Computational Model Library

MUGS - Model of Urban Green Spaces

Stefano Picascia | Published Fri Sep 17 16:32:57 2021

Abstract model investigating the determinants of inter- and intra-urban inequality in contact with nature. We explore the plausibility of a social integration hypothesis - whereby the primary factor in decisions to visit Urban Green Spaces (UGS) is an assessment of who else is likely to be using the space at the same time, and the assessment runs predominantly along class lines. The model simulates four cities in Scotland and shows the conditions under which the mechanisms theorised are sufficient to reproduce observed inequalities in UGS usage.

MELBIS-V1 is a spatially explicit agent-based model that allows the geospatial simulation of the decision-making process of newcomers arriving in the bilingual cities and boroughs of the island of Montreal, Quebec in CANADA, and the resulting urban segregation spatial patterns. The model was implemented in NetLogo, using geospatial raster datasets of 120m spatial resolution.

MELBIS-V2 enhances MELBIS-V1 to implement and simulate the decision-making processes of incoming immigrants, and to analyze the resulting spatial patterns of segregation as immigrants arrive and settle in various cities in Canada. The arrival and segregation of immigrants is modeled with MELBIS-V2 and compared for three major Canadian immigration gateways, including the City of Toronto, Metro Vancouver, and the City of Calgary.

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 [forthcoming]). 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.

Schelling and Sakoda prominently proposed computational models suggesting that strong ethnic residential segregation can be the unintended outcome of a self-reinforcing dynamic driven by choices of individuals with rather tolerant ethnic preferences. There are only few attempts to apply this view to school choice, another important arena in which ethnic segregation occurs. In the current paper, we explore with an agent-based theoretical model similar to those proposed for residential segregation, how ethnic tolerance among parents can affect the level of school segregation. More specifically, we ask whether and under which conditions school segregation could be reduced if more parents hold tolerant ethnic preferences. We move beyond earlier models of school segregation in three ways. First, we model individual school choices using a random utility discrete choice approach. Second, we vary the pattern of ethnic segregation in the residential context of school choices systematically, comparing residential maps in which segregation is unrelated to parents’ level of tolerance to residential maps reflecting their ethnic preferences. Third, we introduce heterogeneity in tolerance levels among parents belonging to the same group. Our simulation experiments suggest that ethnic school segregation can be a very robust phenomenon, occurring even when about half of the population prefers mixed to segregated schools. However, we also identify a “sweet spot” in the parameter space in which a larger proportion of tolerant parents makes the biggest difference. This is the case when parents have moderate preferences for nearby schools and there is only little residential segregation. Further experiments are presented that unravel the underlying mechanisms.

This model examines an important but underappreciated mechanism affecting urban segregation and integration: urban venues. The venue- an area where urbanites interact- is an essential aspect of city life that tends to influence how satisfactory any location is. We study the venue/segregation relationship by installing venues into Schelling’s classic agent-based segregation model.

Informal City version 1.0

Nina Schwarz | Published Fri Jul 25 15:11:26 2014 | Last modified Thu Jul 30 07:35:00 2015

InformalCity, a spatially explicit agent-based model, simulates an artificial city and allows for testing configurations of urban upgrading schemes in informal settlements.

The PARSO_demo Model

Davide Secchi | Published Tue Nov 5 10:27:02 2019

This model explores different aspects of the formation of urban neighbourhoods where residents believe in values distant from those dominant in society. Or, at least, this is what the Danish government beliefs when they discuss their politics about parallel societies. This simulation is set to understand (a) whether these alternative values areas form and what determines their formation, (b) if they are linked to low or no income residents, and (c) what happens if they disappear from the map. All these three points are part of the Danish government policy. This agent-based model is set to understand the boundaries and effects of this policy.

Exploring homeowners' insulation activity

Jonas Friege Emile Chappin Georg Holtz | Published Mon Jun 1 08:34:32 2015 | Last modified Mon Apr 8 20:38:19 2019

We built an agent-based model to foster the understanding of homeowners’ insulation activity.

A simple emulation-based computational model

Carlos Fernández-Márquez Francisco J Vázquez | Published Tue May 21 07:46:43 2013 | Last modified Tue Feb 5 07:19:52 2019

Emulation is one of the simplest and most common mechanisms of social interaction. In this paper we introduce a descriptive computational model that attempts to capture the underlying dynamics of social processes led by emulation.

The model explores the relationship between ethnic density and health. It does this through exploring the potential pathway between racism, segregation, area deprivation and income.

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