Computational Model Library

This project combines game theory and genetic algorithms in a simulation model for evolutionary learning and strategic behavior. It is often observed in the real world that strategic scenarios change over time, and deciding agents need to adapt to new information and environmental structures. Yet, game theory models often focus on static games, even for dynamic and temporal analyses. This simulation model introduces a heuristic procedure that enables these changes in strategic scenarios with Genetic Algorithms. Using normalized 2x2 strategic-form games as input, computational agents can interact and make decisions using three pre-defined decision rules: Nash Equilibrium, Hurwicz Rule, and Random. The games then are allowed to change over time as a function of the agent’s behavior through crossover and mutation. As a result, strategic behavior can be modeled in several simulated scenarios, and their impacts and outcomes can be analyzed, potentially transforming conflictual situations into harmony.

Evolutionary Model of Subculture Choice

Diogo Alves | Published Mon Dec 19 15:15:11 2022

This is an original model of (sub)culture diffusion.
It features a set of agents (dubbed “partygoers”) organized initially in clusters, having properties such as age and a chromosome of opinions about 6 different topics. The partygoers interact with a set of cultures (also having a set of opinions subsuming those of its members), in the sense of refractory or unhappy members of each setting about to find a new culture and trading information encoded in the genetic string (originally encoded as -1, 0, and 1, resp. a negative, neutral, and positive opinion about each of the 6 traits/aspects, e.g. the use of recreational drugs). There are 5 subcultures that both influence (through the aforementioned genetic operations of mutation and recombination of chromosomes simulating exchange of opinions) and are influenced by its members (since a group is a weighted average of the opinions and actions of its constituents). The objective of this feedback loop is to investigate under which conditions certain subculture sizes emerge, but the model is open to many other kinds of explorations as well.

Peer reviewed HyperMu’NmGA - Effect of Hypermutation Cycles in a NetLogo Minimal Genetic Algorithm

Cosimo Leuci | Published Tue Oct 27 21:15:40 2020 | Last modified Sun Jul 31 09:08:14 2022

A minimal genetic algorithm was previously developed in order to solve an elementary arithmetic problem. It has been modified to explore the effect of a mutator gene and the consequent entrance into a hypermutation state. The phenomenon seems relevant in some types of tumorigenesis and in a more general way, in cells and tissues submitted to chronic sublethal environmental or genomic stress.
For a long time, some scholars suppose that organisms speed up their own evolution by varying mutation rate, but evolutionary biologists are not convinced that evolution can select a mechanism promoting more (often harmful) mutations looking forward to an environmental challenge.
The model aims to shed light on these controversial points of view and it provides also the features required to check the role of sex and genetic recombination in the mutator genes diffusion.

Cooperation is essential for all domains of life. Yet, ironically, it is intrinsically vulnerable to exploitation by cheats. Hence, an explanatory necessity spurs many evolutionary biologists to search for mechanisms that could support cooperation. In general, cooperation can emerge and be maintained when cooperators are sufficiently interacting with themselves. This communication provides a kind of assortment and reciprocity. The most crucial and common mechanisms to achieve that task are kin selection, spatial structure, and enforcement (punishment). Here, we used agent-based simulation models to investigate these pivotal mechanisms against conditional defector strategies. We concluded that the latter could easily violate the former and take over the population. This surprising outcome may urge us to rethink the evolution of cooperation, as it illustrates that maintaining cooperation may be more difficult than previously thought. Moreover, empirical applications may support these theoretical findings, such as invading the cooperator population of pathogens by genetically engineered conditional defectors, which could be a potential therapy for many incurable diseases.

This NetLogo model simulates trait-based biotic responses to climate change in an environmentally heterogeneous continent in an evolving clade, the species of which are each represented by local populations that disperse and interbreed; they also are subject to selection, genetic drift, and local extirpation. We simulated mammalian herbivores, whose success depends on tooth crown height, vegetation type, precipitation and grit. This model investigates the role of dispersal, selection, extirpation, and other factors contribute to resilience under three climate change scenarios.

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).

This model is designed to address the following research question: How does the amount and topology of intergroup cultural transmission modulate the effect of local group extinction on selectively neutral cultural diversity in a geographically structured population? The experimental design varies group extinction rate, the amount of intergroup cultural transmission, and the topology of intergroup cultural transmission while measuring the effects of local group extinction on long-term cultural change and regional cultural differentiation in a constant-size, spatially structured population. The results show that for most of the intergroup social network topologies tested here, increasing the amount of intergroup cultural transmission (similar to increasing gene flow in a genetic model) erases the negative effect of local group extinction on selectively neutral cultural diversity. The stochastic (i.e., preference attachment) network seems to stand out as an exception.

Peer reviewed Evolution of Sex

Kristin Crouse | Published Sun Jun 5 08:24:01 2016 | Last modified Mon Feb 15 15:40:39 2021

Evolution of Sex is a NetLogo model that illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of sexual and asexual reproductive strategies. It seeks to demonstrate the answer to the question “Why do we have sex?”

Change and Senescence

André Martins | Published Tue Nov 10 20:28:59 2020

Agers and non-agers agent compete over a spatial landscape. When two agents occupy the same grid, who will survive is decided by a random draw where chances of survival are proportional to fitness. Agents have offspring each time step who are born at a distance b from the parent agent and the offpring inherits their genetic fitness plus a random term. Genetic fitness decreases with time, representing environmental change but effective non-inheritable fitness can increase as animals learn and get bigger.

Peer reviewed MGA - Minimal Genetic Algorithm

Cosimo Leuci | Published Tue Sep 3 07:52:29 2019 | Last modified Thu Jan 30 08:42:08 2020

Genetic algorithms try to solve a computational problem following some principles of organic evolution. This model has educational purposes; it can give us an answer to the simple arithmetic problem on how to find the highest natural number composed by a given number of digits. We approach the task using a genetic algorithm, where the candidate solutions to the problem are represented by agents, that in logo programming environment are usually known as “turtles”.

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