Computational Model Library

City Sandbox

Javier Sandoval | Published Thu Jan 9 07:13:37 2020

This model grows land use patterns that emerge as a result of land-use compatibilities stablished in urban development plans, land topography, and street networks. It contains urban brushes to paint streets and land uses as a way to learn about urban pattern emergence through free experimentation.

Exploring how learning and social-ecological networks influence management choice set and their ability to increase the likelihood of species coexistence (i.e. biodiversity) on a fragmented landscape controlled by different managers.

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.

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.

Crowdworking Model

Georg Jäger | Published Wed Sep 25 06:25:58 2019

The purpose of this agent-based model is to compare different variants of crowdworking in a general way, so that the obtained results are independent of specific details of the crowdworking platform. It features many adjustable parameters that can be used to calibrate the model to empirical data, but also when not calibrated it yields essential results about crowdworking in general.
Agents compete for contracts on a virtual crowdworking platform. Each agent is defined by various properties like qualification and income expectation. Agents that are unable to turn a profit have a chance to quit the crowdworking platform and new crowdworkers can replace them. Thus the model has features of an evolutionary process, filtering out the ill suited agents, and generating a realistic distribution of agents from an initially random one. To simulate a stable system, the amount of contracts issued per day can be set constant, as well as the number of crowdworkers. If one is interested in a dynamically changing platform, the simulation can also be initialized in a way that increases or decreases the number of crowdworkers or number of contracts over time. Thus, a large variety of scenarios can be investigated.

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).

An economic agent-based model of Coupled Housing and Land Markets (CHALMS) simulates the location choices, insurance purchasing decisions, and risk perceptions of coastal residents, and how coastal risks are capitalized (or not) into coastal housing and land markets.

Food Safety Inspection Model - Stores Signal

Sara Mcphee-Knowles | Published Wed Mar 5 20:47:06 2014 | Last modified Mon Aug 26 23:13:09 2019

The Inspection Model represents a basic food safety system where inspectors, consumers and stores interact. The purpose of the model is to provide insight into an optimal level of inspectors in a food system by comparing three search strategies.

We develop an IBM that predicts how interactions between elephants, poachers, and law enforcement affect poaching levels within a virtual protected area. The model is theoretical at this stage and is not meant to provide a realistic depiction of poaching, but instead to demonstrate how IBMs can expand upon the existing modelling work done in this field, and to provide a framework for future research. The model could be further developed into a useful management support tool to predict the outcomes of various poaching mitigation strategies at real-world locations. The model was implemented in NetLogo version 6.1.0.

We first compared a scenario in which poachers have prescribed, non-adaptive decision-making and move randomly across the landscape, to one in which poachers adaptively respond to their memories of elephant locations and where other poachers have been caught by law enforcement. We then compare a situation in which ranger effort is distributed unevenly across the protected area to one in which rangers patrol by adaptively following elephant matriarchal herds.

Peer reviewed Collectivities

Nigel Gilbert | Published Tue Apr 9 16:16:43 2019 | Last modified Thu Aug 22 21:30:49 2019

The model that simulates the dynamic creation and maintenance of knowledge-based formations such as communities of scientists, fashion movements, and subcultures. The model’s environment is a spatial one, representing not geographical space, but a “knowledge space” in which each point is a different collection of knowledge elements. Agents moving through this space represent people’s differing and changing knowledge and beliefs. The agents have only very simple behaviors: If they are “lonely,” that is, far from a local concentration of agents, they move toward the crowd; if they are crowded, they move away.

Running the model shows that the initial uniform random distribution of agents separates into “clumps,” in which some agents are central and others are distributed around them. The central agents are crowded, and so move. In doing so, they shift the centroid of the clump slightly and may make other agents either crowded or lonely, and they too will move. Thus, the clump of agents, although remaining together for long durations (as measured in time steps), drifts across the view. Lonely agents move toward the clump, sometimes joining it and sometimes continuing to trail behind it. The clumps never merge.

The model is written in NetLogo (v6). It is used as a demonstration of agent-based modelling in Gilbert, N. (2008) Agent-Based Models (Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences). Sage Publications, Inc. and described in detail in Gilbert, N. (2007) “A generic model of collectivities,” Cybernetics and Systems. European Meeting on Cybernetic Science and Systems Research, 38(7), pp. 695–706.

This website uses cookies and Google Analytics to help us track user engagement and improve our site. If you'd like to know more information about what data we collect and why, please see our data privacy policy. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.