Computational Model Library

Peer reviewed Evolution of Ecological Communities: Testing Constraint Closure

Steve Peck | Published Sun Dec 6 19:37:54 2020 | Last modified Fri Apr 16 22:17:46 2021

Ecosystems are among the most complex structures studied. They comprise elements that seem both stable and contingent. The stability of these systems depends on interactions among their evolutionary history, including the accidents of organisms moving through the landscape and microhabitats of the earth, and the biotic and abiotic conditions in which they occur. When ecosystems are stable, how is that achieved? Here we look at ecosystem stability through a computer simulation model that suggests that it may depend on what constrains the system and how those constraints are structured. Specifically, if the constraints found in an ecological community form a closed loop, that allows particular kinds of feedback may give structure to the ecosystem processes for a period of time. In this simulation model, we look at how evolutionary forces act in such a way these closed constraint loops may form. This may explain some kinds of ecosystem stability. This work will also be valuable to ecological theorists in understanding general ideas of stability in such systems.

The purpose of the model is to explore the influence of two circular business models (CBMs), i.e. Circular Waste Management and Waste-as-byproduct, and its design variables on CBM viability. The model represents an Industrial Symbiosis Network (ISN) in which a processor uses the organic waste from suppliers to produce biogas and nutrient rich digestate for local reuse. The model can be used to test the viability of the CBM, which is expressed as value captured (avg. cash flow/ton waste/actor) and the survival of the network over time.

In the model, the value captured is calculated relative to the initial state, using incineration costs as a benchmark. Moderating variables are interactions with the waste incinerator and actor behaviour factors. Actors may leave the network when the waste supply for local production is too low, or when personal economic benefits are too low. When the processor decides to leave, the network fails.

NetPlop is a presentation editor built entirely in NetLogo, an agent-based modelling environment. The NetPlop Editor includes a variety of tools to design slide decks, and the Viewer allows these decks to be dis-played to an enraptured audience. A key feature of NetPlop is the ability to embed agent-based models. NetPlop was developed for SIGBOVIK 2021.

This model examines how financial and social top-down interventions interplay with the internal self-organizing dynamics of a fishing community. The aim is to transform from hierarchical fishbuyer-fisher relationship into fishing cooperatives.

The purpose of the model is to explore the influence of actor behaviour, combined with environment and business model design, on the survival rates of Industrial Symbiosis Networks (ISN), and the cash flows of the agents. We define an ISN to be robust, when it is able to run for 10 years, without falling apart due to leaving agents.

The model simulates the implementation of local waste exchange collaborations for compost production, through the ISN implementation stages of awareness, planning, negotiation, implementation, and evaluation.

One central firm plays the role of waste processor in a local composting initiative. This firm negotiates with other firms to become a supplier of their organic residual streams. The waste suppliers in the model can decide to join the initiative, or to have the waste brought to the external waste incinerator. The focal point of the model are the company-level interactions during the implementation or ending of synergies.

This is an Agent Based Model of a generic food chain network consisting of stylized individuals representing producers, traders, and consumers. It is developed to: 1/ to describe the dynamically changing disaggregated flows of crop items between these agents, and 2/ to be able to explicitly consider agent behavior. The agents have implicit personal objectives for trading. Resilience and efficiency are quantified using the ascendency concept by linking these to the fraction of fulfillment of the overall explicit objective to have all consumers meet their food requirement. Different types of network structures in combination with different agent interaction types under different types of stylized shocks can be simulated.

The simulation is a variant of the “ToRealSim OD variants - base v2.7” base model, which is based on the standard DW opinion dynamics model (but with the differences that rather than one agent per tick randomly influencing another, all agents randomly influence one other per tick - this seems to make no difference to the outcomes other than to scale simulation time). Influence can be made one-way by turning off the two-way? switch

Various additional variations and sources of noise are possible to test robustness of outcomes to these (compared to DW model).
In this version agent opinions change following the empirical data collected in some experiments (Takács et al 2016).

Such an algorithm leaves no role for the uncertainties in other OD models. [Indeed the data from (Takács et al 2016) indicates that there can be influence even when opinion differences are large - which violates a core assumption of these]. However to allow better comparison with other such models there is a with-un? switch which allows uncertainties to come into play. If this is on, then influence (according to above algorithm) is only calculated if the opinion difference is less than the uncertainty. If an agent is influenced uncertainties are modified in the same way as standard DW models.

Peer reviewed Minding Norms in an Epidemic Does Matter

Klaus Troitzsch | Published Sat Feb 27 10:04:04 2021

This paper tries to shed some light on the mutual influence of citizen behaviour and the spread of a virus in an epidemic. While the spread of a virus from infectious to susceptible persons and the outbreak of an infection leading to more or less severe illness and, finally, to recovery and immunity or death has been modelled with different kinds of models in the past, the influence of certain behaviours to keep the epidemic low and to follow recommendations of others to apply these behaviours has rarely been modelled. The model introduced here uses a theory of the effect of norm invocations among persons to find out the effect of spreading norms interacts with the progress of an epidemic. Results show that norm invocations matter. The model replicates the histories of the COVID-19 epidemic in various region, including “second waves”, and shows that the calculation of the reproduction numbers from current reported infections usually overestimates the “real” but in practice unobservable reproduction number.

Peer reviewed Lethal Geometry

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

LethalGeometry was developed to examine whether territory size influences the mortality risk for individuals within that territory. For animals who live in territoral groups and are lethally aggressive, we can expect that most aggression occurs along the periphery (or border) between two adjacent territories. For territories that are relatively large, the periphery makes up a proportionately small amount of the of the total territory size, suggesting that individuals in these territories might be less likely to die from these territorial skirmishes. LethalGeometry examines this geometric relationship between territory size and mortality risk under realistic assumptions of variable territory size and shape, variable border width, and stochastic interactions and movement.

The individuals (agents) are programmed to walk randomly about their environment, search for and eat food to obtain energy, reproduce if they can, and act aggressively toward individuals of other groups. During each simulation step, individuals analyze their environment and internal state to determine which actions to take. The actions available to individuals include moving, fighting, and giving birth.

The integrated and spatially-explicit ABM, called DIReC (Demography, Industry and Residential Choice), has been developed for Aberdeen City and the surrounding Aberdeenshire (Ge, Polhill, Craig, & Liu, 2018). The model includes demographic (individual and household) models, housing infrastructure and occupancy, neighbourhood quality and evolution, employment and labour market, business relocation, industrial structure, income distribution and macroeconomic indicators. DIReC includes a detailed spatial housing model, basing preference models on house attributes and multi-dimensional neighbourhood qualities (education, crime, employment etc.).
The dynamic ABM simulates the interactions between individuals, households, the labour market, businesses and services, neighbourhoods and economic structures. It is empirically grounded using multiple data sources, such as income and gender-age distribution across industries, neighbourhood attributes, business locations, and housing transactions. It has been used to study the impact of economic shocks and structural changes, such as the crash of oil price in 2014 (the Aberdeen economy heavily relies on the gas and oil sector) and the city’s transition from resource-based to a green economy (Ge, Polhill, Craig, & Liu, 2018).

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