Computational Model Library

The SMASH model is an agent-based model of rural smallholder households. It models households’ evolving income and wealth, which they earn through crop sales. Wealth is carried in the form of livestock, which are grazed on an external rangeland (exogenous) and can be bought/sold as investment/coping mechanisms. The model includes a stylized representation of soil nutrient dynamics, modeling the inflows and outflows of organic and inorganic nitrogen from each household’s field.

The model has been applied to assess the resilience-enhancing effects of two different farm-level adaptation strategies: legume cover cropping and crop insurance. These two strategies interact with the model through different mechanims - legume cover cropping through ecological mechanisms and crop insurance through financial mechanisms. The model can be used to investigate the short- and long-term effects of these strategies, as well as how they may differently benefit different types of household.

Spatial rangeland model

Marco Janssen | Published Tue Jan 22 01:51:09 2019 | Last modified Sat Oct 17 02:03:28 2020

Spatial explicit model of a rangeland system, based on Australian conditions, where grass, woody shrubs and fire compete fore resources. Overgrazing can cause the system to flip from a healthy state to an unproductive shrub state. With the model one can explore the consequences of different movement rules of the livestock on the resilience of the system.

The model is discussed in Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling by Marco Janssen. For more information see

Provided is a landscape of properties where pastoralists make decisions how much livestock they put on their property and how much to suppress fire from occuring. Rangelands can be grass dominated, or unproductive shrubb dominated. Overgrazing and fire suppresion lead to shrub dominated landscapes. What management strategies evolve, and how is this impacted by policies?
The model is discussed in Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling by Marco Janssen. For more information see

This model was built to estimate the impacts of exogenous fodder input and credit loans services on livelihood, rangeland health and profits of pastoral production in a small holder pastoral household in the arid steppe rangeland of Inner Mongolia, China. The model simulated the long-term dynamic of herd size and structure, the forage demand and supply, the cash flow, and the situation of loan debt under three different stocking strategies: (1) No external fodder input, (2) fodders were only imported when natural disaster occurred, and (3) frequent import of external fodder, with different amount of available credit loans. Monte-Carlo method was used to address the influence of climate variability.

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.

Livestock drought insurance model

Felix John Birgit Müller Russell Toth Karin Frank Jürgen Groeneveld | Published Tue Dec 19 16:37:15 2017 | Last modified Sat Apr 14 13:56:11 2018

The model analyzes the economic and ecological effects of a provision of livestock drought insurance for dryland pastoralists. More precisely, it yields qualitative insights into how long-term herd and pasture dynamics change through insurance.

RaMDry allows to study the dynamic use of forage ressources by herbivores in semi-arid savanna with an emphasis on effects of change of climate and management. Seasonal dynamics affects the amount and the nutritional values of the available forage.


Sebastian Rasch | Published Mon Oct 20 10:58:37 2014

The Sediba socio-ecolgoical rangeland model is an biomass growth model coupled with a social model of pastoralist behaviour in a commmon pool resource setting. The social subsystem is an empircal ABM.

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