Computational Model Library

Substitution of food products will be key to realising widespread adoption of sustainable diets. We present an agent-based model of decision-making and influences on food choice, and apply it to historically observed trends of British whole and skimmed (including semi) milk consumption from 1974 to 2005. We aim to give a plausible representation of milk choice substitution, and test different mechanisms of choice consideration. Agents are consumers that perceive information regarding the two milk choices, and hold values that inform their position on the health and environmental impact of those choices. Habit, social influence and post-decision evaluation are modelled. Representative survey data on human values and long-running public concerns empirically inform the model. An experiment was run to compare two model variants by how they perform in reproducing these trends. This was measured by recording mean weekly milk consumption per person. The variants differed in how agents became disposed to consider alternative milk choices. One followed a threshold approach, the other was probability based. All other model aspects remained unchanged. An optimisation exercise via an evolutionary algorithm was used to calibrate the model variants independently to observed data. Following calibration, uncertainty and global variance-based temporal sensitivity analysis were conducted. Both model variants were able to reproduce the general pattern of historical milk consumption, however, the probability-based approach gave a closer fit to the observed data, but over a wider range of uncertainty. This responds to, and further highlights, the need for research that looks at, and compares, different models of human decision-making in agent-based and simulation models. This study is the first to present an agent-based modelling of food choice substitution in the context of British milk consumption. It can serve as a valuable pre-curser to the modelling of dietary shift and sustainable product substitution to plant-based alternatives in Britain.

This generic agent-based model simulates the evolution of agent’s opinions through their exchange of arguments.
The idea behind this model is to explicitly represent the process of mental deliberation of agents from arguments to an opinion, through the use of Dung’s argumentation framework complemented by a structured description of arguments. An application of the model on the diffusion of vegetarian diets is proposed.

FeedUS - A global food trade model

Jiaqi Ge | Published Thu Feb 25 17:34:06 2021 | Last modified Fri Feb 26 13:04:23 2021

The purpose of the model is to study the impact of global food trade on food and nutrition security in countries around the world. It will incorporate three main aspects of trade between countries, including a country’s wealth, geographic location, and its trade relationships with other countries (past and ongoing), and can be used to study food and nutrition security across countries in various scenarios, such as climate change, sustainable intensification, waste reduction and dietary change.

The Bronze Age Collapse model (BACO model) is written using free NetLogo software v.6.0.3. The purpose of using the BACO model is to develop a tool to identify and analyse the main factors that made the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age socio-ecological system resilient or vulnerable in the face of the environmental aridity recorded in the Aegean. The model explores the relationship between dependent and independent variables. Independent variables are: a) inter-annual rainfall variability for the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in the eastern Mediterranean, b) intensity of raiding, c) percentage of marine, agricultural and other calorie sources included in the diet, d) soil erosion processes, e) farming assets, and d) storage capacity. Dependent variables are: a) human pressure for land, b) settlement patterns, c) number of commercial exchanges, d) demographic behaviour, and e) number of migrations.

Model of diffusion of vegetarian diets coupling ABM and argumentation framework

A proof-of-concept agent-based model ‘SimDrink’, which simulates a population of 18-25 year old heavy alcohol drinkers on a night out in Melbourne to provide a means for conducting policy experiments to inform policy decisions.

Diet breadth model from Optimal Foraging Theory (Human Behavioral Ecology)

C Michael Barton | Published Wed Nov 26 23:19:21 2008 | Last modified Thu Mar 12 20:04:31 2015

Diet breadth is a classic optimal foraging theory (OFT) model from human behavioral ecology (HBE). Different resources, ranked according to their food value and processing costs, are distributed in th

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