Computational Model Library

AncientS-ABM is an agent-based model for simulating and evaluating the potential social organization of an artificial past society, configured by available archaeological data. Unlike most existing agent-based models used in archaeology, our ABM framework includes completely autonomous, utility-based agents. It also incorporates different social organization paradigms, different decision-making processes, and also different cultivation technologies used in ancient societies. Equipped with such paradigms, the model allows us to explore the transition from a simple to a more complex society by focusing on the historical social dynamics; and to assess the influence of social organization on agents’ population growth, agent community numbers, sizes and distribution.

AncientS-ABM also blends ideas from evolutionary game theory with multi-agent systems’ self-organization. We model the evolution of social behaviours in a population of strategically interacting agents in repeated games where they exchange resources (utility) with others. The results of the games contribute to both the continuous re-organization of the social structure, and the progressive adoption of the most successful agent strategies. Agent population is not fixed, but fluctuates over time, while agents in stage games also receive non-static payoffs, in contrast to most games studied in the literature. To tackle this, we defined a novel formulation of the evolutionary dynamics via assessing agents’ rather than strategies’ fitness.

As a case study, we employ AncientS-ABM to evaluate the impact of the implemented social organization paradigms on an artificial Bronze Age “Minoan” society, located at different geographical parts of the island of Crete, Greece. Model parameter choices are based on archaeological evidence and studies, but are not biased towards any specific assumption. Results over a number of different simulation scenarios demonstrate better sustainability for settlements consisting of and adopting a socio-economic organization model based on self-organization, where a “heterarchical” social structure emerges. Results also demonstrate that successful agent societies adopt an evolutionary approach where cooperation is an emergent strategic behaviour. In simulation scenarios where the natural disaster module was enabled, we observe noticeable changes in the settlements’ distribution, relating to significantly higher migration rates immediately after the modeled Theran eruption. In addition, the initially cooperative behaviour is transformed to a non-cooperative one, thus providing support for archaeological theories suggesting that the volcanic eruption led to a clear breakdown of the Minoan socio-economic system.

Peer reviewed Neighbor Influenced Energy Retrofit (NIER) agent-based model

Eric Boria | Published Fri Apr 3 02:19:28 2020

The NIER model is intended to add qualitative variables of building owner types and peer group scales to existing energy efficiency retrofit adoption models. The model was developed through a combined methodology with qualitative research, which included interviews with key stakeholders in Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan. The concepts that the NIER model adds to traditional economic feasibility studies of energy retrofit decision-making are differences in building owner types (reflecting strategies for managing buildings) and peer group scale (neighborhoods of various sizes and large-scale Districts). Insights from the NIER model include: large peer group comparisons can quickly raise the average energy efficiency values of Leader and Conformist building owner types, but leave Stigma-avoider owner types as unmotivated to retrofit; policy interventions such as upgrading buildings to energy-related codes at the point of sale can motivate retrofits among the lowest efficient buildings, which are predominantly represented by the Stigma-avoider type of owner; small neighborhood peer groups can successfully amplify normal retrofit incentives.

PoliSEA represents a continuous policy process cycle, integrated with the dynamics of a fishery social-ecological system. The policy process in the model is represented by interactions between policymakers and interest groups and subsequent voting during which policymaker decide to increase or decrease the fishing quota for the next season. Policymakers’ positions can be influenced by lobbying of interest groups or interest group coalitions. The quota adopted through the policy process determines the amount of fish that can be harvested from the fish population during the season.

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.

Our aim is to show effects of group living when only low-level cognition is assumed, such as pattern recognition needed for normal functioning, without assuming individuals have knowledge about others around them or warn them actively.
The model is of a group of vigilant foragers staying within a patch, under attack by a predator. The foragers use attentional scanning for predator detection, and flee after detection. This fleeing action constitutes a visual cue to danger, and can be received non-attentionally by others if it occurs within their limited visual field. The focus of this model is on the effectiveness of this non-attentional visual information reception.
A blind angle obstructing cue reception caused by behaviour can exist in front, morphology causes a blind angle in the back. These limitations are represented by two visual field shapes. The scan for predators is all-around, with distance-dependent detection; reception of flight cues is limited by visual field shape.
Initial parameters for instance: group sizes, movement, vision characteristics for predator detection and for cue reception. Captures (failure), number of times the information reached all individuals at the same time (All-fled, success), and several other effects of the visual settings are recorded.

Exploring Urban Shrinkage

Andrew Crooks | Published Thu Mar 19 22:15:47 2020

While the world’s total urban population continues to grow, this growth is not equal. Some cities are declining, resulting in urban shrinkage which is now a global phenomenon. Many problems emerge due to urban shrinkage including population loss, economic depression, vacant properties and the contraction of housing markets. To explore this issue, this paper presents an agent-based model stylized on spatially explicit data of Detroit Tri-county area, an area witnessing urban shrinkage. Specifically, the model examines how micro-level housing trades impact urban shrinkage by capturing interactions between sellers and buyers within different sub-housing markets. The stylized model results highlight not only how we can simulate housing transactions but the aggregate market conditions relating to urban shrinkage (i.e., the contraction of housing markets). To this end, the paper demonstrates the potential of simulation to explore urban shrinkage and potentially offers a means to test polices to alleviate this issue.

This model is an extension of the Artificial Long House Valley (ALHV) model developed by the authors (Swedlund et al. 2016; Warren and Sattenspiel 2020). The ALHV model simulates the population dynamics of individuals within the Long House Valley of Arizona from AD 800 to 1350. Individuals are aggregated into households that participate in annual agricultural and demographic cycles. The present version of the model incorporates features of the ALHV model including realistic age-specific fertility and mortality and, in addition, it adds the Black Mesa environment and population, as well as additional methods to allow migration between the two regions.

As is the case for previous versions of the ALHV model as well as the Artificial Anasazi (AA) model from which the ALHV model was derived (Axtell et al. 2002; Janssen 2009), this version makes use of detailed archaeological and paleoenvironmental data from the Long House Valley and the adjacent areas in Arizona. It also uses the same methods as the original AA model to estimate annual maize productivity of various agricultural zones within the Long House Valley. A new environment and associated methods have been developed for Black Mesa. Productivity estimates from both regions are used to determine suitable locations for households and farms during each year of the simulation.

This model extends the original Artifical Anasazi (AA) model to include individual agents, who vary in age and sex, and are aggregated into households. This allows more realistic simulations of population dynamics within the Long House Valley of Arizona from AD 800 to 1350 than are possible in the original model. The parts of this model that are directly derived from the AA model are based on Janssen’s 1999 Netlogo implementation of the model; the code for all extensions and adaptations in the model described here (the Artificial Long House Valley (ALHV) model) have been written by the authors. The AA model included only ideal and homogeneous “individuals” who do not participate in the population processes (e.g., birth and death)–these processes were assumed to act on entire households only. The ALHV model incorporates actual individual agents and all demographic processes affect these individuals. Individuals are aggregated into households that participate in annual agricultural and demographic cycles. Thus, the ALHV model is a combination of individual processes (birth and death) and household-level processes (e.g., finding suitable agriculture plots).

As is the case for the AA model, the ALHV model makes use of detailed archaeological and paleoenvironmental data from the Long House Valley and the adjacent areas in Arizona. It also uses the same methods as the original model (from Janssen’s Netlogo implementation) to estimate annual maize productivity of various agricultural zones within the valley. These estimates are used to determine suitable locations for households and farms during each year of the simulation.

The purpose of this model is explore how “friend-of-friend” link recommendations, which are commonly used on social networking sites, impact online social network structure. Specifically, this model generates online social networks, by connecting individuals based upon varying proportions of a) connections from the real world and b) link recommendations. Links formed by recommendation mimic mutual connection, or friend-of-friend algorithms. Generated networks can then be analyzed, by the included scripts, to assess the influence that different proportions of link recommendations have on network properties, specifically: clustering, modularity, path length, eccentricity, diameter, and degree distribution.

The model aims to investigate the role of Microfinance Institutes (MFIs) in strengthening the coping capacity of slum-dwellers (residents) in case of frequent disasters. The main purpose of the model is system understanding. It aids in understanding the following research question: Are the microcredits provided by MFI to start a small business helpful in increasing coping capacity of a slum dweller for recovering from frequent and intense disasters?

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