Computational Model Library

Large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) threaten smallholder livelihoods globally. Despite more than a decade of research on the LSLA phenomenon, it remains a challenge to identify governance conditions that may foster beneficial outcomes for both smallholders and investors. One potentially promising strategy toward this end is contract farming (CF), which more directly involves smallholder households in commodity production than conditions of acquisition and displacement.

To improve understanding of how CF may mediate the outcomes of LSLAs, we developed an agent-based model of smallholder livelihoods, which we used as a virtual laboratory to experiment on a range of hypothetical LSLA and CF implementation scenarios.

The model represents a community of smallholder households in a mixed crop-livestock system. Each agent farms their own land and manages a herd of livestock. Agents can also engage in off-farm employment, for which they earn a fixed wage and compete for a limited number of jobs. The principal model outputs include measures of household food security (representing access to a single, staple food crop) and agricultural production (of a single, staple food crop).

The Price Evolution with Expectations model provides the opportunity to explore the question of non-equilibrium market dynamics, and how and under which conditions an economic system converges to the classically defined economic equilibrium. To accomplish this, we bring together two points of view of the economy; the classical perspective of general equilibrium theory and an evolutionary perspective, in which the current development of the economic system determines the possibilities for further evolution.

The Price Evolution with Expectations model consists of a representative firm producing no profit but producing a single good, which we call sugar, and a representative household which provides labour to the firm and purchases sugar.The model explores the evolutionary dynamics whereby the firm does not initially know the household demand but eventually this demand and thus the correct price for sugar given the household’s optimal labour.

The model can be run in one of two ways; the first does not include money and the second uses money such that the firm and/or the household have an endowment that can be spent or saved. In either case, the household has preferences for leisure and consumption and a demand function relating sugar and price, and the firm has a production function and learns the household demand over a set number of time steps using either an endogenous or exogenous learning algorithm. The resulting equilibria, or fixed points of the system, may or may not match the classical economic equilibrium.

Leviathan model and its approximation

Thibaut Roubin Guillaume Deffuant | Published Thu Sep 17 15:21:40 2020 | Last modified Mon Sep 6 14:45:35 2021

The model is based on the influence function of the Leviathan model (Deffuant, Carletti, Huet 2013 and Huet and Deffuant 2017). We aim at better explaining some patterns generated by this model, using a derived mathematical approximation of the evolution of the opinions averaged.

We consider agents having an opinion/esteem about each other and about themselves. During dyadic meetings, agents change their respective opinion about each other, and possibly about other agents they gossip about, with a noisy perception of the opinions of their interlocutor. Highly valued agents are more influential in such encounters.

We show that the inequality of reputations among agents have a negative effect on the opinions about the agents of low status.The mathematical analysis of the opinion dynamic shows that the lower the status of the agent, the more detrimental the interactions are for the opinions about this agent, especially when gossip is activated, while the interactions always tend to increase the opinions about agents of high status.

SiFlo is an ABM dedicated to simulate flood events in urban areas. It considers the water flowing and the reaction of the inhabitants. The inhabitants would be able to perform different actions regarding the flood: protection (protect their house, their equipment and furniture…), evacuation (considering traffic model), get and give information (considering imperfect knowledge), etc. A special care was taken to model the inhabitant behavior: the inhabitants should be able to build complex reasoning, to have emotions, to follow or not instructions, to have incomplete knowledge about the flood, to interfere with other inhabitants, to find their way on the road network. The model integrates the closure of roads and the danger a flooded road can represent. Furthermore, it considers the state of the infrastructures and notably protection infrastructures as dyke. Then, it allows to simulate a dyke breaking.
The model intends to be generic and flexible whereas provide a fine geographic description of the case study. In this perspective, the model is able to directly import GIS data to reproduce any territory. The following sections expose the main elements of the model.

Peer reviewed Multilevel Group Selection I

Garry Sotnik Thaddeus Shannon Wayne W. Wakeland | Published Tue Apr 21 18:07:27 2020 | Last modified Sat Jul 3 20:38:55 2021

The Multilevel Group Selection I (MGS I) model simulates a population of contributing and non-contributing agents, competing on a social landscape for higher-value spots in an effort to withstand some selection pressure. It may be useful to both scientists and students in hypothesis testing, theory development, or more generally in understanding multilevel group selection.

A minimal genetic algorithm was preliminarily developed to search for the solution of an elementary arithmetic problem. It has been modified to explore the effect of a mutator gene and the consequent entrance into a hypermutation state. The phenomenon is particularly important in some types of tumorigenesis and in a more general way, in cells and tissues submitted to chronic sublethal environmental or genomic stress.
Since a long time, some scholars suppose that organisms speed up their own evolution by varying mutation rate, but evolutionary biologists are not convinced that evolution can select a mechanism promoting more (often harmful) mutations looking forward an environmental challenge.
The model aims to shed light on these controversial points of view and it provides also the features required to check the role of sex and genetic recombination in the mutator genes diffusion.

Modeling Prejudice And Its Effect On Societal Prosperity

no contributors listed | Published Sun Jun 27 19:20:28 2021

Existing studies on prejudice, which is important in multi-group dynamics in societies, focus on the social-psychological knowledge behind the processes involving prejudice and its propagation. We instead create a multi-agent framework that simulates the propagation of prejudice and measures its tangible impact on the prosperity of individuals as well as of larger social structures, including groups and factions within. Groups in society help us define prejudice, and factions represent smaller tight-knit circles of individuals with similar opinions. We model social interactions using the Continuous Prisoner’s Dilemma (CPD) and a type of agent called a prejudiced agent, whose cooperation is affected by a prejudice attribute, updated over time based both on the agent’s own experiences and those of others in its faction. This model generates various results that both provide new insights into intergroup prejudice and its effects, as well as highlight and reinforce certain existing notions of prejudice.

Peer reviewed An Agent-Based Model of Campaign-Based Watershed Management

Samuel Assefa Aad Kessler Luuk Fleskens | Published Mon Sep 21 13:47:41 2020 | Last modified Fri Jun 4 15:23:59 2021

The model simulates the national Campaign-Based Watershed Management program of Ethiopia. It includes three agents (farmers, Kebele/ village administrator, extension workers) and the physical environment that interact with each other. The physical environment is represented by patches (fields). Farmers make decisions on the locations of micro-watersheds to be developed, participation in campaign works to construct soil and water conservation structures, and maintenance of these structures. These decisions affect the physical environment or generate model outcomes. The model is developed to explore conditions that enhance outcomes of the program by analyzing the effect on the area of land covered and quality of soil and water conservation structures of (1) enhancing farmers awareness and motivation, (2) establishing and strengthening micro-watershed associations, (3) introducing alternative livelihood opportunities, and (4) enhancing the commitment of local government actors.

This model is designed to address the following research question: How does the amount and topology of intergroup cultural transmission modulate the effect of local group extinction on selectively neutral cultural diversity in a geographically structured population? The experimental design varies group extinction rate, the amount of intergroup cultural transmission, and the topology of intergroup cultural transmission while measuring the effects of local group extinction on long-term cultural change and regional cultural differentiation in a constant-size, spatially structured population. The results show that for most of the intergroup social network topologies tested here, increasing the amount of intergroup cultural transmission (similar to increasing gene flow in a genetic model) erases the negative effect of local group extinction on selectively neutral cultural diversity. The stochastic (i.e., preference attachment) network seems to stand out as an exception.

Knowledge Based Economy (KBE) is an artificial economy where firms placed in geographical space develop original knowledge, imitate one another and eventually recombine pieces of knowledge. In KBE, consumer value arises from the capability of certain pieces of knowledge to bridge between existing items (e.g., Steve Jobs illustrated the first smartphone explaining that you could make a call with it, but also listen to music and navigate the Internet). Since KBE includes a mechanism for the generation of value, it works without utility functions and does not need to model market exchanges.

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