Computational Model Library

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How do bots influence beliefs on social media? Why do beliefs propagated by social bots spread far and wide, yet does their direct influence appear to be limited?

This model extends Axelrod’s model for the dissemination of culture (1997), with a social bot agent–an agent who only sends information and cannot be influenced themselves. The basic network is a ring network with N agents connected to k nearest neighbors. The agents have a cultural profile with F features and Q traits per feature. When two agents interact, the sending agent sends the trait of a randomly chosen feature to the receiving agent, who adopts this trait with a probability equal to their similarity. To this network, we add a bot agents who is given a unique trait on the first feature and is connected to a proportion of the agents in the model equal to ‘bot-connectedness’. At each timestep, the bot is chosen to spread one of its traits to its neighbors with a probility equal to ‘bot-activity’.

The main finding in this model is that, generally, bot activity and bot connectedness are both negatively related to the success of the bot in spreading its unique message, in equilibrium. The mechanism is that very active and well connected bots quickly influence their direct contacts, who then grow too dissimilar from the bot’s indirect contacts to quickly, preventing indirect influence. A less active and less connected bot leaves more space for indirect influence to occur, and is therefore more successful in the long run.

Peer reviewed AgentEx-Meta

Nanda Wijermans Helen Fischer | Published Friday, October 28, 2022

The purpose of the study is to unpack and explore a potentially beneficial role of sharing metacognitive information within a group when making repeated decisions about common pool resource (CPR) use.

We explore the explanatory power of sharing metacognition by varying (a) the individual errors in judgement (myside-bias); (b) the ways of reaching a collective judgement (metacognition-dependent), (c) individual knowledge updating (metacognition- dependent) and d) the decision making context.

The model (AgentEx-Meta) represents an extension to an existing and validated model reflecting behavioural CPR laboratory experiments (Schill, Lindahl & Crépin, 2015; Lindahl, Crépin & Schill, 2016). AgentEx-Meta allows us to systematically vary the extent to which metacognitive information is available to agents, and to explore the boundary conditions of group benefits of metacognitive information.

This model is intended to study the way information is collectively managed (i.e. shared, collected, processed, and stored) in a system and how it performs during a crisis or disaster. Performance is assessed in terms of the system’s ability to provide the information needed to the actors who need it when they need it. There are two main types of actors in the simulation, namely communities and professional responders. Their ability to exchange information is crucial to improve the system’s performance as each of them has direct access to only part of the information they need.

In a nutshell, the following occurs during a simulation. Due to a disaster, a series of randomly occurring disruptive events takes place. The actors in the simulation need to keep track of such events. Specifically, each event generates information needs for the different actors, which increases the information gaps (i.e. the “piles” of unaddressed information needs). In order to reduce the information gaps, the actors need to “discover” the pieces of information they need. The desired behavior or performance of the system is to keep the information gaps as low as possible, which is to address as many information needs as possible as they occur.

The main function of this simulation model is to simulate the onset of individual panic in the context of a public health event, and in particular to simulate how an individual’s panic develops and dies out in the context of a dual information contact network of online social media information and offline in-person perception information. In this model, eight different scenarios are set up by adjusting key parameters according to the difference in the amount and nature of information circulating in the dual information network, in order to observe how the agent’s panic behavior will change under different information exposure situations.

A fisher directed management system was describeded by Hart (2021). It was proposed that fishers should only be allowed to exploit a resource if they collaborated in a resource management system for which they would own and be collectively responsible for. As part of the system fishers would need to follow the rules of exploitation set by the group and provide a central unit with data with which to monitor the fishery. Any fisher not following the rules would at first be fined but eventually expelled from the fishery if he/she continued to act selfishly. This version of the model establishes the dynamics of a fleet of vessels and controls overfishing by imposing fines on fishers whose income is low and who are tempted to keep fishing beyond the set quota which is established each year depending on the abundance of the fish stock. This version will later be elaborated to have interactions between the fishers including pressure to comply with the norms set by the group and which could lead to a stable management system.

Residents planned behaviour of waste sorting to explore urban situations

Jonathan Edgardo Cohen | Published Wednesday, June 07, 2023 | Last modified Thursday, March 14, 2024

Municipal waste management (MWM) is essential for urban development. Efficient waste management is essential for providing a healthy and clean environment, for reducing GHGs and for increasing the amount of material recycled. Waste separation at source is perceived as an effective MWM strategy that relays on the behaviour of citizens to separate their waste in different fractions. The strategy is straightforward, and many cities have adopted the strategy or are working to implement it. However, the success of such strategy depends on adequate understanding of the drivers of the behaviour of proper waste sorting. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) has been extensively applied to explain the behaviour of waste sorting and contributes to determining the importance of different psychological constructs. Although, evidence shows its validity in different contexts, without exploring how urban policies and the built environment affect the TPB, its application to urban challenges remains unlocked. To date, limited research has focused in exposing how different urban situations such as: distance to waste bins, conditions of recycling facilities or information campaigns affect the planned behaviour of waste separation. To fill this gap, an agent-based model (ABM) of residents capable of planning the behaviour of waste separation is developed. The study is a proof of concept that shows how the TPB can be combined with simulations to provide useful insights to evaluate different urban planning situations. In this paper we depart from a survey to capture TPB constructs, then Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) is used to validate the TPB hypothesis and extract the drivers of the behaviour of waste sorting. Finally, the development of the ABM is detailed and the drivers of the TPB are used to determine how the residents behave. A low-density and a high-density urban scenario are used to extract policy insights. In conclusion, the integration between the TPB into ABMs can help to bridge the knowledge gap between can provide a useful insight to analysing and evaluating waste management scenarios in urban areas. By better understanding individual waste sorting behaviour, we can develop more effective policies and interventions to promote sustainable waste management practices.

The model explores the impact of public disclosure on tax compliance among diverse agents, including individual taxpayers and a tax authority. It incorporates heterogeneous preferences and income endowments among taxpayers, captured through a utility function that considers psychic costs subtracted from expected pecuniary utility. These costs include moral, reciprocity, and stigma costs associated with norm violations, leading to variations in taxpayers’ risk attitudes and related parameters. The tax authority’s attributes, such as the frequency of random audits, penalty rate, and the choice between partial or full disclosure, remain fixed throughout the simulation. Income endowments and preference parameters are randomly assigned to taxpayers at the outset.

Taxpayers maximize their expected utility by reporting income, taking into account tax, penalty, and audit rates. They make annual decisions based on their own and their peers’ behaviors from the previous year. Taxpayers indirectly interact at the societal level through public disclosure conducted by the tax authority, exchanging tax information among peers. Each period in the simulation collects data on total reported income, average compliance rates per income group, distribution of compliance rates, counts of compliers, full evaders, partial evaders, and the numbers of taxpayers experiencing guilt and anger. The model evaluates whether public disclosure positively or negatively impacts compliance rates and quantifies this impact based on aggregated individual reporting behaviors.

Abstract: The notion of physical space has long been central in geographical theories. However, the widespread adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has freed human dynamics from purely physical to also relational and cyber spaces. While researchers increasingly recognize such shifts, rarely have studies examined how the information propagates in these hybrid spaces (i.e., physical, relational, and cyber). By exploring the vaccine opinion dynamics through agent-based modeling, this study is the first that combines all hybrid spaces and explores their distinct impacts on human dynamics from an individual’s perspective. Our model captures the temporal dynamics of vaccination progress with small errors (MAE=2.45). Our results suggest that all hybrid spaces are indispensable in vaccination decision making. However, in our model, most of the agents tend to give more emphasis to the information that is spread in the physical instead of other hybrid spaces. Our study not only sheds light on human dynamics research but also offers a new lens to identifying vaccinated individuals which has long been challenging in disease-spread models. Furthermore, our study also provides responses for practitioners to develop vaccination outreach policies and plan for future outbreaks.

Viable North Sea (ViNoS) is an Agent-based Model of the German North Sea Small-scale Fisheries in a Social-Ecological Systems framework focussing on the adaptive behaviour of fishers facing regulatory, economic, and resource changes. Small-scale fisheries are an important part both of the cultural perception of the German North Sea coast and of its fishing industry. These fisheries are typically family-run operations that use smaller boats and traditional fishing methods to catch a variety of bottom-dwelling species, including plaice, sole, and brown shrimp. Fisheries in the North Sea face area competition with other uses of the sea – long practiced ones like shipping, gas exploration and sand extractions, and currently increasing ones like marine protection and offshore wind farming. German authorities have just released a new maritime spatial plan implementing the need for 30% of protection areas demanded by the United Nations High Seas Treaty and aiming at up to 70 GW of offshore wind power generation by 2045. Fisheries in the North Sea also have to adjust to the northward migration of their established resources following the climate heating of the water. And they have to re-evaluate their economic balance by figuring in the foreseeable rise in oil price and the need for re-investing into their aged fleet.

Criminal organizations operate in complex changing environments. Being flexible and dynamic allows criminal networks not only to exploit new illicit opportunities but also to react to law enforcement attempts at disruption, enhancing the persistence of these networks over time. Most studies investigating network disruption have examined organizational structures before and after the arrests of some actors but have disregarded groups’ adaptation strategies.
MADTOR simulates drug trafficking and dealing activities by organized criminal groups and their reactions to law enforcement attempts at disruption. The simulation relied on information retrieved from a detailed court order against a large-scale Italian drug trafficking organization (DTO) and from the literature.
The results showed that the higher the proportion of members arrested, the greater the challenges for DTOs, with higher rates of disrupted organizations and long-term consequences for surviving DTOs. Second, targeting members performing specific tasks had different impacts on DTO resilience: targeting traffickers resulted in the highest rates of DTO disruption, while targeting actors in charge of more redundant tasks (e.g., retailers) had smaller but significant impacts. Third, the model examined the resistance and resilience of DTOs adopting different strategies in the security/efficiency trade-off. Efficient DTOs were more resilient, outperforming secure DTOs in terms of reactions to a single, equal attempt at disruption. Conversely, secure DTOs were more resistant, displaying higher survival rates than efficient DTOs when considering the differentiated frequency and effectiveness of law enforcement interventions on DTOs having different focuses in the security/efficiency trade-off.
Overall, the model demonstrated that law enforcement interventions are often critical events for DTOs, with high rates of both first intention (i.e., DTOs directly disrupted by the intervention) and second intention (i.e., DTOs terminating their activities due to the unsustainability of the intervention’s short-term consequences) culminating in dismantlement. However, surviving DTOs always displayed a high level of resilience, with effective strategies in place to react to threatening events and to continue drug trafficking and dealing.

Displaying 10 of 172 results information clear

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