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.

Lethal Geometry

Kristin Crouse | Published Fri Feb 21 11:27:16 2020

Lethal Geometry examines the relationship between territory size and intergroup mortality risk under realistic assumptions. Furthermore, the model investigates how fertility is affected by this relationship. Territory sizes are expected to fluctuate over time in response to individual reproduction, random-walking, and lethal intergroup encounters. In turn, the individuals within these territories are expected to vary in their mortality and fertility rates.

St Anthony flu

Lisa Sattenspiel | Published Mon Apr 15 20:40:30 2019

The St Anthony flu model is an epidemiological model designed to test hypotheses related to the spread of the 1918 influenza pandemic among residents of a small fishing community in Newfoundland and Labrador. The 1921 census data from Newfoundland and Labrador are used to ensure a realistic model population; the community of St. Anthony, NL, located on the tip of the Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland is the specific population modeled. Model agents are placed on a map-like grid that consists of houses, two churches, a school, an orphanage, a hospital, and several boats. They engage in daily activities that reflect known ethnographic patterns of behavior in St. Anthony and other similar communities. A pathogen is introduced into the community and then it spreads throughout the population as a consequence of individual agent movements and interactions.

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.

EthnoCultural Tag model (ECT)

David Hales Bruce Edmonds | Published Fri Oct 16 13:26:37 2015 | Last modified Wed May 9 10:04:58 2018

Captures interplay between fixed ethnic markers and culturally evolved tags in the evolution of cooperation and ethnocentrism. Agents evolve cultural tags, behavioural game strategies and in-group definitions. Ethnic markers are fixed.

Simulation of the Effects of Disorganization on Goals and Problem Solving

Dinuka Herath | Published Sun Aug 13 21:33:53 2017 | Last modified Sun Aug 13 21:39:07 2017

This is a model of the occurrence of disorganization and its impact on individual goal setting and problem-solving. This model therefore, explores the effects of disorganization on goal achievement.

This model is used to simulate the influence of spatially and temporally variable sedimentary processes on the distribution of dated archaeological features in a surface context.

A Modelling4All/NetLogo model of the Spanish Flu Pandemic

Ken Kahn | Published Mon Aug 5 15:17:09 2013 | Last modified Mon Aug 5 15:21:25 2013

A global model of the 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic. It can be run to match history or explore counterfactual questions about the influence of World War I on the dynamics of the epidemic. Explores two theories of the location of the initial infection.

This is a simulation model of an intelligent agent that has the objective to learn sustainable management of a renewable resource, such as a fish stock.

Multi Asset Variable Network Stock Market Model

Matthew Oldham | Published Mon Sep 12 18:10:04 2016 | Last modified Tue Oct 10 17:50:03 2017

An artifcal stock market model that allows users to vary the number of risky assets as well as the network topology that investors forms in an attempt to understand the dynamics of the market.

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