Computational Model Library

The Urban Traffic Simulator is an agent-based model developed in the Unity platform. The model allows the user to simulate several autonomous vehicles (AVs) and tune granular parameters such as vehicle downforce, adherence to speed limits, top speed in mph and mass. The model allows researchers to tune these parameters, run the simulator for a given period and export data from the model for analysis (an example is provided in Jupyter Notebook).

The data the model is currently able to output are the following:

EMMIT is an end-user developed agent-based simulation of malaria transmission. The simulation’s development is a case study demonstrating an approach for non-technical investigators to easily develop useful simulations of complex public health problems. We focused on malaria transmission, a major global public health problem, and insecticide resistance (IR), a major problem affecting malaria control. Insecticides are used to reduce transmission of malaria caused by the Plasmodium parasite that is spread by the Anopheles mosquito. However, the emergence and spread of IR in a mosquito population can diminish the insecticide’s effectiveness. IR results from mutations that produce behavioral changes or biochemical changes (such as detoxification enhancement, target site alterations) in the mosquito population that provide resistance to the insecticide. Evolutionary selection for the IR traits reduces the effectiveness of an insecticide favoring the resistant mosquito population. It has been suggested that biopesticides, and specifically those that are Late Life Acting (LLA), could address this problem. LLA insecticides exploit Plasmodium’s approximate 10-day extrinsic incubation period in the mosquito vector, a delay that limits malaria transmission to older infected mosquitoes. Since the proposed LLA insecticide delays mosquito death until after the exposed mosquito has a chance to produce several broods of offspring, reducing the selective pressure for resistance, it delays IR development and gives the insecticide longer effectivity. Such insecticides are designed to slow the evolution of IR thus maintaining their effectiveness for malaria control. For the IR problem, EMMIT shows that an LLA insecticide could work as intended, but its operational characteristics are critical, primarily the mean-time-to-death after exposure and the associated standard deviation. We also demonstrate the simulation’s extensibility to other malaria control measures, including larval source control and policies to mitigate the spread of IR. The simulation was developed using NetLogo as a case study of a simple but useful approach to public health research.

Team Cognition

Iris Lorscheid | Published Sun May 23 14:25:17 2021

The teamCognition model investigates team decision processes by using an agent-based model to conceptualize team decisions as an emergent property. It uses a mixed-method research design with a laboratory experiment providing qualitative and quantitative input for the model’s construction, as well as data for an output validation of the model. The agent-based model is used as a computational testbed to contrast several processes of team decision making, representing potential, simplified mechanisms of how a team decision emerges. The increasing overall fit of the simulation and empirical results indicates that the modeled decision processes can at least partly explain the observed team decisions.

A generalized organizational agent- based model (ABM) containing both formal organizational hierarchy and informal social networks simulates organizational processes that occur over both formal network ties and informal networks.

This model implements a combined Protective Action Decision Model (PADM) and Protection Motivation Theory (PAM) model for human decision making regarding hazard mitigations. The model is developed and integrated into the MASON modeling framework. The ABM implements a hind-cast of Hurricane Sandy’s damage to Sea Bright, NJ and homeowner post-flood reconstruction decisions. It was validated against FEMA damage assessments and post-storm surveys (O’Neil 2017).

The Netlogo model is a conceptualization of the Moria refugee camp, capturing the household demographics of refugees in the camp, a theoretical friendship network based on values, and an abstraction of their daily activities. The model then simulates how Covid-19 could spread through the camp if one refugee is exposed to the virus, utilizing transmission probabilities and the stages of disease progression of Covid-19 from susceptible to exposed to asymptomatic / symptomatic to mild / severe to recovered from literature. The model also incorporates various interventions - PPE, lockdown, isolation of symptomatic refugees - to analyze how they could mitigate the spread of the virus through the camp.

The integrated and spatially-explicit ABM, called DIReC (Demography, Industry and Residential Choice), has been developed for Aberdeen City and the surrounding Aberdeenshire (Ge, Polhill, Craig, & Liu, 2018). The model includes demographic (individual and household) models, housing infrastructure and occupancy, neighbourhood quality and evolution, employment and labour market, business relocation, industrial structure, income distribution and macroeconomic indicators. DIReC includes a detailed spatial housing model, basing preference models on house attributes and multi-dimensional neighbourhood qualities (education, crime, employment etc.).
The dynamic ABM simulates the interactions between individuals, households, the labour market, businesses and services, neighbourhoods and economic structures. It is empirically grounded using multiple data sources, such as income and gender-age distribution across industries, neighbourhood attributes, business locations, and housing transactions. It has been used to study the impact of economic shocks and structural changes, such as the crash of oil price in 2014 (the Aberdeen economy heavily relies on the gas and oil sector) and the city’s transition from resource-based to a green economy (Ge, Polhill, Craig, & Liu, 2018).

Human Resource Management Parameter Experimentation Tool

Carmen Iasiello | Published Thu May 7 16:59:33 2020 | Last modified Thu Feb 25 01:34:02 2021

The agent based model presented here is an explicit instantiation of the Two-Factor Theory (Herzberg et al., 1959) of worker satisfaction and dissatisfaction. By utilizing agent-based modeling, it allows users to test the empirically found variations on the Two-Factor Theory to test its application to specific industries or organizations.

Iasiello, C., Crooks, A.T. and Wittman, S. (2020), The Human Resource Management Parameter Experimentation Tool, 2020 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling & Prediction and Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation, Washington DC.

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.

The purpose of the model is to collect information on human decision-making in the context of coalition formation games. The model uses a human-in-the-loop approach, and a single human is involved in each trial. All other agents are controlled by the ABMSCORE algorithm (Vernon-Bido and Collins 2020), which is an extension of the algorithm created by Collins and Frydenlund (2018). The glove game, a standard cooperative game, is used as the model scenario.

The intent of the game is to collection information on the human players behavior and how that compares to the computerized agents behavior. The final coalition structure of the game is compared to an ideal output (the core of the games).

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