Computational Model Library

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How do bots influence beliefs on social media? Why do beliefs propagated by social bots spread far and wide, yet does their direct influence appear to be limited?

This model extends Axelrod’s model for the dissemination of culture (1997), with a social bot agent–an agent who only sends information and cannot be influenced themselves. The basic network is a ring network with N agents connected to k nearest neighbors. The agents have a cultural profile with F features and Q traits per feature. When two agents interact, the sending agent sends the trait of a randomly chosen feature to the receiving agent, who adopts this trait with a probability equal to their similarity. To this network, we add a bot agents who is given a unique trait on the first feature and is connected to a proportion of the agents in the model equal to ‘bot-connectedness’. At each timestep, the bot is chosen to spread one of its traits to its neighbors with a probility equal to ‘bot-activity’.

The main finding in this model is that, generally, bot activity and bot connectedness are both negatively related to the success of the bot in spreading its unique message, in equilibrium. The mechanism is that very active and well connected bots quickly influence their direct contacts, who then grow too dissimilar from the bot’s indirect contacts to quickly, preventing indirect influence. A less active and less connected bot leaves more space for indirect influence to occur, and is therefore more successful in the long run.

Transhumants move their herds based on strategies simultaneously considering several environmental and socio-economic factors. There is no agreement on the influence of each factor in these strategies. In addition, there is a discussion about the social aspect of transhumance and how to manage pastoral space. In this context, agent-based modeling can analyze herd movements according to the strategy based on factors favored by the transhumant. This article presents a reductionist agent-based model that simulates herd movements based on a single factor. Model simulations based on algorithms to formalize the behavioral dynamics of transhumants through their strategies. The model results establish that vegetation, water outlets and the socio-economic network of transhumants have a significant temporal impact on transhumance. Water outlets and the socio-economic network have a significant spatial impact. The significant impact of the socio-economic factor demonstrates the social dimension of Sahelian transhumance. Veterinarians and markets have an insignificant spatio-temporal impact. To manage pastoral space, water outlets should be at least 15 km
from each other. The construction of veterinary centers, markets and the securitization of transhumance should be carried out close to villages and rangelands.

Peer reviewed Historical Letters

Malte Vogl Bernardo Buarque Jascha Merijn Schmitz Aleksandra Kaye | Published Thursday, May 16, 2024 | Last modified Friday, May 24, 2024

A letter sending model with historically informed initial positions to reconstruct communication and archiving processes in the Republic of Letters, the 15th to 17th century form of scholarship.

The model is aimed at historians, willing to formalize historical assumptions about the letter sending process itself and allows in principle to set heterogeneous social roles, e.g. to evaluate the role of gender or social status in the formation of letter exchange networks. The model furthermore includes a pruning process to simulate the loss of letters to critically asses the role of biases e.g. in relation to gender, geographical regions, or power structures, in the creation of empirical letter archives.

Each agent has an initial random topic vector, expressed as a RGB value. The initial positions of the agents are based on a weighted random draw based on data from [2]. In each step, agents generate two neighbourhoods for sending letters and potential targets to move towards. The probability to send letters is a self-reinforcing process. After each sending the internal topic of the receiver is updated as a movement in abstract space by a random amount towards the letters topic.

Abstract: The notion of physical space has long been central in geographical theories. However, the widespread adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has freed human dynamics from purely physical to also relational and cyber spaces. While researchers increasingly recognize such shifts, rarely have studies examined how the information propagates in these hybrid spaces (i.e., physical, relational, and cyber). By exploring the vaccine opinion dynamics through agent-based modeling, this study is the first that combines all hybrid spaces and explores their distinct impacts on human dynamics from an individual’s perspective. Our model captures the temporal dynamics of vaccination progress with small errors (MAE=2.45). Our results suggest that all hybrid spaces are indispensable in vaccination decision making. However, in our model, most of the agents tend to give more emphasis to the information that is spread in the physical instead of other hybrid spaces. Our study not only sheds light on human dynamics research but also offers a new lens to identifying vaccinated individuals which has long been challenging in disease-spread models. Furthermore, our study also provides responses for practitioners to develop vaccination outreach policies and plan for future outbreaks.

This BNE-informed ABM ultimately aims to provide a more realistic description of complicated pedestrian behaviours especially in high-density and life-threatening situations. Bayesian Nash Equilibrium (BNE) was adopted to reproduce interactive decision-making process among rational and game-playing agents. The implementations of 3 behavioural models, which are Shortest Route (SR) model, Random Follow (RF) model, and BNE model, make it possible to simulate emergent patterns of pedestrian behaviours (e.g. herding and self-organised queuing behaviours, etc.) in emergency situations.

According to the common features of previous mass trampling accidents, a series of simulation experiments were performed in space with 3 types of barriers, which are Horizontal Corridors, Vertical Corridors, and Random Squares, standing for corridors, bottlenecks and intersections respectively, to investigate emergent behaviours of evacuees in varied constricted spatial environments. The output of this ABM has been available at https://data.mendeley.com/datasets/9v4byyvgxh/1.

Peer reviewed Correlated Random Walk (NetLogo)

Viktoriia Radchuk Thibault Fronville Uta Berger | Published Tuesday, May 09, 2023 | Last modified Monday, December 18, 2023

This is NetLogo code that presents two alternative implementations of Correlated Random Walk (CRW):
- 1. drawing the turning angles from the uniform distribution, i.e. drawing the angle with the same probability from a certain given range;
- 2. drawing the turning angles from von Mises distribution.
The move lengths are drawn from the lognormal distribution with the specified parameters.

Correlated Random Walk is used to represent the movement of animal individuals in two-dimensional space. When modeled as CRW, the direction of movement at any time step is correlated with the direction of movement at the previous time step. Although originally used to describe the movement of insects, CRW was later shown to sufficiently well describe the empirical movement data of other animals, such as wild boars, caribous, sea stars.

This is a generic sub-model of animal territory formation. It is meant to be a reusable building block, but not in the plug-and-play sense, as amendments are likely to be needed depending on the species and region. The sub-model comprises a grid of cells, reprenting the landscape. Each cell has a “quality” value, which quantifies the amount of resources provided for a territory owner, for example a tiger. “Quality” could be prey density, shelter, or just space. Animals are located randomly in the landscape and add grid cells to their intial cell until the sum of the quality of all their cells meets their needs. If a potential new cell to be added is owned by another animal, competition takes place. The quality values are static, and the model does not include demography, i.e. mortality, mating, reproduction. Also, movement within a territory is not represented.

An Agent-Based Model of Space Settlements

Anamaria Berea | Published Wednesday, August 09, 2023 | Last modified Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Background: Establishing a human settlement on Mars is an incredibly complex engineering problem. The inhospitable nature of the Martian environment requires any habitat to be largely self-sustaining. Beyond mining a few basic minerals and water, the colonizers will be dependent on Earth resupply and replenishment of necessities via technological means, i.e., splitting Martian water into oxygen for breathing and hydrogen for fuel. Beyond the technical and engineering challenges, future colonists will also face psychological and human behavior challenges.
Objective: Our goal is to better understand the behavioral and psychological interactions of future Martian colonists through an Agent-Based Modeling (ABM simulation) approach. We seek to identify areas of consideration for planning a colony as well as propose a minimum initial population size required to create a stable colony.
Methods: Accounting for engineering and technological limitations, we draw on research regarding high performing teams in isolated and high stress environments (ex: submarines, Arctic exploration, ISS, war) to include the 4 NASA personality types within the ABM. Interactions between agents with different psychological profiles are modeled at the individual level, while global events such as accidents or delays in Earth resupply affect the colony as a whole.
Results: From our multiple simulations and scenarios (up to 28 Earth years), we found that an initial population of 22 was the minimum required to maintain a viable colony size over the long run. We also found that the Agreeable personality type was the one more likely to survive.
Conclusion We developed a simulation with easy to use GUI to explore various scenarios of human interactions (social, labor, economic, psychological) on a future colony on Mars. We included technological and engineering challenges, but our focus is on the behavioral and psychological effects on the sustainability of the colony on the long run. We find, contrary to other literature, that the minimum number of people with all personality types that can lead to a sustainable settlement is in the tens and not hundreds.

Peer reviewed ABM Overtourism Santa Marta

Janwar Moreno | Published Monday, October 23, 2023

This model presents the simulation model of a city in the context of overtourism. The study area is the city of Santa Marta in Colombia. The purpose is to illustrate the spatial and temporal distribution of population and tourists in the city. The simulation analyzes emerging patterns that result from the interaction between critical components in the touristic urban system: residents, urban space, touristic sites, and tourists. The model is an Agent-Based Model (ABM) with the GAMA software. Also, it used public input data from statistical centers, geographical information systems, tourist websites, reports, and academic articles. The ABM includes assessing some measures used to address overtourism. This is a field of research with a low level of analysis for destinations with overtourism, but the ABM model allows it. The results indicate that the city has a high risk of overtourism, with spatial and temporal differences in the population distribution, and it illustrates the effects of two management measures of the phenomenon on different scales. Another interesting result is the proposed tourism intensity indicator (OVsm), taking into account that the tourism intensity indicators used by the literature on overtourism have an overestimation of tourism pressures.

This model is pertinent to our JASSS publication “Raising the Spectrum of Polarization: Generating Issue Alignment with a Weighted Balance Opinion Dynamics Model”. It shows how, based on the mechanisms of our Weighted Balance Theory (a development of Fritz Heider’s Cognitive Balance Theory), agents can self-organize in a multi-dimensional opinion space and form an emergent ideological spectrum. The degree of issue alignment and polarization realized by the model depends mainly on the agent-specific ‘equanimity parameter’ epsilon.

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