Computational Model Library

This model aims to explore how gambling-like behavior can emerge in loot box spending within gaming communities. A loot box is a purchasable mystery box that randomly awards the player a series of in-game items. Since the contents of the box are largely up to chance, many players can fall into a compulsion loop of purchasing, as the fear of missing out and belief in the gambler’s fallacy allow one to rationalize repeated purchases, especially when one compares their own luck to others. To simulate this behavior, this model generates players in different network structures to observe how factors such as network connectivity, a player’s internal decision making strategy, or even common manipulations games use these days may influence a player’s transactions.

Studies of colonization processes in past human societies often use a standard population model in which population is represented as a single quantity. Real populations in these processes, however, are structured with internal classes or stages, and classes are sometimes created based on social differentiation. In this present work, information about the colonization of old Providence Island was used to create an agent-based model of the colonization process in a heterogeneous environment for a population with social differentiation. Agents were socially divided into two classes and modeled with dissimilar spatial clustering preferences. The model and simulations assessed the importance of gregarious behavior for colonization processes conducted in heterogeneous environments by socially-differentiated populations. Results suggest that in these conditions, the colonization process starts with an agent cluster in the largest and most suitable area. The spatial distribution of agents maintained a tendency toward randomness as simulation time increased, even when gregariousness values increased. The most conspicuous effects in agent clustering were produced by the initial conditions and behavioral adaptations that increased the agent capacity to access more resources and the likelihood of gregariousness. The approach presented here could be used to analyze past human colonization events or support long-term conceptual design of future human colonization processes with small social formations into unfamiliar and uninhabited environments.

Holmestrand School Model

Jessica Dimka | Published Fri Jun 18 20:09:15 2021 | Last modified Fri Apr 29 08:32:08 2022

The Holmestrand model is an epidemiological agent-based model. Its aim is to test hypotheses related to how the social and physical environment of a residential school for children with disabilities might influence the spread of an infectious disease epidemic among students and staff. Annual reports for the Holmestrand School for the Deaf (Norway) are the primary sources of inspiration for the modeled school, with additional insights drawn from other archival records for schools for children with disabilities in early 20th century Norway and data sources for the 1918 influenza pandemic. The model environment consists of a simplified boarding school that includes residential spaces for students and staff, classrooms, a dining room, common room, and an outdoor area. Students and staff engage in activities reflecting hourly schedules suggested by school reports. By default, a random staff member is selected as the first case and is infected with disease. Subsequent transmission is determined by agent movement and interactions between susceptible and infectious pairs.

Correlated random walk

Thibault Fronville | Published Fri Apr 1 14:45:38 2022 | Last modified Mon Apr 25 08:33:05 2022

The first simple movement models used unbiased and uncorrelated random walks (RW). In such models of movement, the direction of the movement is totally independent of the previous movement direction. In other words, at each time step the direction, in which an individual is moving is completely random. This process is referred to as a Brownian motion.
On the other hand, in correlated random walks (CRW) the choice of the movement directions depends on the direction of the previous movement. At each time step, the movement direction has a tendency to point in the same direction as the previous one. This movement model fits well observational movement data for many animal species.
The presented agent based model simulated the movement of the agents as a correlated random walk (CRW). The turning angle at each time step follows the Von Mises distribution with a ϰ of 10. The closer ϰ gets to zero, the closer the Von Mises distribution becomes uniform. The larger ϰ gets, the more the Von Mises distribution approaches a normal distribution concentrated around the mean (0°).
This model is implemented in python and can be used as a building block for more complex agent based models that would rely on describing the movement of individuals with CRW.

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.

Peer reviewed MOOvPOPsurveillance

Aniruddha Belsare Matthew Gompper Joshua J Millspaugh | Published Tue Apr 4 17:03:40 2017 | Last modified Tue May 12 16:37:24 2020

MOOvPOPsurveillance was developed as a tool for wildlife agencies to guide collection and analysis of disease surveillance data that relies on non-probabilistic methods like harvest-based sampling.

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.

This is an agent-based model with two types of agents: customers and insurers. Insurers are price-takers who choose how much to spend on their service quality, and customers evaluate insurers based on premium, brand preference, and their perceived service quality. Customers are also connected in a small-world network and may share their opinions with their network.

The ABM contains two types of agents: insurers and customers. These act within the environment of a motor insurance market. At each simulation, the model undergoes the following steps:

  1. Network generation: At the start of the simulation, the model generates a small world network of social links between the customers, and randomly assigns each customer to an initial insurer
  2. ...

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

New theoretical agent-based model of population-wide adoption of prosocial common-pool behavior with four parameters (initial percent of adopters, pressure to change behavior, synergy from behavior, and population density); dynamics in behavior, movement, freeriding, and group composition and size; and emergence of multilevel group selection. Theoretical analysis of model’s dynamics identified six regions in model’s parameter space, in which pressure-synergy combinations lead to different outcomes: extinction, persistence, and full adoption. Simulation results verified the theoretical analysis and demonstrated that increases in density reduce number of pressure-synergy combinations leading to population-wide adoption; initial percent of contributors affects underlying behavior and final outcomes, but not size of regions or transition zones between them; and random movement assists adoption of prosocial common-pool behavior.

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).

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