Computational Model Library

Peer reviewed Flibs'NLogo - An elementary form of evolutionary cognition

Cosimo Leuci | Published Thu Jan 30 08:34:19 2020

Flibs’NLogo implements in NetLogo modelling environment, a genetic algorithm whose purpose is evolving a perfect predictor from a pool of digital creatures constituted by finite automata or flibs (finite living blobs) that are the agents of the model. The project is based on the structure described by Alexander K. Dewdney in “Exploring the field of genetic algorithms in a primordial computer sea full of flibs” from the vintage Scientific American column “Computer Recreations”
As Dewdney summarized: “Flibs […] attempt to predict changes in their environment. In the primordial computer soup, during each generation, the best predictor crosses chromosomes with a randomly selected flib. Increasingly accurate predictors evolve until a perfect one emerges. A flib […] has a finite number of states, and for each signal it receives (a 0 or a 1) it sends a signal and enters a new state. The signal sent by a flib during each cycle of operation is its prediction of the next signal to be received from the environment”

Population dynamics

Marco Janssen | Published Mon Dec 31 00:13:22 2018

Simple population dynamics model used in Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling by Marco Janssen. For more information see

In Western countries, the distribution of relative incomes within marriages tends to be skewed in a remarkable way. Husbands usually do not only earn more than their female partners, but there also is a striking discontinuity in their relative contributions to the household income at the 50/50 point: many wives contribute just a bit less than or as much as their husbands, but few contribute more. Our model makes it possible to study a social mechanism that might create this ‘cliff’: women and men differ in their incomes (even outside marriage) and this may differentially affect their abilities to find similar- or higher-income partners. This may ultimately contribute to inequalities within the households that form. The model and associated files make it possible to assess the merit of this mechanism in 27 European countries.

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 model is designed to analyse the effects of mitigation measures on the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus), which is directly affected by ongoing land use change and has experienced widespread decline throughout Europe since the 1960s. As an input, we use two 4×4 km large model landscapes, which were generated by a landscape generator based on real field sizes and crop proportions and differed in average field size and crop composition. The crops grown annually are evaluated in terms of forage suitability, breeding suitability and crop richness for the hare. Six mitigation scenarios are implemented, defined by a 10 % increase in: (1) mixed silphie, (2) miscanthus, (3) grass-clover ley, (4) alfalfa, (5) set-aside, and (6) general crop richness. The model shows that that both landscape configuration and composition have a significant effect on hare population development, which responds particularly strongly to compositional changes.

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.

Peer reviewed B3GET

Kristin Crouse | Published Thu Nov 14 20:07:16 2019 | Last modified Tue Nov 19 17:42:04 2019

B3GET simulates populations of virtual organisms evolving over generations, whose evolutionary outcomes reflect the selection pressures of their environment. The model simulates several factors considered important in biology, including life history trade-offs, investment in fighting ability and aggression, sperm competition, infanticide, and competition over access to food and mates. Downloaded materials include a starting genotype and population files. Edit the these files and see what changes occur in the behavior of virtual populations!

This is an agent-based model coded in NetLogo. The model simulates population dynamics of bighorn sheep population in the Hell’s Canyon region of Idaho and will be used to develop a better understanding of pneumonia dynamics in bighorn sheep populations. The overarching objective is to provide a decision-making context for effective management of pneumonia in wild populations of bighorn sheep.

NetLogo HIV spread model

Wouter Vermeer | Published Fri Oct 25 16:51:17 2019

This model describes the tranmission of HIV by means of unprotected anal intercourse in a population of men-who-have-sex-with-men.
The model is parameterized based on field data from a cohort study conducted in Atlanta Georgia.

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.

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