Computational Model Library

We study cultural dissemination in the context of an Axelrod-like agent-based model describing the spread of cultural traits across a society, with an added element of social influence. This modification produces absorbing states exhibiting greater variation in number and size of distinct cultural regions compared to the original Axelrod model, and we identify the mechanism responsible for this amplification in heterogeneity. We develop several new metrics to quantitatively characterize the heterogeneity and geometric qualities of these absorbing states. Additionally, we examine the dynamical approach to absorbing states in both our Social Influence Model as well as the Axelrod Model, which not only yields interesting insights into the differences in behavior of the two models over time, but also provides a more comprehensive view into the behavior of Axelrod’s original model. The quantitative metrics introduced in this paper have broad potential applicability across a large variety of agent-based cultural dissemination models.

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.

Modeling Prejudice And Its Effect On Societal Prosperity

no contributors listed | Published Sun Jun 27 19:20:28 2021

Existing studies on prejudice, which is important in multi-group dynamics in societies, focus on the social-psychological knowledge behind the processes involving prejudice and its propagation. We instead create a multi-agent framework that simulates the propagation of prejudice and measures its tangible impact on the prosperity of individuals as well as of larger social structures, including groups and factions within. Groups in society help us define prejudice, and factions represent smaller tight-knit circles of individuals with similar opinions. We model social interactions using the Continuous Prisoner’s Dilemma (CPD) and a type of agent called a prejudiced agent, whose cooperation is affected by a prejudice attribute, updated over time based both on the agent’s own experiences and those of others in its faction. This model generates various results that both provide new insights into intergroup prejudice and its effects, as well as highlight and reinforce certain existing notions of prejudice.

This model is based on the Narragansett Bay, RI recreational fishery. The two types of agents are piscivorous fish and fishers (shore and boat fishers are separate “breeds”). Each time step represents one week. Open season is weeks 1-26, assuming fishing occurs during half the year. At each weekly time step, fish agents grow, reproduce, and die. Fisher agents decide whether or not to fish based on their current satisfaction level, and those that do go fishing attempt to catch a fish. If they are successful, they decide whether to keep or release the fish. In our publication, this model was linked to an Ecopath with Ecosim food web model where the commercial harvest of forage fish affected the biomass of piscivorous fish - which then became the starting number of piscivorous fish for this ABM. The number of fish caught in a season of this ABM was converted to a fishing pressure and input back into the food web model.

Like many developing countries, Nigeria is faced with a number of tradeoffs that pit rapid economic development against environmental preservation. Environmentally sustainable, “green” economic development is slower, more costly, and more difficult than unrestricted, unregulated economic growth. The mathematical model that we develop in this code suggests that widespread public awareness of environmental issues is insufficient to prevent the tendency towards sacrificing the environment for the sake of growth. Even if people have an understanding of negative impacts and always choose to act in their own self-interest, they may still act collectively in such a way as to bring down the quality of life for the entire society. We conclude that additional actions must be taken besides raising public awareness of the environmental problem.

Replication of an agent-based model using the Replication Standard

Jiaxin Zhang Derek Robinson | Published Sun Jan 20 05:37:16 2019 | Last modified Sat Jul 18 02:33:17 2020

This model is a replication model which is constructed based on the existing model used by the following article:
Brown, D.G. and Robinson, D.T., 2006. Effects of heterogeneity in residential preferences on an agent-based model of urban sprawl. Ecology and society, 11(1).
The original model is called SLUCE’s Original Model for Experimentation (SOME). In Brown and Robinson (2006)’s article, the SOME model was used to explore the impacts of heterogeneity in residential location selections on the research of urban sprawl. The original model was constructed using Objective-C language based on SWARM platform. This replication model is built by NetLogo language on NetLogo platform. We successfully replicate that model and demonstrated the reliability and replicability of it.

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.

Peer reviewed Vigilant sharing in a small-scale society

MARCOS PINHEIRO | Published Wed Jul 22 01:40:09 2020 | Last modified Wed Jul 29 02:03:28 2020

The model explores food distribution patterns that emerge in a small-scale non-agricultural group when sharing individuals engage in intentional consumption leveling with a given probability.

The MML is a hybrid modeling environment that couples an agent-based model of small-holder agropastoral households and a cellular landscape evolution model that simulates changes in erosion/deposition, soils, and vegetation.

Peer reviewed Emergence of Organizations out of Garbage Can Dynamics

Guido Fioretti | Published Mon Apr 20 22:44:34 2020 | Last modified Sun Apr 26 12:54:56 2020

The Garbage Can Model of Organizational Choice (GCM) is a fundamental model of organizational decision-making originally propossed by J.D. Cohen, J.G. March and J.P. Olsen in 1972. In their model, decisions are made out of random meetings of decision-makers, opportunities, solutions and problems within an organization.
With this model, these very same agents are supposed to meet in society at large where they make decisions according to GCM rules. Furthermore, under certain additional conditions decision-makers, opportunities, solutions and problems form stable organizations. In this artificial ecology organizations are born, grow and eventually vanish with time.

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