Computational Model Library

Schelling famously proposed an extremely simple but highly illustrative social mechanism to understand how strong ethnic segregation could arise in a world where individuals do not necessarily want it. Schelling’s simple computational model is the starting point for our extensions in which we build upon Wilensky’s original NetLogo implementation of this model. Our two NetLogo models can be best studied while reading our chapter “Agent-based Computational Models” (Flache and de Matos Fernandes, 2021 [forthcoming]). In the chapter, we propose 10 best practices to elucidate how agent-based models are a unique method for providing and analyzing formally precise, and empirically plausible mechanistic explanations of puzzling social phenomena, such as segregation, in the social world. Our chapter addresses in particular analytical sociologists who are new to ABMs.

In the first model (SegregationExtended), we build on Wilensky’s implementation of Schelling’s model which is available in NetLogo library (Wilensky, 1997). We considerably extend this model, allowing in particular to include larger neighborhoods and a population with four groups roughly resembling the ethnic composition of a contemporary large U.S. city. Further features added concern the possibility to include random noise, and the addition of a number of new outcome measures tuned to highlight macro-level implications of the segregation dynamics for different groups in the agent society.

In SegregationDiscreteChoice, we further modify the model incorporating in particular three new features: 1) heterogeneous preferences roughly based on empirical research categorizing agents into low, medium, and highly tolerant within each of the ethnic subgroups of the population, 2) we drop global thresholds (%-similar-wanted) and introduce instead a continuous individual-level single-peaked preference function for agents’ ideal neighborhood composition, and 3) we use a discrete choice model according to which agents probabilistically decide whether to move to a vacant spot or stay in the current spot by comparing the attractiveness of both locations based on the individual preference functions.

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.

Social norms and the dominance of Low-doers

Antonio Franco | Published Wed Jul 13 09:24:37 2016 | Last modified Sun Dec 2 04:25:41 2018

The code for the paper “Social norms and the dominance of Low-doers”

Growing Unpopular Norms. A Network-Situated ABM of Norm Choice.

C Merdes | Published Tue Nov 22 21:11:26 2016 | Last modified Sat Mar 17 18:41:43 2018

The model’s purpose is to provide a potential explanation for the emergence, sustenance and decline of unpopular norms based on pluralistic ignorance on a social network.

The model represents an archetypical fishery in a co-evolutionary social-ecological environment, capturing different dimensions of trust between fishers and fish buyers for the establishment and persistence of self-governance arrangements.

Multi Asset Variable Network Stock Market Model

Matthew Oldham | Published Mon Sep 12 18:10:04 2016 | Last modified Tue Oct 10 17:50:03 2017

An artifcal stock market model that allows users to vary the number of risky assets as well as the network topology that investors forms in an attempt to understand the dynamics of the market.

Micro-level Adaptation, Macro-level Selection, and the Dynamics of Market Partitioning

Cesar Garcia-Diaz | Published Mon Oct 19 22:49:01 2015 | Last modified Mon Oct 19 22:56:39 2015

This model simulates the emergence of a dual market structure from firm-level interaction. Firms are profit-seeking, and demand is represented by a unimodal distribution of consumers along a set of taste positions.

A Complex Model of Voter Turnout

Bruce Edmonds Laurence Lessard-Phillips Ed Fieldhouse | Published Mon Oct 13 09:35:26 2014 | Last modified Tue Aug 18 15:20:53 2015

This is a complex “Data Integration Model”, following a “KIDS” rather than a “KISS” methodology - guided by the available evidence. It looks at the complex mix of social processes that may determine why people vote or not.

The (cultural) evolution of cooperative breeding in harsh environments.

In-group favoritism due to friend selection strategies based on fixed tag and within-group reputation

Yutaka Nakai | Published Fri Mar 28 12:34:55 2014 | Last modified Fri Mar 28 12:41:40 2014

An agent-based model simulates emergence of in-group favoritism. Agents adopt friend selection strategies using an invariable tag and reputations meaning how cooperative others are to a group. The reputation can be seen as a kind of public opinion.

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