Computational Model Library

Peer reviewed Evolution of Ecological Communities: Testing Constraint Closure

Steve Peck | Published Sun Dec 6 19:37:54 2020 | Last modified Fri Apr 16 22:17:46 2021

Ecosystems are among the most complex structures studied. They comprise elements that seem both stable and contingent. The stability of these systems depends on interactions among their evolutionary history, including the accidents of organisms moving through the landscape and microhabitats of the earth, and the biotic and abiotic conditions in which they occur. When ecosystems are stable, how is that achieved? Here we look at ecosystem stability through a computer simulation model that suggests that it may depend on what constrains the system and how those constraints are structured. Specifically, if the constraints found in an ecological community form a closed loop, that allows particular kinds of feedback may give structure to the ecosystem processes for a period of time. In this simulation model, we look at how evolutionary forces act in such a way these closed constraint loops may form. This may explain some kinds of ecosystem stability. This work will also be valuable to ecological theorists in understanding general ideas of stability in such systems.

The purpose of the model is to explore the influence of two circular business models (CBMs), i.e. Circular Waste Management and Waste-as-byproduct, and its design variables on CBM viability. The model represents an Industrial Symbiosis Network (ISN) in which a processor uses the organic waste from suppliers to produce biogas and nutrient rich digestate for local reuse. The model can be used to test the viability of the CBM, which is expressed as value captured (avg. cash flow/ton waste/actor) and the survival of the network over time.

In the model, the value captured is calculated relative to the initial state, using incineration costs as a benchmark. Moderating variables are interactions with the waste incinerator and actor behaviour factors. Actors may leave the network when the waste supply for local production is too low, or when personal economic benefits are too low. When the processor decides to leave, the network fails.

RiskNetABM

Meike Will Jürgen Groeneveld Karin Frank Birgit Müller | Published Mon Jul 20 13:41:17 2020 | Last modified Tue Mar 9 17:24:00 2021

The fight against poverty is an urgent global challenge. Microinsurance is promoted as a valuable instrument for buffering income losses due to health or climate-related risks of low-income households in developing countries. However, apart from direct positive effects they can have unintended side effects when insured households lower their contribution to traditional arrangements where risk is shared through private monetary support.

RiskNetABM is an agent-based model that captures dynamics between income losses, insurance payments and informal risk-sharing. The model explicitly includes decisions about informal transfers. It can be used to assess the impact of insurance products and informal risk-sharing arrangements on the resilience of smallholders. Specifically, it allows to analyze whether and how economic needs (i.e. level of living costs) and characteristics of extreme events (i.e. frequency, intensity and type of shock) influence the ability of insurance and informal risk-sharing to buffer income shocks. Two types of behavior with regard to private monetary transfers are explicitly distinguished: (1) all households provide transfers whenever they can afford it and (2) insured households do not show solidarity with their uninsured peers.

The model is stylized and is not used to analyze a particular case study, but represents conditions from several regions with different risk contexts where informal risk-sharing networks between smallholder farmers are prevalent.

The purpose of the model is to explore the influence of actor behaviour, combined with environment and business model design, on the survival rates of Industrial Symbiosis Networks (ISN), and the cash flows of the agents. We define an ISN to be robust, when it is able to run for 10 years, without falling apart due to leaving agents.

The model simulates the implementation of local waste exchange collaborations for compost production, through the ISN implementation stages of awareness, planning, negotiation, implementation, and evaluation.

One central firm plays the role of waste processor in a local composting initiative. This firm negotiates with other firms to become a supplier of their organic residual streams. The waste suppliers in the model can decide to join the initiative, or to have the waste brought to the external waste incinerator. The focal point of the model are the company-level interactions during the implementation or ending of synergies.

The Netlogo model is a conceptualization of the Moria refugee camp, capturing the household demographics of refugees in the camp, a theoretical friendship network based on values, and an abstraction of their daily activities. The model then simulates how Covid-19 could spread through the camp if one refugee is exposed to the virus, utilizing transmission probabilities and the stages of disease progression of Covid-19 from susceptible to exposed to asymptomatic / symptomatic to mild / severe to recovered from literature. The model also incorporates various interventions - PPE, lockdown, isolation of symptomatic refugees - to analyze how they could mitigate the spread of the virus through the camp.

Peer reviewed An agent-based model for brain drain

Furkan Gursoy Bertan Badur | Published Wed Mar 3 08:04:00 2021 | Last modified Fri Mar 12 09:40:13 2021

An agent-based model for the emigration of highly-skilled labour.

We hypothesise that there are two main factors that impact the decision and ability to move abroad: desire to maximise individual utility and network effects. Accordingly, several factors play role in brain drain such as the overall economic and social differences between the home and host countries, people’s ability and capacity to obtain good jobs and start a life abroad, the barriers of moving abroad, and people’s social network who are already working abroad.

RAGE models a stylized common property grazing system. Agents follow a certain behavioral type. The model allows analyzing how household behavior with respect to a social norm on pasture resting affects long-term social-ecological system dynamics.

This model simulates the form and function of an idealised estuary with associated barrier-spit complex on the north east coast of New Zealand’s North Island (from Bream Bay to central Bay of Plenty) during the years 2010 - 2050 CE. It combines variables from social, ecological and geomorphic systems to simulate potential directions of change in shallow coastal systems in response to external forcing from land use, climate, pollution, population density, demographics, values and beliefs. The estuary is over 1000Ha, making it a large estuary according to Hume et al. (2007) - there are 12 large estuaries in the Auckland region alone (Suyadi et al., 2019). The model was developed as part of Andrew Allison’s PhD Thesis in Geography from the School of Environment and Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand. The model setup allows for alteration of geomorphic, ecological and social variables to suit the specific conditions found in various estuaries along the north east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
This model is not a predictive or forecasting model. It is designed to investigate potential directions of change in complex shallow coastal systems. This model must not be used for any purpose other than as a heuristic to facilitate researcher and stakeholder learning and for developing system understanding (as per Allison et al., 2018).

The integrated and spatially-explicit ABM, called DIReC (Demography, Industry and Residential Choice), has been developed for Aberdeen City and the surrounding Aberdeenshire (Ge, Polhill, Craig, & Liu, 2018). The model includes demographic (individual and household) models, housing infrastructure and occupancy, neighbourhood quality and evolution, employment and labour market, business relocation, industrial structure, income distribution and macroeconomic indicators. DIReC includes a detailed spatial housing model, basing preference models on house attributes and multi-dimensional neighbourhood qualities (education, crime, employment etc.).
The dynamic ABM simulates the interactions between individuals, households, the labour market, businesses and services, neighbourhoods and economic structures. It is empirically grounded using multiple data sources, such as income and gender-age distribution across industries, neighbourhood attributes, business locations, and housing transactions. It has been used to study the impact of economic shocks and structural changes, such as the crash of oil price in 2014 (the Aberdeen economy heavily relies on the gas and oil sector) and the city’s transition from resource-based to a green economy (Ge, Polhill, Craig, & Liu, 2018).

Policymakers decide on alternative policies facing restricted budgets and uncertain, ever-changing future. Designing housing policies is further difficult giving the heterogeneous characteristics of properties themselves and the intricacy of housing markets and the spatial context of cities. We propose PolicySpace2 (PS2) as an adapted and extended version of the open source PolicySpace agent-based model. PS2 is a computer simulation that relies on empirically detailed spatial data to model real estate, along with labor, credit and goods and services markets. Interaction among workers, firms, a bank, households and municipalities follow the literature benchmarks to integrate economic, spatial and transport literature. PS2 is applied to a comparison among three competing municipal housing policies aimed at alleviating poverty: (a) property acquisition and distribution, (b) rental vouchers and (c) monetary aid. Within the model context, the monetary aid, that is, a smaller amounts of help for a larger number of households, makes the economy perform better in terms of production, consumption, reduction of inequality and maintenance of financial duties. PS2 as such is also a framework that may be further adapted to a number of related research questions.

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