Computational Model Library

We study cultural dissemination in the context of an Axelrod-like agent-based model describing the spread of cultural traits across a society, with an added element of social influence. This modification produces absorbing states exhibiting greater variation in number and size of distinct cultural regions compared to the original Axelrod model, and we identify the mechanism responsible for this amplification in heterogeneity. We develop several new metrics to quantitatively characterize the heterogeneity and geometric qualities of these absorbing states. Additionally, we examine the dynamical approach to absorbing states in both our Social Influence Model as well as the Axelrod Model, which not only yields interesting insights into the differences in behavior of the two models over time, but also provides a more comprehensive view into the behavior of Axelrod’s original model. The quantitative metrics introduced in this paper have broad potential applicability across a large variety of agent-based cultural dissemination models.

Modeling Prejudice And Its Effect On Societal Prosperity

no contributors listed | Published Sun Jun 27 19:20:28 2021

Existing studies on prejudice, which is important in multi-group dynamics in societies, focus on the social-psychological knowledge behind the processes involving prejudice and its propagation. We instead create a multi-agent framework that simulates the propagation of prejudice and measures its tangible impact on the prosperity of individuals as well as of larger social structures, including groups and factions within. Groups in society help us define prejudice, and factions represent smaller tight-knit circles of individuals with similar opinions. We model social interactions using the Continuous Prisoner’s Dilemma (CPD) and a type of agent called a prejudiced agent, whose cooperation is affected by a prejudice attribute, updated over time based both on the agent’s own experiences and those of others in its faction. This model generates various results that both provide new insights into intergroup prejudice and its effects, as well as highlight and reinforce certain existing notions of prejudice.

EMMIT is an end-user developed agent-based simulation of malaria transmission. The simulation’s development is a case study demonstrating an approach for non-technical investigators to easily develop useful simulations of complex public health problems. We focused on malaria transmission, a major global public health problem, and insecticide resistance (IR), a major problem affecting malaria control. Insecticides are used to reduce transmission of malaria caused by the Plasmodium parasite that is spread by the Anopheles mosquito. However, the emergence and spread of IR in a mosquito population can diminish the insecticide’s effectiveness. IR results from mutations that produce behavioral changes or biochemical changes (such as detoxification enhancement, target site alterations) in the mosquito population that provide resistance to the insecticide. Evolutionary selection for the IR traits reduces the effectiveness of an insecticide favoring the resistant mosquito population. It has been suggested that biopesticides, and specifically those that are Late Life Acting (LLA), could address this problem. LLA insecticides exploit Plasmodium’s approximate 10-day extrinsic incubation period in the mosquito vector, a delay that limits malaria transmission to older infected mosquitoes. Since the proposed LLA insecticide delays mosquito death until after the exposed mosquito has a chance to produce several broods of offspring, reducing the selective pressure for resistance, it delays IR development and gives the insecticide longer effectivity. Such insecticides are designed to slow the evolution of IR thus maintaining their effectiveness for malaria control. For the IR problem, EMMIT shows that an LLA insecticide could work as intended, but its operational characteristics are critical, primarily the mean-time-to-death after exposure and the associated standard deviation. We also demonstrate the simulation’s extensibility to other malaria control measures, including larval source control and policies to mitigate the spread of IR. The simulation was developed using NetLogo as a case study of a simple but useful approach to public health research.

In recent years we have seen multiple incidents with a large number of people injured and killed by one or more armed attackers. Since this type of violence is difficult to predict, detecting threats as early as possible allows to generate early warnings and reduce response time. In this context, any tool to check and compare different action protocols can be a further step in the direction of saving lives. Our proposal combines features from continuous and discrete models to obtain the best of both worlds in order to simulate large and crowded spaces where complex behavior individuals interact. With this proposal we aim to provide a tool for testing different security protocols under several emergency scenarios, where spaces, hazards, and population can be customized. Finally, we use a proof of concept implementation of this model to test specific security protocols under emergency situations for real spaces. Specifically, we test how providing some users of a university college with an app that informs about the type and characteristics of the ongoing hazard, affects in the safety performance.

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 [forthcoming]). 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.

Peer reviewed BAM: The Bottom-up Adaptive Macroeconomics Model

Alejandro Platas López Alejandro Guerra-Hernández | Published Tue Jan 14 17:04:32 2020 | Last modified Sun Jul 26 00:26:21 2020

Overview

Purpose

Modeling an economy with stable macro signals, that works as a benchmark for studying the effects of the agent activities, e.g. extortion, at the service of the elaboration of public policies..

The community consequences of intra-specific trait variation (ITV) are a current topic in ecological research. The effects of ITV on species coexistence have, yet, not sufficiently been understood. With this individual-based model we analyzed the effect of intra-specific variation in movement by mimicking variation found in ground-dwelling rodents and analyzing how such variation affects inter-specific differences in competitive ability (i.e. foraging efficiency) and temporary coexistence. The movement algorithm and behavioral plasticity was adapted from existing algorithms and current ecological literature. As a measure for temporary coexistence, we analyzed the time until one of the species went extinct.

This version of the accumulated copying error (ACE) model is designed to address the following research question: how does finite population size (N) affect the coefficient of variation (CV) of a continuous cultural trait under the assumptions that the only source of copying error is visual perception error and that the continuous trait can take any positive value (i.e., it has no upper bound)? The model allows one to address this question while assuming the continuous trait is transmitted via vertical transmission, unbiased transmission, prestige biased transmission, mean conformist transmission, or median conformist transmission. By varying the parameter, p, one can also investigate the effect of population size under a mix of vertical and non-vertical transmission, whereby on average (1-p)N individuals learn via vertical transmission and pN individuals learn via either unbiased transmission, prestige biased transmission, mean conformist transmission, or median conformist transmission.

This ABM re-implements and extends the simulation model of peer review described in Squazzoni & Gandelli (Squazzoni & Gandelli, 2013 - doi:10.18564/jasss.2128) (hereafter: ‘SG’). The SG model was originally developed for NetLogo and is also available in CoMSES at this link.
The purpose of the original SG model was to explore how different author and reviewer strategies would impact the outcome of a journal peer review system on an array of dimensions including peer review efficacy, efficiency and equality. In SG, reviewer evaluation consists of a continuous variable in the range [0,1], and this evaluation scale is the same for all reviewers. Our present extension to the SG model allows to explore the consequences of two more realistic assumptions on reviewer evaluation: (1) that the evaluation scale is discrete (e.g. like in a Likert scale); (2) that there may be differences among their interpretation of the grades of the evaluation scale (i.e. that the grade language is heterogeneous).

Cultural Spread

Salvador Pardo-Gordó Salvador Pardo Gordó | Published Thu Apr 2 11:44:34 2015 | Last modified Thu Apr 23 11:41:45 2020

The purpose of the model is to simulate the cultural hitchhiking hypothesis to explore how neutral cultural traits linked with advantageous traits spread together over time

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