Computational Model Library

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Food trade networks represent a complex system where food is periodically produced in different regions of the world. Food is continuously stocked and traded. Food security in a globalised world is vulnerable to shocks. We present DARTS, a new agent based model that models monthly dynamics of food production, trade, stocking, consumption and food security for different interconnected world regions and a city state. Agents in different regions differ in their harvest seasons, wealth (rich and poor), degree of urbanisation and connection to domestic and global markets. DARTS was specifically designed to model direct and indirect effects of shocks in the food system. We introduce a new typology of 6 distinct shock types and analyse their impact on food security, modelling local and global effects and short term and longer term effects. An second important scientific novelty of the model is that DARTS can also model indirect effects of shocks (cascading in space and in time, lag effects due to trade and food stock buffering). A third important scientific novelty of the model is its’ capability of modelling food security at different scales, in which the rural/urban divide and differences in (intra-annually varying) production and trade connections play a key role. At the time of writing DARTS is yet insufficiently parameterised for accurate prediction for real world regions and cities. Simulations for a hypothetical in silico world with 3 regions and a city state show that DARTS can reproduce rich and complex dynamics with analogues in the real world. The scientific interest is more on deepening insight in process dynamics and chains of events that lead to ultimate shock effects on food security.


Mohammad Aghajani | Published Saturday, January 20, 2024 | Last modified Saturday, January 20, 2024

Deforest with GIS layers
This model has developed in Netlogo software and utilizes
the GIS extension.

It simulates deforestation with parameters such as the number of animals,
percentage of cut wood ,forest regeneration percentage ,

DARTS simulates food systems in which agents produce, consume and trade food. Here, food is a summary item that roughly corresponds to commodity food types (e.g. rice). No other food types are taken into account. Each food system (World) consists of its own distribution of agents, regions and connections between agents. Agents differ in their ability to produce food, earn off-farm income and trade food. The agents aim to satisfy their food requirements (which are fixed and equal across agents) by either their own food production or by food purchases. Each simulation step represents one month, in which agents can produce (if they have productive capacity and it is a harvest month for their region), earn off-farm income, trade food (both buy and sell) and consume food. We evaluate the performance of the food system by averaging the agents’ food satisfaction, which is defined as the ratio of the food consumed by each agent at the end of each month divided by her food requirement. At each step, any of the abovementioned attributes related to the agents’ ability to satisfy their food requirement can (temporarily) be shocked. These shocks include reducing the amount of food they produce, removing their ability to trade locally or internationally and reducing their cash savings. Food satisfaction is quantified (both immediately after the shock and in the year following the shock) to evaluate food security of a particular food system, both at the level of agent types (e.g. the urban poor and the rural poor) and at the systems level. Thus, the effects of shocks on food security can be related to the food system’s structure.

This model has been created with and for the researcher-farmers of the Muonde Trust (, a registered Zimbabwean non-governmental organization dedicated to fostering indigenous innovation. Model behaviors and parameters (mashandiro nemisiyano nedzimwe model) derive from a combination of literature review and the collected datasets from Muonde’s long-term (over 30 years) community-based research. The goals of this model are three-fold (muzvikamu zvitatu):
A) To represent three components of a Zimbabwean agro-pastoral system (crops, woodland grazing area, and livestock) along with their key interactions and feedbacks and some of the human management decisions that may affect these components and their interactions.
B) To assess how climate variation (implemented in several different ways) and human management may affect the sustainability of the system as measured by the continued provisioning of crops, livestock, and woodland grazing area.
C) To provide a discussion tool for the community and local leaders to explore different management strategies for the agro-pastoral system (hwaro/nzira yekudyidzana kwavanhu, zvipfuo nezvirimwa), particularly in the face of climate change.

The BASAR model aims to investigate different approaches to describe small-scale farmers’ decision-making in the context of diversified agroforestry adoption in rural Rwanda. Thereby, it compares random behaviour with perfect rationality (non-discounted and discounted utility maximization), bounded rationality (satisficing and fast and frugal decision tree heuristics), Theory of Planned Behaviour, and a probabilistic regression-based approach. It is aimed at policy-makers, extension agents, and cooperatives to better understand how rural farmers decide about implementing innovative agricultural practices such as agroforestry and at modelers to support them in selecting an approach to represent human decision-making in ABMs of Social-Ecological Systems. The overall objective is to identify a suitable approach to describe human decision-making and therefore improve forecasts of adoption rates and support the development and implementation of interventions that aim to raise low adoption rates.

An empirical ABM for regional land use/cover change: a Dutch case study

Diego Valbuena | Published Saturday, March 12, 2011 | Last modified Thursday, November 11, 2021

This is an empirical model described in The objective of the model is to simulate how the decision-making of farmers/agents with different strategies can affect the landscape structure in a region in the Netherlands.

The Simulating Agroforestry Adoption in Rural Indonesia (SAFARI) model aims at exploring the adoption of illipe rubber agroforestry systems by farming households in the case study region in rural Indonesia. Thereby, the ABM simulates the interdependencies of agroforestry systems and local livelihoods, income, land use, biodiversity, and carbon fixation. The model contrasts development paths without agroforestry (business as usual (BAU) scenario), corresponding to a scenario where the government promotes rubber monoculture, with the introduction of illipe rubber agroforestry systems (IRA scenario) as an alternative. It aims to support policy-makers to assess the potential of IRA over larger temporal and spatial scales.

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.

Violence against women occurs predominantly in the family and domestic context. The COVID-19 pandemic led Brazil to recommend and, at times, impose social distancing, with the partial closure of economic activities, schools, and restrictions on events and public services. Preliminary evidence shows that intense co- existence increases domestic violence, while social distancing measures may have prevented access to public services and networks, information, and help. We propose an agent-based model (ABM), called VIDA, to illustrate and examine multi-causal factors that influence events that generate violence. A central part of the model is the multi-causal stress indicator, created as a probability trigger of domestic violence occurring within the family environment. Two experimental design tests were performed: (a) absence or presence of the deterrence system of domestic violence against women and measures to increase social distancing. VIDA presents comparative results for metropolitan regions and neighbourhoods considered in the experiments. Results suggest that social distancing measures, particularly those encouraging staying at home, may have increased domestic violence against women by about 10%. VIDA suggests further that more populated areas have comparatively fewer cases per hundred thousand women than less populous capitals or rural areas of urban concentrations. This paper contributes to the literature by formalising, to the best of our knowledge, the first model of domestic violence through agent-based modelling, using empirical detailed socioeconomic, demographic, educational, gender, and race data at the intraurban level (census sectors).

This model simulates different seeding strategies for information diffusion in a social network adjusted to a case study area in rural Zambia. It systematically evaluates different criteria for seed selection (centrality measures and hierarchy), number of seeds, and interaction effects between seed selection criteria and set size.

Displaying 10 of 27 results rural clear

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