Computational Model Library

This paper introduces an experimental and exploratory approach, combining game theory and Genetic Algorithms to create a model to simulate evolutionary economic learning. The objective of this paper is to document the implementation of a genetic algorithm as a simulator for economic learning, then analyze how strategic behavior affects the evolution towards optimal outcomes, departing from different starting points and potentially transforming conflict into harmonious scenarios. For this purpose, the introduced construct aimed at allowing for the evaluation of different strategy selection methods and game types. 144 unique 2x2 games, and three distinct strategy selection rules: Nash equilibrium, Hurwicz rule and a Random selection method were used in this study. The particularity of this paper is that rather than changing the strategies themselves or player-specific features, the introduced genetic algorithm changes the games based on the player payoffs. The outcome indicated optimal player scenarios for both The Nash equilibrium and Hurwicz rules strategies, the first being the best performing strategy. The random selection method fails to converge to optimal values in most of the populations, acting as a control feature and reinforcing that strategic behavior is necessary for the evolutionary learning process. We documented also two additional observations. First, the games are often transformed in such a way that agents can coordinate their strategies to achieve a stable optimal equilibrium. And second, we observed the mutation of the populations of games into sets of fewer (repeating) isomorphic games featuring strong characteristics of previous games.

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). 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.

Peer reviewed Agent-based model to simulate equilibria and regime shifts emerged in lake ecosystems

no contributors listed | Published Tue Jan 25 11:53:47 2022

(An empty output folder named “NETLOGOexperiment” in the same location with the LAKEOBS_MIX.nlogo file is required before the model can be run properly)
The model is motivated by regime shifts (i.e. abrupt and persistent transition) revealed in the previous paleoecological study of Taibai Lake. The aim of this model is to improve a general understanding of the mechanism of emergent nonlinear shifts in complex systems. Prelimnary calibration and validation is done against survey data in MLYB lakes. Dynamic population changes of function groups can be simulated and observed on the Netlogo interface.
Main functional groups in lake ecosystems were modelled as super-individuals in a space where they interact with each other. They are phytoplankton, zooplankton, submerged macrophyte, planktivorous fish, herbivorous fish and piscivorous fish. The relationships between these functional groups include predation (e.g. zooplankton-phytoplankton), competition (phytoplankton-macrophyte) and protection (macrophyte-zooplankton). Each individual has properties in size, mass, energy, and age as physiological variables and reproduce or die according to predefined criteria. A system dynamic model was integrated to simulate external drivers.
Set biological and environmental parameters using the green sliders first. If the data of simulation are to be logged, set “Logdata” as true and input the name of the file you want the spreadsheet(.csv) to be called. You will need create an empty folder called “NETLOGOexperiment” in the same level and location with the LAKEOBS_MIX.nlogo file. Press “setup” to initialise the system and “go” to start life cycles.

An agent-based model for the diffusion of innovations with multiple characteristics and price-premiums

In this model, the spread of a virus disease in a network consisting of school pupils, employed, and umemployed people is simulated. The special feature in this model is the distinction between different types of links: family-, friends-, school-, or work-links. In this way, different governmental measures can be implemented in order to decelerate or stop the transmission.

Both models simulate n-person prisoner dilemma in groups (left figure) where agents decide to C/D – using a stochastic threshold algorithm with reinforcement learning components. We model fixed (single group ABM) and dynamic groups (bad-barrels ABM). The purpose of the bad-barrels model is to assess the impact of information during meritocratic matching. In the bad-barrels model, we incorporated a multidimensional structure in which agents are also embedded in a social network (2-person PD). We modeled a random and homophilous network via a random spatial graph algorithm (right figure).

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.

Peer reviewed Dynamic Value-based Cognitive Architectures

Bart de Bruin | Published Tue Nov 30 20:29:58 2021

The intention of this model is to create an universal basis on how to model change in value prioritizations within social simulation. This model illustrates the designing of heterogeneous populations within agent-based social simulations by equipping agents with Dynamic Value-based Cognitive Architectures (DVCA-model). The DVCA-model uses the psychological theories on values by Schwartz (2012) and character traits by McCrae and Costa (2008) to create an unique trait- and value prioritization system for each individual. Furthermore, the DVCA-model simulates the impact of both social persuasion and life-events (e.g. information, experience) on the value systems of individuals by introducing the innovative concept of perception thermometers. Perception thermometers, controlled by the character traits, operate as buffers between the internal value prioritizations of agents and their external interactions. By introducing the concept of perception thermometers, the DVCA-model allows to study the dynamics of individual value prioritizations under a variety of internal and external perturbations over extensive time periods. Possible applications are the use of the DVCA-model within artificial sociality, opinion dynamics, social learning modelling, behavior selection algorithms and social-economic modelling.

This is a model intended to demonstrate the function of scramble crossings and a more efficient flow of pedestrian traffic with the presence of diagonal crosswalks.

Peer reviewed Virus Transmission with Super-spreaders

J Applegate | Published Sat Sep 11 05:14:27 2021

A curious aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic is the clustering of outbreaks. Evidence suggests that 80\% of people who contract the virus are infected by only 19% of infected individuals, and that the majority of infected individuals faile to infect another person. Thus, the dispersion of a contagion, $k$, may be of more use in understanding the spread of Covid-19 than the reproduction number, R0.

The Virus Transmission with Super-spreaders model, written in NetLogo, is an adaptation of the canonical Virus Transmission on a Network model and allows the exploration of various mitigation protocols such as testing and quarantines with both homogenous transmission and heterogenous transmission.

The model consists of a population of individuals arranged in a network, where both population and network degree are tunable. At the start of the simulation, a subset of the population is initially infected. As the model runs, infected individuals will infect neighboring susceptible individuals according to either homogenous or heterogenous transmission, where heterogenous transmission models super-spreaders. In this case, k is described as the percentage of super-spreaders in the population and the differing transmission rates for super-spreaders and non super-spreaders. Infected individuals either recover, at which point they become resistant to infection, or die. Testing regimes cause discovered infected individuals to quarantine for a period of time.

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