Computational Model Library

City Sandbox

Javier Sandoval | Published Thu Jan 9 07:13:37 2020

This model grows land use patterns that emerge as a result of land-use compatibilities stablished in urban development plans, land topography, and street networks. It contains urban brushes to paint streets and land uses as a way to learn about urban pattern emergence through free experimentation.

Peer reviewed COMMAND-AND-CONTROL

Farzaneh Davari | Published Tue Sep 10 19:53:53 2019 | Last modified Thu Sep 12 03:07:04 2019

The command and control policy in natural resource management, including water resources, is a longstanding established policy that has been theoretically and practically argued from the point of view of social-ecological complex systems. With the intention of making a system ecologically resilient, these days, policymakers apply the top-down policies of controlling communities through regulations. To explore how these policies may work and to understand whether the ecological goal can be achieved via command and control policy, this research uses the capacity of Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) as an experimental platform in the Urmia Lake Basin (ULB) in Iran, which is a social-ecological complex system and has gone through a drought process.

Despite the uncertainty of the restorability capacity of the lake, there has been a consensus on the possibility to artificially restore the lake through the nationally managed Urmia Lake Restoratoin Program (ULRP). To reduce water consumption in the Basin, the ULRP widely targets the agricultural sector and proposes the project of changing crop patterns from high-water-demand (HWD) to low-water-demand (LWD), which includes a component to control water consumption by establishing water-police forces.

Using a wide range of multidisciplinary studies about Urmia Lake at the Basin and sub-basins as well as qualitative information at micro-level as the main conceptual sources for the ABM, the findings under different strategies indicate that targeting crop patterns change by legally limiting farmers’ access to water could force farmers to change their crop patterns for a short period of time as long as the number of police constantly increases. However, it is not a sustainable policy for either changing the crop patterns nor restoring the lake.

The model aims at reproducing the evolution of the land-use in an agricultural territory at the plot scale. It enables to simulate the affectation of land-use, the crop rotation and technical operations for each plot of the different farms of the territory. It allows as well for crop farms to simulate the daily state of plots (sowed, plowed, harvested, biomass indicator). The model is used as an input for the water pollution model allowing to determine the flow of nitrate, phosphorus and suspended matter in the territory according to the landscape configuration.

Stylized agricultural land-use model for resilience exploration

Patrick Bitterman | Published Tue Jun 14 15:18:33 2016 | Last modified Mon Apr 8 20:38:38 2019

This model is a highly stylized land use model in the Clear Creek Watershed in Eastern Iowa, designed to illustrate the construction of stability landscapes within resilience theory.

COOPER - Flood impacts over Cooperative Winemaking Systems

David Nortes-Martinez David Nortes Martinez | Published Thu Feb 8 18:11:17 2018 | Last modified Fri Mar 22 00:06:54 2019

The model simulates flood damages and its propagation through a cooperative, productive, farming system, characterized as a star-type network, where all elements in the system are connected one to each other through a central element.

We study three obstacles of the expansion of contract rice farming in the Mekong Delta (MKD) region. The failure of buyers in building trust-based relationship with small-holder farmers, unattractive offered prices from the contract farming scheme, and limited rice processing capacity have constrained contractors from participating in the large-scale paddy field program. We present an agent-based model to examine the viability of contract farming in the region from the contractor perspective.

The model focuses on financial incentives and trust, which affect the decision of relevant parties on whether to participate and honor a contract. The model is also designed in the context of the MKD’s rice supply chain with two contractors engaging in the contract rice farming scheme alongside an open market, in which both parties can renege on the agreement. We then evaluate the contractors’ performances with different combinations of scenarios related to the three obstacles.

Our results firstly show that a fully-equipped contractor who opportunistically exploits a relatively small proportion (less than 10%) of the contracted farmers in most instances can outperform spot market-based contractors in terms of average profit achieved for each crop. Secondly, a committed contractor who offers lower purchasing prices than the most typical rate can obtain better earnings per ton of rice as well as higher profit per crop. However, those contractors in both cases could not enlarge their contract farming scheme, since either farmers’ trust toward them decreases gradually or their offers are unable to compete with the benefits from a competitor or the spot market. Thirdly, the results are also in agreement with the existing literature that the contract farming scheme is not a cost-effective method for buyers with limited rice processing capacity, which is a common situation among the contractors in the MKD region.

This model has been created with and for the researcher-farmers of the Muonde Trust (http://www.muonde.org/), a registered Zimbabwean non-governmental organization dedicated to fostering indigenous innovation. Model behaviors and parameters (mashandiro nemisiyano nedzimwe model) derive from a combination of literature review and the collected datasets from Muonde’s long-term (over 30 years) community-based research. The goals of this model are three-fold (muzvikamu zvitatu):
A) To represent three components of a Zimbabwean agro-pastoral system (crops, woodland grazing area, and livestock) along with their key interactions and feedbacks and some of the human management decisions that may affect these components and their interactions.
B) To assess how climate variation (implemented in several different ways) and human management may affect the sustainability of the system as measured by the continued provisioning of crops, livestock, and woodland grazing area.
C) To provide a discussion tool for the community and local leaders to explore different management strategies for the agro-pastoral system (hwaro/nzira yekudyidzana kwavanhu, zvipfuo nezvirimwa), particularly in the face of climate change.

Potato late blight model

Francine Pacilly | Published Fri Apr 13 13:40:47 2018

The purpose of the model is to simulate the spatial dynamics of potato late blight to analyse whether resistant varieties can be used effectively for sustainable disease control. The model represents an agricultural landscape with potato fields and data of a Dutch agricultural region is used as input for the model. We simulated potato production, disease spread and pathogen evolution during the growing season (April to September) for 36 years. Since late blight development and crop growth is weather dependent, measured weather data is used as model input. A susceptible and late blight resistant potato variety are distinguished. The resistant variety has a potentially lower yield but cannot get infected with the disease. However, during the growing season virulent spores can emerge as a result of mutations during spore production. This new virulent strain is able to infect the resistant fields, resulting in resistance breakdown. The model shows how disease severity, resistance durability and potato yield are affected by the fraction of fields across a landscape with a disease-resistant potato variety.

TRUE GRASP

Marco Braasch Luis García-Barrios | Published Tue Apr 3 16:00:30 2018

TRUE GRASP (Tree Recruitment Under Exotic GRAsses in a Savanna-Pineland)
is a socio-ecological agent-based model (ABM) and role playing game (RPG) for farmers and other stakeholders involved in rural landscape planning.

The purpose of this model is to allow actors to explore the individual and combined effects - as well as tradeoffs - of three methods of controlling exotic grasses in pine savannas: fire, weeding, and grazing cattle.

Design of TRUE GRASP is based on 3 years of socio-ecological fieldwork in a human-induced pine savanna in La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve (SBR) in the Mexican state of Chiapas. In this savanna, farmers harvest resin from Pinus oocarpa, which is used to produce turpentine and other products. However, long term persistence of this activity is jeopardized by low tree recruitment due to exotic tall grass cover in the forest understory (see Braasch et al., 2017). The TRUE GRASP model provides the user with different management strategies for controlling exotic grass cover and avoiding possible regime shifts, which in the case of the SBR would jeopardize resin harvesting.

The purpose of the presented ABM is to explore how system resilience is affected by external disturbances and internal dynamics by using the stylized model of an agricultural land use system.

We explore land system resilience with a stylized land use model in which agents’ land use activities are affected by external shocks, agent interactions, and endogenous feedbacks. External shocks are designed as yield loss in crops, which is ubiquitous in almost every land use system where perturbations can occur due to e.g. extreme weather conditions or diseases. Agent interactions are designed as the transfer of buffer capacity from farmers who can and are willing to provide help to other farmers within their social network. For endogenous feedbacks, we consider land use as an economic activity which is regulated by markets — an increase in crop production results in lower price (a negative feedback) and an agglomeration of a land use results in lower production costs for the land use type (a positive feedback).

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