Computational Model Library

Peer reviewed Minding Norms in an Epidemic Does Matter

Klaus Troitzsch | Published Sat Feb 27 10:04:04 2021 | Last modified Mon Sep 13 13:03:36 2021

This paper tries to shed some light on the mutual influence of citizen behaviour and the spread of a virus in an epidemic. While the spread of a virus from infectious to susceptible persons and the outbreak of an infection leading to more or less severe illness and, finally, to recovery and immunity or death has been modelled with different kinds of models in the past, the influence of certain behaviours to keep the epidemic low and to follow recommendations of others to apply these behaviours has rarely been modelled. The model introduced here uses a theory of the effect of norm invocations among persons to find out the effect of spreading norms interacts with the progress of an epidemic. Results show that norm invocations matter. The model replicates the histories of the COVID-19 epidemic in various region, including “second waves”, and shows that the calculation of the reproduction numbers from current reported infections usually overestimates the “real” but in practice unobservable reproduction number.

The O.R.E. (Opinions on Risky Events) model describes how a population of interacting individuals process information about a risk of natural catastrophe. The institutional information gives the official evaluation of the risk; the agents receive this communication, process it and also speak to each other processing further the information. The description of the algorithm (as it appears also in the paper) can be found in the attached file OREmodel_description.pdf.
The code (ORE_model.c), written in C, is commented. Also the datasets (inputFACEBOOK.txt and inputEMAILs.txt) of the real networks utilized with this model are available.

For any questions/requests, please write me at [email protected]

The purpose of this model is to explain the post-disaster recovery of households residing in their own single-family homes and to predict households’ recovery decisions from drivers of recovery. Herein, a household’s recovery decision is repair/reconstruction of its damaged house to the pre-disaster condition, waiting without repair/reconstruction, or selling the house (and relocating). Recovery drivers include financial conditions and functionality of the community that is most important to a household. Financial conditions are evaluated by two categories of variables: costs and resources. Costs include repair/reconstruction costs and rent of another property when the primary house is uninhabitable. Resources comprise the money required to cover the costs of repair/reconstruction and to pay the rent (if required). The repair/reconstruction resources include settlement from the National Flood Insurance (NFI), Housing Assistance provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA-HA), disaster loan offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA loan), a share of household liquid assets, and Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) fund provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Further, household income determines the amount of rent that it can afford. Community conditions are assessed for each household based on the restoration of specific anchors. ASNA indexes (Nejat, Moradi, & Ghosh 2019) are used to identify the category of community anchors that is important to a recovery decision of each household. Accordingly, households are indexed into three classes for each of which recovery of infrastructure, neighbors, or community assets matters most. Further, among similar anchors, those anchors are important to a household that are located in its perceived neighborhood area (Moradi, Nejat, Hu, & Ghosh 2020).

The model aims to investigate the role of Microfinance Institutes (MFIs) in strengthening the coping capacity of slum-dwellers (residents) in case of frequent disasters. The main purpose of the model is system understanding. It aids in understanding the following research question: Are the microcredits provided by MFI to start a small business helpful in increasing coping capacity of a slum dweller for recovering from frequent and intense disasters?

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.

This model was built to estimate the impacts of exogenous fodder input and credit loans services on livelihood, rangeland health and profits of pastoral production in a small holder pastoral household in the arid steppe rangeland of Inner Mongolia, China. The model simulated the long-term dynamic of herd size and structure, the forage demand and supply, the cash flow, and the situation of loan debt under three different stocking strategies: (1) No external fodder input, (2) fodders were only imported when natural disaster occurred, and (3) frequent import of external fodder, with different amount of available credit loans. Monte-Carlo method was used to address the influence of climate variability.

Crowd dynamics have important applications in evacuation management systems relevant to organizing safer large scale gatherings. For crowd safety, it is very important to study the evolution of potential crowd behaviours by simulating the crowd evacuation process. Planning crowd control tasks by studying the impact of crowd behaviour evolution towards evacuation could mitigate the possibility of crowd disasters. During a typical emergency evacuation scenario, conflict among agents occurs when agents intend to move to the same location as a result of the interaction with their nearest neighbours. The effect of the agent response towards their neighbourhood is vital in order to understand the effect of variation of crowd behaviour on the whole environment. In this work, we model crowd motion subject to exit congestion under uncertainty conditions in a continuous space via computer simulations. We model best-response, risk-seeking, risk-averse and risk-neutral behaviours of agents via certain game theoretic notions. We perform computer simulations with heterogeneous populations in order to study the effect of the evolution of agent behaviours towards egress flow under threat conditions. Our simulation results show the relation between the local crowd pressure and the number of injured agents. We observe that when the proportion of agents in a population of risk-seeking agents is increased, the average crowd pressure, average local density and the number of injured agents increases. Besides that, based on our simulation results, we can infer that crowd disasters could be prevented if the agent population consists entirely of risk-averse and risk-neutral agents despite circumstances that lead to threats.

We construct an agent-based model to investigate and understand the roles of green attachment, engagement in local ecological investment (i.e., greening), and social feedback.

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