Computational Model Library

Cultural Group Selection of Sustainable Institutions

Timothy Waring Sandra H Goff Paul Smaldino | Published Wed Jun 10 17:38:06 2015 | Last modified Tue Aug 4 14:14:05 2015

We develop a spatial, evolutionary model of the endogenous formation and dissolution of groups using a renewable common pool resource. We use this foundation to measure the evolutionary pressures at different organizational levels.

This model simulates different farmers’ decisions and actions to adapt to the water scarce situation. This simulation helps to investigate how farmers’ strategies may impact macro-behavior of the social-ecological system i.e. overall groundwater use change and emigration of farmers. The environmental variables’ behavior and behavioral rules of stakeholders are captured with Fuzzy Cognitive Map (FCM) that is developed with both qualitative and quantitative data, i.e. stakeholders’ knowledge and empirical data from studies. This model have been used to compare the impact of different water scarcity policies on overall groundwater use in a farming community facing water scarcity.

Stylized agricultural land-use model for resilience exploration

Patrick Bitterman | Published Tue Jun 14 15:18:33 2016 | Last modified Mon Apr 8 20:38:38 2019

This model is a highly stylized land use model in the Clear Creek Watershed in Eastern Iowa, designed to illustrate the construction of stability landscapes within resilience theory.

This study investigates a possible nexus between inter-group competition and intra-group cooperation, which may be called “tribalism.” Building upon previous studies demonstrating a relationship between the environment and social relations, the present research incorporates a social-ecological model as a mediating factor connecting both individuals and communities to the environment. Cyclical and non-cyclical fluctuation in a simple, two-resource ecology drive agents to adopt either “go-it-alone” or group-based survival strategies via evolutionary selection. Novelly, this simulation employs a multilevel selection model allowing group-level dynamics to exert downward selective pressures on individuals’ propensity to cooperate within groups. Results suggest that cooperation and inter-group conflict are co-evolved in a triadic relationship with the environment. Resource scarcity increases inter-group competition, especially when resources are clustered as opposed to widely distributed. Moreover, the tactical advantage of cooperation in the securing of clustered resources enhanced selective pressure on cooperation, even if that implies increased individual mortality for the most altruistic warriors. Troubling, these results suggest that extreme weather, possibly as a result of climate change, could exacerbate conflict in sensitive, weather-dependent social-ecologies—especially places like the Horn of Africa where ecologically sensitive economic modalities overlap with high-levels of diversity and the wide-availability of small arms. As well, global development and foreign aid strategists should consider how plans may increase the value of particular locations where community resources are built or aid is distributed, potentially instigating tribal conflict. In sum, these factors, interacting with pre-existing social dynamics dynamics, may heighten inter-ethnic or tribal conflict in pluralistic but otherwise peaceful communities.

For special issue submission in JASSS.

LimnoSES - social-ecological lake management undergoing regime shifts

Romina Martin | Published Thu Nov 24 11:22:42 2016 | Last modified Fri Jan 18 12:59:12 2019

LimnoSES is a coupled system dynamics, agent-based model to simulate social-ecological feedbacks in shallow lake use and management.

Institutional change

Abigail Sullivan | Published Fri Oct 7 20:35:15 2016 | Last modified Sun Dec 2 04:27:11 2018

This model builds on another model in this library (“diffusion of culture”).

This model aims to investigate how different type of learning (social system) and disturbance specific attributes (ecological system) influence adoption of treatment strategies to treat the effects of ecological disturbances.


Erin Bohensky | Published Mon Feb 6 13:33:34 2012 | Last modified Sat Apr 27 20:18:53 2013

The WaterScape is an agent-based model of the South African water sector. This version of the model focuses on potential barriers to learning in water management that arise from interactions between human perceptions and social-ecological system conditions.

Mobility, Resource Harvesting and Robustness of Social-Ecological Systems

Irene Perez Ibarra | Published Mon Sep 24 16:41:20 2012 | Last modified Sat Apr 27 20:18:39 2013

The model is a stylized representation of a social-ecological system of agents moving and harvesting a renewable resource. The purpose is to analyze how mobility affects sustainability. Experiments changing agents’ mobility, landscape and information governments have can be run.

Lakeland 2

Marco Janssen Wander Jager | Published Tue Sep 12 17:50:56 2017

Lakeland 2 is a simple version of the original Lakeland of Jager et al. (2000) Ecological Economics 35(3): 357-380. The model can be used to explore the consequences of different behavioral assumptions on resource and social dynamics.

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