Computational Model Library

The model simulates the national Campaign-Based Watershed Management program of Ethiopia. It includes three agents (farmers, Kebele/ village administrator, extension workers) and the physical environment that interact with each other. The physical environment is represented by patches (fields). Farmers make decisions on the locations of micro-watersheds to be developed, participation in campaign works to construct soil and water conservation structures, and maintenance of these structures. These decisions affect the physical environment or generate model outcomes. The model is developed to explore conditions that enhance outcomes of the program by analyzing the effect on the area of land covered and quality of soil and water conservation structures of (1) enhancing farmers awareness and motivation, (2) establishing and strengthening micro-watershed associations, (3) introducing alternative livelihood opportunities, and (4) enhancing the commitment of local government actors.

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 fight against poverty is an urgent global challenge. Microinsurance is promoted as a valuable instrument for buffering income losses due to health or climate-related risks of low-income households in developing countries. However, apart from direct positive effects they can have unintended side effects when insured households lower their contribution to traditional arrangements where risk is shared through private monetary support.

RiskNetABM is an agent-based model that captures dynamics between income losses, insurance payments and informal risk-sharing. The model explicitly includes decisions about informal transfers. It can be used to assess the impact of insurance products and informal risk-sharing arrangements on the resilience of smallholders. Specifically, it allows to analyze whether and how economic needs (i.e. level of living costs) and characteristics of extreme events (i.e. frequency, intensity and type of shock) influence the ability of insurance and informal risk-sharing to buffer income shocks. Two types of behavior with regard to private monetary transfers are explicitly distinguished: (1) all households provide transfers whenever they can afford it and (2) insured households do not show solidarity with their uninsured peers.

The model is stylized and is not used to analyze a particular case study, but represents conditions from several regions with different risk contexts where informal risk-sharing networks between smallholder farmers are prevalent.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, governments agreed on and accepted CO2 reduction targets in order to counter climate change. In Europe one of the main policy instruments to meet the agreed reduction targets is CO2 emission-trading (CET), which was implemented as of January 2005. In this system, companies active in specific sectors must be in the possession of CO2 emission rights to an amount equal to their CO2 emission. In Europe, electricity generation accounts for one-third of CO2 emissions. Since the power generation sector, has been liberalized, reregulated and privatized in the last decade, around Europe autonomous companies determine the sectors’ CO2 emission. Short-term they adjust their operation, long-term they decide on (dis)investment in power generation facilities and technology selection. An agent-based model is presented to elucidate the effect of CET on the decisions of power companies in an oligopolistic market. Simulations over an extensive scenario-space show that there CET does have an impact. A long-term portfolio shift towards less-CO2 intensive power generation is observed. However, the effect of CET is relatively small and materializes late. The absolute emissions from power generation rise under most scenarios. This corresponds to the dominant character of current capacity expansion planned in the Netherlands (50%) and in Germany (68%), where companies have announced many new coal based power plants. Coal is the most CO2 intensive option available and it seems surprising that even after the introduction of CET these capacity expansion plans indicate a preference for coal. Apparently in power generation the economic effect of CO2 emission-trading is not sufficient to outweigh the economic incentives to choose for coal.

Load shedding enjoys increasing popularity as a way to reduce power consumption in buildings during hours of peak demand on the electricity grid. This practice has well known cost saving and reliability benefits for the grid, and the contracts utilities sign with their “interruptible” customers often pass on substantial electricity cost savings to participants. Less well-studied are the impacts of load shedding on building occupants, hence this study investigates those impacts on occupant comfort and adaptive behaviors. It documents experience in two office buildings located near Philadelphia (USA) that vary in terms of controllability and the set of adaptive actions available to occupants. An agent-based model (ABM) framework generalizes the case-study insights in a “what-if” format to support operational decision making by building managers and tenants. The framework, implemented in EnergyPlus and NetLogo, simulates occupants that have heterogeneous
thermal and lighting preferences. The simulated occupants pursue local adaptive actions such as adjusting clothing or using portable fans when central building controls are not responsive, and experience organizational constraints, including a corporate dress code and miscommunication with building managers. The model predicts occupant decisions to act fairly well but has limited ability to predict which specific adaptive actions occupants will select.

Peer reviewed Emergence of Organizations out of Garbage Can Dynamics

Guido Fioretti | Published Mon Apr 20 22:44:34 2020 | Last modified Sun Apr 26 12:54:56 2020

The Garbage Can Model of Organizational Choice (GCM) is a fundamental model of organizational decision-making originally propossed by J.D. Cohen, J.G. March and J.P. Olsen in 1972. In their model, decisions are made out of random meetings of decision-makers, opportunities, solutions and problems within an organization.
With this model, these very same agents are supposed to meet in society at large where they make decisions according to GCM rules. Furthermore, under certain additional conditions decision-makers, opportunities, solutions and problems form stable organizations. In this artificial ecology organizations are born, grow and eventually vanish with time.

We reconstruct Cohen, March and Olsen’s Garbage Can model of organizational choice as an agent-based model. We add another means for avoiding making decisions: buck-passing difficult problems to colleagues.

Peer reviewed Neighbor Influenced Energy Retrofit (NIER) agent-based model

Eric Boria | Published Fri Apr 3 02:19:28 2020

The NIER model is intended to add qualitative variables of building owner types and peer group scales to existing energy efficiency retrofit adoption models. The model was developed through a combined methodology with qualitative research, which included interviews with key stakeholders in Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan. The concepts that the NIER model adds to traditional economic feasibility studies of energy retrofit decision-making are differences in building owner types (reflecting strategies for managing buildings) and peer group scale (neighborhoods of various sizes and large-scale Districts). Insights from the NIER model include: large peer group comparisons can quickly raise the average energy efficiency values of Leader and Conformist building owner types, but leave Stigma-avoider owner types as unmotivated to retrofit; policy interventions such as upgrading buildings to energy-related codes at the point of sale can motivate retrofits among the lowest efficient buildings, which are predominantly represented by the Stigma-avoider type of owner; small neighborhood peer groups can successfully amplify normal retrofit incentives.

ALABAMA-ABM

Bartosz Bartkowski Michael Strauch | Published Wed Mar 4 09:08:10 2020

A simple model that aims to demonstrate the influence of agri-environmental payments on land-use patterns in a virtual landscape. The landscape consists of grassland (which can be managed extensively or intensively) and a river. Agri-environmental payments are provided for extensive management of grassland. Additionally, there are boni for (a) extensive grassland in proximity of the river; and (b) clusters (“agglomerations”) of extensive grassland. The farmers, who own randomly distributed grassland patches, make decisions either on the basis of simple income maximization or they maximize only up to an income threshold beyond which they seize making changes in management. The resulting landscape pattern is evaluated by means of three simple models for (a) agricultural yield, (b) habitat/biodiversity and (c) water quality. The latter two correspond to the two boni. The model has been developed within a small project called Aligning Agent-Based Modelling with Multi-Objective Land-Use Allocation (ALABAMA).

The rapid environmental changes currently underway in many dry regions of the world, and the deep uncertainty about their consequences, underscore a critical challenge for sustainability: how to maintain cooperation that ensures the provision of natural resources when the benefits of cooperating are variable, sometimes uncertain, and often limited. We present an agent-based model that simulates the economic decisions of households to engage, or not, in labor-sharing agreements under different scenarios of water supply, water variability, and socio-environmental risk. We formulate the model to investigate the consequences of environmental variability on the fate of labor-sharing agreements between farmers. The economic decisions were implemented in the framework of prospect theory.

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