Computational Model Library

Communication processes occur in complex dynamic systems impacted by person attitudes and beliefs, environmental affordances, interpersonal interactions and other variables that all change over time. Many of the current approaches utilized by Communication researchers are unable to consider the full complexity of communication systems or the over time nature of our data. We apply agent-based modeling to the Reinforcing Spirals Model and the Spiral of Silence to better elucidate the complex and dynamic nature of this process. Our preliminary results illustrate how environmental affordances (i.e. social media), closeness of the system and probability of outspokenness may impact how attitudes change over time. Additional analyses are also proposed.

MCA-SdA (ABM of mining-community-aquifer interactions in Salar de Atacama, Chile)

Wenjuan Liu | Published Tue Dec 1 19:30:17 2020 | Last modified Thu Nov 4 18:10:42 2021

This model represnts an unique human-aquifer interactions model for the Li-extraction in Salar de Atacama, Chile. It describes the local actors’ experience of mining-induced changes in the socio-ecological system, especially on groundwater changes and social stressors. Social interactions are designed specifically according to a long-term local fieldwork by Babidge et al. (2019, 2020). The groundwater system builds on the FlowLogo model by Castilla-Rho et al. (2015), which was then parameterized and calibrated with local hydrogeological inputs in Salar de Atacama, Chile. The social system of the ABM is defined and customozied based on empirical studies to reflect three major stressors: drought stress, population stress, and mining stress. The model reports evolution of groundwater changes and associated social stress dynamics within the modeled time frame.

Agent based model of COVID19 spread with digital contact tracing

Stefano Picascia Jonatan Almagor | Published Tue Sep 28 14:21:31 2021 | Last modified Wed Oct 13 10:44:20 2021

Multi-layer network agent-based model of the progression of the COVID19 infection, digital contact tracing


Matthew Sottile | Published Tue Oct 12 21:54:57 2021

Pastoralscape is a model of human agents, lifestock health and contageous disease for studying the impact of human decision making in pastoral communities within East Africa on livestock populations. It implements an event-driven agent based model in Python 3.

This is a basic Susceptible, Infected, Recovered (SIR) model. This model explores the spread of disease in a space. In particular, it explores how changing assumptions about the number of susceptible people, starting number of infected people, as well as the disease’s infection probability, and average duration of infection. The model shows that the interactions of agents can drastically affect the results of the model.

We used it in our course on COVID-19:

This is an extension of the basic Suceptible, Infected, Recovered (SIR) model. This model explores the spread of disease in two spaces, one a treatment, and one a control. Through the modeling options, one can explore how changing assumptions about the number of susceptible people, starting number of infected people, the disease’s infection probability, and average duration impacts the outcome. In addition, this version allows users to explore how public health interventions like social distancing, masking, and isolation can affect the number of people infected. The model shows that the interactions of agents, and the interventions can drastically affect the results of the model.

We used the model in our course about COVID-19:

Large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) threaten smallholder livelihoods globally. Despite more than a decade of research on the LSLA phenomenon, it remains a challenge to identify governance conditions that may foster beneficial outcomes for both smallholders and investors. One potentially promising strategy toward this end is contract farming (CF), which more directly involves smallholder households in commodity production than conditions of acquisition and displacement.

To improve understanding of how CF may mediate the outcomes of LSLAs, we developed an agent-based model of smallholder livelihoods, which we used as a virtual laboratory to experiment on a range of hypothetical LSLA and CF implementation scenarios.

The model represents a community of smallholder households in a mixed crop-livestock system. Each agent farms their own land and manages a herd of livestock. Agents can also engage in off-farm employment, for which they earn a fixed wage and compete for a limited number of jobs. The principal model outputs include measures of household food security (representing access to a single, staple food crop) and agricultural production (of a single, staple food crop).

Leviathan model and its approximation

Thibaut Roubin Guillaume Deffuant | Published Thu Sep 17 15:21:40 2020 | Last modified Mon Sep 6 14:45:35 2021

The model is based on the influence function of the Leviathan model (Deffuant, Carletti, Huet 2013 and Huet and Deffuant 2017). We aim at better explaining some patterns generated by this model, using a derived mathematical approximation of the evolution of the opinions averaged.

We consider agents having an opinion/esteem about each other and about themselves. During dyadic meetings, agents change their respective opinion about each other, and possibly about other agents they gossip about, with a noisy perception of the opinions of their interlocutor. Highly valued agents are more influential in such encounters.

We show that the inequality of reputations among agents have a negative effect on the opinions about the agents of low status.The mathematical analysis of the opinion dynamic shows that the lower the status of the agent, the more detrimental the interactions are for the opinions about this agent, especially when gossip is activated, while the interactions always tend to increase the opinions about agents of high status.

CINCH1 (Covid-19 INfection Control in Hospitals)

N Gotts | Published Sun Aug 29 13:13:03 2021

CINCH1 (Covid-19 INfection Control in Hospitals), is a prototype model of physical distancing for infection control among staff in University College London Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic, developed at the University of Leeds, School of Geography. It models the movement of collections of agents in simple spaces under conflicting motivations of reaching their destination, maintaining physical distance from each other, and walking together with a companion. The model incorporates aspects of the Capability, Opportunity and Motivation of Behaviour (COM-B) Behaviour Change Framework developed at University College London Centre for Behaviour Change, and is aimed at informing decisions about behavioural interventions in hospital and other workplace settings during this and possible future outbreaks of highly contagious diseases. CINCH1 was developed as part of the SAFER (SARS-CoV-2 Acquisition in Frontline Health Care Workers – Evaluation to Inform Response) project
(, funded by the UK Medical Research Council. It is written in Python 3.8, and built upon Mesa version 0.8.7 (copyright 2020 Project Mesa Team).

The purpose of this model is to understand the role of trade networks and their interaction with different fish resources, for fish provision. The model is developed based on a multi-methods approach, combining agent-based modeling, network analysis and qualitative data based on a small-scale fisheries study case. The model can be used to investigate both how trade network structures are embedded in a social-ecological context and the trade processes that occur within them, to analyze how they lead to emergent outcomes related to the resilience of fish provision. The model processes are informed by qualitative data analysis, and the social network analysis of an empirical fish trade network. The network analysis can be used to investigate diverse network structures to perform model experiments, and their influence on model outcomes.

The main outcomes we study are 1) the overexploitation of fish resources and 2) the availability and variability of fish provision to satisfy different market demands, and 3) individual traders’ fish supply at the micro-level. The model has two types of trader agents, seller and dealer. The model reveals that the characteristics of the trade networks, linked to different trader types (that have different roles in those networks), can affect the resilience of fish provision.

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