Computational Model Library

This model was developed to test the usability of evolutionary computing and reinforcement learning by extending a well known agent-based model. Sugarscape (Epstein & Axtell, 1996) has been used to demonstrate migration, trade, wealth inequality, disease processes, sex, culture, and conflict. It is on conflict that this model is focused to demonstrate how machine learning methodologies could be applied.

The code is based on the Sugarscape 2 Constant Growback model, availble in the NetLogo models library. New code was added into the existing model while removing code that was not needed and modifying existing code to support the changes. Support for the original movement rule was retained while evolutionary computing, Q-Learning, and SARSA Learning were added.

Port of Mars simplified

Marco Janssen | Published Tue Jan 14 17:02:08 2020

This is a simulation model to explore possible outcomes of the Port of Mars cardgame. Port of Mars is a resource allocation game examining how people navigate conflicts between individual goals and common interests relative to shared resources. The game involves five players, each of whom must decide how much of their time and effort to invest in maintaining public infrastructure and renewing shared resources and how much to expend in pursuit of their individual goals. In the game, “Upkeep” is a number that represents the physical health of the community. This number begins at 100 and goes down by twenty-five points each round, representing resource consumption and wear and tear on infrastructure. If that number reaches zero, the community collapses and everyone dies.

AMBAWA simulates the flows of biomass between crop and livestock systems at the field, farm, and village scales in order to showcase innovating management practices of soil fertility in West Africa.

Lethal Geometry

Kristin Crouse | Published Fri Feb 21 11:27:16 2020

Lethal Geometry examines the relationship between territory size and intergroup mortality risk under realistic assumptions. Furthermore, the model investigates how fertility is affected by this relationship. Territory sizes are expected to fluctuate over time in response to individual reproduction, random-walking, and lethal intergroup encounters. In turn, the individuals within these territories are expected to vary in their mortality and fertility rates.

Peer reviewed MigrAgent

Rocco Paolillo Wander Jager | Published Fri Oct 5 09:59:44 2018 | Last modified Wed Nov 28 14:03:41 2018

MigrAgent simulates migration flows of a population from a home country to a host country and mutual adaptation of a migrant and local population post-migration. Agents accept interactions in intercultural networks depending on their degree of conservatism. Conservatism is a group-level parameter normally distributed within each ethnic group. Individual conservatism changes as function of reciprocity of interaction in intergroup experiences of acceptance or rejection.

The aim of MigrAgent is to unfold different outcomes of integration, assimilation, separation and marginalization in terms of networks as effect of different degrees of conservatism in each group and speed of migration flows.

This model represents an agent-based social simulation for citizenship competences. In this model people interact by solving different conflicts and a conflict is solved or not considering two possible escenarios: when individual citizenship competences are considered and when not. In both cases the TKI conflict resolution styles are considered. Each conflict has associated a competence and the information about the conflicts and their competences is retrieved from an ontology which was developed in Protégé. To do so, a NetLogo extension was developed using the Java programming language and the JENA API (to make queries over the ontology).

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.

We present a network agent-based model of ethnocentrism and intergroup cooperation in which agents from two groups (majority and minority) change their communality (feeling of group solidarity), cooperation strategy and social ties, depending on a barrier of “likeness” (affinity). Our purpose was to study the model’s capability for describing how the mechanisms of preexisting markers (or “tags”) that can work as cues for inducing in-group bias, imitation, and reaction to non-cooperating agents, lead to ethnocentrism or intergroup cooperation and influence the formation of the network of mixed ties between agents of different groups. We explored the model’s behavior via four experiments in which we studied the combined effects of “likeness,” relative size of the minority group, degree of connectivity of the social network, game difficulty (strength) and relative frequencies of strategy revision and structural adaptation. The parameters that have a stronger influence on the emerging dominant strategies and the formation of mixed ties in the social network are the group-tag barrier, the frequency with which agents react to adverse partners, and the game difficulty. The relative size of the minority group also plays a role in increasing the percentage of mixed ties in the social network. This is consistent with the intergroup ties being dependent on the “arena” of contact (with progressively stronger barriers from e.g. workmates to close relatives), and with measures that hinder intergroup contact also hindering mutual cooperation.

This study investigates a possible nexus between inter-group competition and intra-group cooperation, which may be called “tribalism.” Building upon previous studies demonstrating a relationship between the environment and social relations, the present research incorporates a social-ecological model as a mediating factor connecting both individuals and communities to the environment. Cyclical and non-cyclical fluctuation in a simple, two-resource ecology drive agents to adopt either “go-it-alone” or group-based survival strategies via evolutionary selection. Novelly, this simulation employs a multilevel selection model allowing group-level dynamics to exert downward selective pressures on individuals’ propensity to cooperate within groups. Results suggest that cooperation and inter-group conflict are co-evolved in a triadic relationship with the environment. Resource scarcity increases inter-group competition, especially when resources are clustered as opposed to widely distributed. Moreover, the tactical advantage of cooperation in the securing of clustered resources enhanced selective pressure on cooperation, even if that implies increased individual mortality for the most altruistic warriors. Troubling, these results suggest that extreme weather, possibly as a result of climate change, could exacerbate conflict in sensitive, weather-dependent social-ecologies—especially places like the Horn of Africa where ecologically sensitive economic modalities overlap with high-levels of diversity and the wide-availability of small arms. As well, global development and foreign aid strategists should consider how plans may increase the value of particular locations where community resources are built or aid is distributed, potentially instigating tribal conflict. In sum, these factors, interacting with pre-existing social dynamics dynamics, may heighten inter-ethnic or tribal conflict in pluralistic but otherwise peaceful communities.

For special issue submission in JASSS.

RefugeePathSIM Model

Guillaume Arnoux Hébert Liliana Perez Saeed Harati | Published Thu Oct 11 20:00:29 2018 | Last modified Tue Oct 16 17:02:24 2018

RefugeePathSIM is an agent-based model to simulate the movement behavior of refugees in order to identify pathways of forced migration under crisis. The model generates migrants and lets them leave conflict areas for a destination that they choose based on their characteristics and desires. RefugeePathSIM has been developed and applied in a study of the Syrian war, using monthly data in years 2011-2015.

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