the sum of the individual productivities of subordinates, weighted by the distance from the leader) varies depending on the position of the agents in space and the values of their individual productivities. Individual productivities, in the current version of the model, are set as a random variable distributed evenly on a numerical segment from 0 to 100. The manager forms the team 1) from agents that are in (organizational) radius (Op_Radius), 2) among agents that the manager perceives positively and / or negatively (both can be implemented, one of the specified rules, or neither, which means the refusal of the command formation).
Agents can (with a certain probability, given by the variable PrbltyOfDecisn%), in case of a negative perception of the manager, leave his group permanently.
It is possible in the model to change on the fly radii values, update the perception value across the entire population and the perception of an individual agent by its neighbors within the perception radius, and the probability values for a subordinate to make a decision about leaving the group.
You can also change the set of strategies for moving agents and strategies for recruiting a team manager. It is possible to add a randomness factor to the movement of agents (Stoch_Motion_Speed, the default is set to 0, that is, there are no random movements).

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