Computational Model Library

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.

Peer reviewed Multilevel Group Selection I

Garry Sotnik | Published Tue Apr 21 18:07:27 2020 | Last modified Tue Apr 28 03:46:31 2020

The Multilevel Group Selection I (MGS I) model simulates a population of contributing and non-contributing agents, competing on a social landscape for higher-value spots in an effort to withstand some selection pressure. It may be useful to both scientists and students in hypothesis testing, theory development, or more generally in understanding multilevel group selection.

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 model simulates the decisions of residents and a water authority to respond to socio-hydrological hazards. Residents from neighborhoods are located in a landscape with topographic complexity and two problems: water scarcity in the peripheral neighborhoods at high altitude and high risk of flooding in the lowlands, at the core of the city. The role of the water authority is to decide where investments in infrastructure should be allocated to reduce the risk to water scarcity and flooding events in the city, and these decisions are made via a multi-objective site selection procedure. This procedure accounts for the interdependencies and feedback between the urban landscape and a policy scenario that defines the importance, or priorities, that the authority places on four criteria.
Neighborhoods respond to the water authority decisions by protesting against the lack of investment and the level of exposure to water scarcity and flooding. Protests thus simulate a form of feedback between local-level outcomes (flooding and water scarcity) and higher-level decision-making. Neighborhoods at high altitude are more likely to be exposed to water scarcity and lack infrastructure, whereas neighborhoods in the lowlands tend to suffer from recurrent flooding. The frequency of flooding is also a function of spatially uniform rainfall events. Likewise, neighborhoods at the periphery of the urban landscape lack infrastructure and suffer from chronic risk of water scarcity.
The model simulates the coupling between the decision-making processes of institutional actors, socio-political processes and infrastructure-related hazards. In the documentation, we describe details of the implementation in NetLogo, the description of the procedures, scheduling, and the initial conditions of the landscape and the neighborhoods.
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1414052, CNH: The Dynamics of Multi-Scalar Adaptation in Megacities (PI Hallie Eakin).

Peer reviewed Population Genetics

Kristin Crouse | Published Thu Feb 8 22:07:51 2018 | Last modified Mon Feb 24 17:26:22 2020

This model simulates the mechanisms of evolution, or how allele frequencies change in a population over time.

Peer reviewed Dawkins Weasel

Kristin Crouse | Published Thu Feb 8 20:23:22 2018 | Last modified Tue Feb 4 04:57:14 2020

Dawkins’ Weasel is a NetLogo model that illustrates the principle of evolution by natural selection. It is inspired by a thought experiment presented by Richard Dawkins in his book The Blind Watchmaker (1996).

Peer reviewed B3GET

Kristin Crouse | Published Thu Nov 14 20:07:16 2019 | Last modified Tue Nov 19 17:42:04 2019

B3GET simulates populations of virtual organisms evolving over generations, whose evolutionary outcomes reflect the selection pressures of their environment. The model simulates several factors considered important in biology, including life history trade-offs, investment in fighting ability and aggression, sperm competition, infanticide, and competition over access to food and mates. Downloaded materials include a starting genotype and population files. Edit the these files and see what changes occur in the behavior of virtual populations!

00b SimEvo_V5.08 NetLogo

Garvin Boyle | Published Sat Oct 5 08:29:38 2019

In 1985 Dr Michael Palmiter, a high school teacher, first built a very innovative agent-based model called “Simulated Evolution” which he used for teaching the dynamics of evolution. In his model, students can see the visual effects of evolution as it proceeds right in front of their eyes. Using his schema, small linear changes in the agent’s genotype have an exponential effect on the agent’s phenotype. Natural selection therefore happens quickly and effectively. I have used his approach to managing the evolution of competing agents in a variety of models that I have used to study the fundamental dynamics of sustainable economic systems. For example, here is a brief list of some of my models that use “Palmiter Genes”:
- ModEco - Palmiter genes are used to encode negotiation strategies for setting prices;
- PSoup - Palmiter genes are used to control both motion and metabolic evolution;
- TpLab - Palmiter genes are used to study the evolution of belief systems;
- EffLab - Palmiter genes are used to study Jevon’s Paradox, EROI and other things.

Cultural Group Selection of Sustainable Institutions

Timothy Waring Sandra H Goff Paul Smaldino | Published Wed Jun 10 17:38:06 2015 | Last modified Tue Aug 4 14:14:05 2015

We develop a spatial, evolutionary model of the endogenous formation and dissolution of groups using a renewable common pool resource. We use this foundation to measure the evolutionary pressures at different organizational levels.

The Palaeo-Agulhas Plain formed an important habitat exploited by Pleistocene hunter-gatherer populations during periods of lower sea level. This productive, grassy habitat would have supported numerous large-bodied ungulates accessible to a population of skilled hunters with the right hunting technology. It also provided a potentially rich location for plant food collection, and along its shores a coastline that moved with the rise and fall of sea levels. The rich archaeological and paleontological records of Pleistocene sites along the modern Cape south coast of South Africa, which would have overlooked the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain during Pleistocene times of lower sea level, provides a paleoarchive of this extinct ecosystem. In this paper, we present a first order illustration of the “palaeoscape modeling” approach advocated by Marean et al. (2015). We use a resourcescape model created from modern studies of habitat productivity without the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain. This is equivalent to predominant Holocene conditions. We then run an agent-based model of the human foraging system to investigate several research questions. Our agent-based approach uses the theoretical framework of optimal foraging theory to model human foraging decisions designed to optimize the net caloric gains within a complex landscape of spatially and temporally variable resources. We find that during the high sea-levels of MIS 5e (+5-6 m asl) and the Holocene, the absence of the Plain left a relatively poor food base supporting a much smaller population relying heavily on edible plant resources from the current Cape flora. Despite high species diversity of plants with edible storage organs, and marine invertebrates, encounter rates with highly profitable resources were low. We demonstrate that without the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain, human populations must have been small and low density, and exploited plant, mammal, and marine resources with relatively low caloric returns. The exposure and contraction of the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain was likely the single biggest driver of behavioral change during periods of climate change through the Pleistocene and into the transition to the Holocene.

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