Computational Model Library

This article presents an agent-based model of an Italian textile district where thousands of small firms specialize in particular phases of fabrics production. It reconstructs the web of communication between firms as they arrange production chains. In turn, production chains result in road traffic between the geographical areas on which the district extends. The reconstructed traffic exhibits a pattern that has been observed, but not foreseen, by policy makers.

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).

This model was built to estimate the impacts of exogenous fodder input and credit loans services on livelihood, rangeland health and profits of pastoral production in a small holder pastoral household in the arid steppe rangeland of Inner Mongolia, China. The model simulated the long-term dynamic of herd size and structure, the forage demand and supply, the cash flow, and the situation of loan debt under three different stocking strategies: (1) No external fodder input, (2) fodders were only imported when natural disaster occurred, and (3) frequent import of external fodder, with different amount of available credit loans. Monte-Carlo method was used to address the influence of climate variability.

Demand planning requires processing of distributed information. In this process, individuals, their properties and interactions play a crucial role. This model is a computational testbed to investigate these aspects with respect to forecast accuracy.

B3GET Classic

Kristin Crouse | Published Mon Nov 11 07:30:59 2019 | Last modified Mon Nov 25 07:25:33 2019

B3GET Classic includes previous versions used in the classroom and for publication. Please check out the latest version of B3GET here, which has several user-friendly features such as directly importing and exporting genotype and population files.

The classic versions of B3GET include: version one was and version three is currently used in undergraduate labs at the University of Minnesota to demonstrate principles in primate behavioral ecology; version two first demonstrated proof of concept for creating virtual biological organisms using decision-vector technology; version four was presented at the 2017 annual meeting at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists; version five was presented in a 2019 publication from the Journal of Human Evolution (Crouse, Miller, and Wilson, 2019).

The current rate of production and consumption of meat poses a problem both to peoples’ health and to the environment. This work aims to develop a simulation of peoples’ meat consumption behaviour in Britain using agent-based modelling. The agents represent individual consumers. The key variables that characterise agents include sex, age, monthly income, perception of the living cost, and concerns about the impact of meat on the environment, health, and animal welfare. A process of peer influence is modelled with respect to the agents’ concerns. Influence spreads across two eating networks (i.e. co-workers and household members) depending on the time of day, day of the week, and agents’ employment status. Data from a representative sample of British consumers is used to empirically ground the model. Different experiments are run simulating interventions of application of social marketing campaigns and a rise in price of meat. The main outcome is the average weekly consumption of meat per consumer. A secondary outcome is the likelihood of eating meat.

07 EffLab_V5.07 NL

Garvin Boyle | Published Mon Oct 7 15:42:48 2019

EffLab was built to support the study of the efficiency of agents in an evolving complex adaptive system. In particular:
- There is a definition of efficiency used in ecology, and an analogous definition widely used in business. In ecological studies it is called EROEI (energy returned on energy invested), or, more briefly, EROI (pronounced E-Roy). In business it is called ROI (dollars returned on dollars invested).
- In addition, there is the more well-known definition of efficiency first described by Sadi Carnot, and widely used by engineers. It is usually represented by the Greek letter ‘h’ (pronounced as ETA). These two measures of efficiency bear a peculiar relationship to each other: EROI = 1 / ( 1 - ETA )

In EffLab, blind seekers wander through a forest looking for energy-rich food. In this multi-generational world, they live and reproduce, or die, depending on whether they can find food more effectively than their contemporaries. Data is collected to measure their efficiency as they evolve more effective search patterns.

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.

06b EiLab_Model_I_V5.00 NL

Garvin Boyle | Published Sat Oct 5 08:27:46 2019

EiLab - Model I - is a capital exchange model. That is a type of economic model used to study the dynamics of modern money which, strangely, is very similar to the dynamics of energetic systems. It is a variation on the BDY models first described in the paper by Dragulescu and Yakovenko, published in 2000, entitled “Statistical Mechanics of Money”. This model demonstrates the ability of capital exchange models to produce a distribution of wealth that does not have a preponderance of poor agents and a small number of exceedingly wealthy agents.

This is a re-implementation of a model first built in the C++ application called Entropic Index Laboratory, or EiLab. The first eight models in that application were labeled A through H, and are the BDY models. The BDY models all have a single constraint - a limit on how poor agents can be. That is to say that the wealth distribution is bounded on the left. This ninth model is a variation on the BDY models that has an added constraint that limits how wealthy an agent can be? It is bounded on both the left and right.

EiLab demonstrates the inevitable role of entropy in such capital exchange models, and can be used to examine the connections between changing entropy and changes in wealth distributions at a very minute level.

There is a new type of economic model called a capital exchange model, in which the biophysical economy is abstracted away, and the interaction of units of money is studied. Benatti, Drăgulescu and Yakovenko described at least eight capital exchange models – now referred to collectively as the BDY models – which are replicated as models A through H in EiLab. In recent writings, Yakovenko goes on to show that the entropy of these monetarily isolated systems rises to a maximal possible value as the model approaches steady state, and remains there, in analogy of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. EiLab demonstrates this behaviour. However, it must be noted that we are NOT talking about thermodynamic entropy. Heat is not being modeled – only simple exchanges of cash. But the same statistical formulae apply.

In three unpublished papers and a collection of diary notes and conference presentations (all available with this model), the concept of “entropic index” is defined for use in agent-based models (ABMs), with a particular interest in sustainable economics. Models I and J of EiLab are variations of the BDY model especially designed to study the Maximum Entropy Principle (MEP – model I) and the Maximum Entropy Production Principle (MEPP – model J) in ABMs. Both the MEPP and H.T. Odum’s Maximum Power Principle (MPP) have been proposed as organizing principles for complex adaptive systems. The MEPP and the MPP are two sides of the same coin, and an understanding of their implications is key, I believe, to understanding economic sustainability. Both of these proposed (and not widely accepted) principles describe the role of entropy in non-isolated systems in which complexity is generated and flourishes, such as ecosystems, and economies.

EiLab is one of several models exploring the dynamics of sustainable economics – PSoup, ModEco, EiLab, OamLab, MppLab, TpLab, and CmLab.

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