Computational Model Library

An agent model is presented that aims to capture the impact of cheap talk on collective action in a commons dilemma. The commons dilemma is represented as a spatially explicit renewable resource. Agent’s trust in others impacts the speed and harvesting rate, and trust is impacted by observed harvesting behavior and cheap talk. We calibrated the model using experimental data (DeCaro et al. 2021). The best fit to the data consists of a population with a small frequency of altruistic and selfish agents, and mostly conditional cooperative agents sensitive to inequality and cheap talk. This calibrated model provides an empirical test of the behavioral theory of collective action of Elinor Ostrom and Humanistic Rational Choice Theory.

ABSOLUG - Agent-based simulation of land-use governance

Marius von Essen | Published Mon Jan 10 19:40:51 2022 | Last modified Tue Sep 6 08:24:53 2022

The agent-based simulation of land-use governance (ABSOLUG) is a NetLogo model designed to explore the interactions between stakeholders and the impact of multi-stakeholder governance approaches on tropical deforestation. The purpose of ABSOLUG is to advance our understanding of land use governance, identify macro-level patterns of interaction among governments, commodity producers, and NGOs in tropical deforestation frontiers, and to set a foundation for generating middle-range theories for multi-stakeholder governance approaches. The model represents a simplified, generic, tropical commodity production system, as opposed to a specific empirical case, and as such aims to generate interpretable macro-level patterns that are based on plausible, micro-level behavioral rules. It is designed for scientists interested in land use governance of tropical commodity production systems, and for decision- and policy-makers seeking to develop or enhance governance schemes in multi-stakeholder commodity systems.

Governing the commons

Marco Janssen | Published Tue Jan 14 17:12:29 2020 | Last modified Sun Jul 17 21:45:11 2022

Model on the use of shared renewable resources including impact of imitation via success-bias and altruistic punishment.
The model is discussed in Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling by Marco Janssen. For more information see

At the heart of a study of Social-Ecological Systems, this model is built by coupling together two independently developed models of social and ecological phenomena. The social component of the model is an abstract model of interactions of a governing agent and several user agents, where the governing agent aims to promote a particular behavior among the user agents. The ecological model is a spatial model of spread of the Mountain Pine Beetle in the forests of British Columbia, Canada. The coupled model allowed us to simulate various hypothetical management scenarios in a context of forest insect infestations. The social and ecological components of this model are developed in two different environments. In order to establish the connection between those components, this model is equipped with a ‘FlipFlop’ - a structure of storage directories and communication protocols which allows each of the models to process its inputs, send an output message to the other, and/or wait for an input message from the other, when necessary. To see the publications associated with the social and ecological components of this coupled model please see the References section.

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).

Digital social networks facilitate the opinion dynamics and idea flow and also provide reliable data to understand these dynamics. Public opinion and cooperation behavior are the key factors to determine the capacity of a successful and effective public policy. In particular, during the crises, such as the Corona virus pandemic, it is necessary to understand the people’s opinion toward a policy and the performance of the governance institutions. The problem of the mathematical explanation of the human behaviors is to simplify and bypass some of the essential process. To tackle this problem, we adopted a data-driven strategy to extract opinion and behavioral patterns from social media content to reflect the dynamics of society’s average beliefs toward different topics. We extracted important subtopics from social media contents and analyze the sentiments of users at each subtopic. Subsequently, we structured a Bayesian belief network to demonstrate the macro patters of the beliefs, opinions, information and emotions which trigger the response toward a prospective policy. We aim to understand the factors and latent factors which influence the opinion formation in the society. Our goal is to enhance the reality of the simulations. To capture the dynamics of opinions at an artificial society we apply agent-based opinion dynamics modeling. We intended to investigate practical implementation scenarios of this framework for policy analysis during Corona Virus Pandemic Crisis. The implemented modular modeling approach could be used as a flexible data-driven policy making tools to investigate public opinion in social media. The core idea is to put the opinion dynamics in the wider contexts of the collective decision-making, data-driven policy-modeling and digital democracy. We intended to use data-driven agent-based modeling as a comprehensive analysis tools to understand the collective opinion dynamics and decision making process on the social networks and uses this knowledge to utilize network-enabled policy modeling and collective intelligence platforms.

This model examines how financial and social top-down interventions interplay with the internal self-organizing dynamics of a fishing community. The aim is to transform from hierarchical fishbuyer-fisher relationship into fishing cooperatives.

System Narrative
How do rebel groups control territory and engage with the local economy during civil war? Charles Tilly’s seminal War and State Making as Organized Crime (1985) posits that the process of waging war and providing governance resembles that of a protection racket, in which aspiring governing groups will extort local populations in order to gain power, and civilians or businesses will pay in order to ensure their own protection. As civil war research increasingly probes the mechanisms that fuel local disputes and the origination of violence, we develop an agent-based simulation model to explore the economic relationship of rebel groups with local populations, using extortion racket interactions to explain the dynamics of rebel fighting, their impact on the economy, and the importance of their economic base of support. This analysis provides insights for understanding the causes and byproducts of rebel competition in present-day conflicts, such as the cases of South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

Model Description
The model defines two object types: RebelGroup and Enterprise. A RebelGroup is a group that competes for power in a system of anarchy, in which there is effectively no government control. An Enterprise is a local civilian-level actor that conducts business in this environment, whose objective is to make a profit. In this system, a RebelGroup may choose to extort money from Enterprises in order to support its fighting efforts. It can extract payments from an Enterprise, which fears for its safety if it does not pay. This adds some amount of money to the RebelGroup’s resources, and they can return to extort the same Enterprise again. The RebelGroup can also choose to loot the Enterprise instead. This results in gaining all of the Enterprise wealth, but prompts the individual Enterprise to flee, or leave the model. This reduces the available pool of Enterprises available to the RebelGroup for extortion. Following these interactions the RebelGroup can choose to AllocateWealth, or pay its rebel fighters. Depending on the value of its available resources, it can add more rebels or expel some of those which it already has, changing its size. It can also choose to expand over new territory, or effectively increase its number of potential extorting Enterprises. As a response to these dynamics, an Enterprise can choose to Report expansion to another RebelGroup, which results in fighting between the two groups. This system shows how, faced with economic choices, RebelGroups and Enterprises make decisions in war that impact conflict and violence outcomes.

In this paper we introduce an agent-based model of elections and government formation where voters do not have perfect knowledge about the parties’ ideological position. Although voters are boundedly rational, they are forward-looking in that they try to assess the likely impact of the different parties over the resulting government. Thus, their decision rules combine sincere and strategic voting: they form preferences about the different parties but deem some of them as inadmissible and try to block them from office. We find that the most stable and durable coalition governments emerge at intermediate levels of informational ambiguity. When voters have very poor information about the parties, their votes are scattered too widely, preventing the emergence of robust majorities. But also, voters with highly precise perceptions about the parties will cluster around tiny electoral niches with a similar aggregate effect.

Simulation of the Governance of Complex Systems

Fabian Adelt Johannes Weyer Robin D Fink Andreas Ihrig | Published Mon Dec 18 16:11:30 2017 | Last modified Fri Mar 2 09:37:16 2018

Simulation-Framework to study the governance of complex, network-like sociotechnical systems by means of ABM. Agents’ behaviour is based on a sociological model of action. A set of basic governance mechanisms helps to conduct first experiments.

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