Computational Model Library

The Palaeo-Agulhas Plain formed an important habitat exploited by Pleistocene hunter-gatherer populations during periods of lower sea level. This productive, grassy habitat would have supported numerous large-bodied ungulates accessible to a population of skilled hunters with the right hunting technology. It also provided a potentially rich location for plant food collection, and along its shores a coastline that moved with the rise and fall of sea levels. The rich archaeological and paleontological records of Pleistocene sites along the modern Cape south coast of South Africa, which would have overlooked the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain during Pleistocene times of lower sea level, provides a paleoarchive of this extinct ecosystem. In this paper, we present a first order illustration of the “palaeoscape modeling” approach advocated by Marean et al. (2015). We use a resourcescape model created from modern studies of habitat productivity without the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain. This is equivalent to predominant Holocene conditions. We then run an agent-based model of the human foraging system to investigate several research questions. Our agent-based approach uses the theoretical framework of optimal foraging theory to model human foraging decisions designed to optimize the net caloric gains within a complex landscape of spatially and temporally variable resources. We find that during the high sea-levels of MIS 5e (+5-6 m asl) and the Holocene, the absence of the Plain left a relatively poor food base supporting a much smaller population relying heavily on edible plant resources from the current Cape flora. Despite high species diversity of plants with edible storage organs, and marine invertebrates, encounter rates with highly profitable resources were low. We demonstrate that without the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain, human populations must have been small and low density, and exploited plant, mammal, and marine resources with relatively low caloric returns. The exposure and contraction of the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain was likely the single biggest driver of behavioral change during periods of climate change through the Pleistocene and into the transition to the Holocene.

Roman Amphora reuse

Tom Brughmans | Published Wed Aug 7 13:41:32 2019

A model that allows for representing key theories of Roman amphora reuse, to explore the differences in the distribution of amphorae, re-used amphorae and their contents.

This model generates simulated distributions of prime-use amphorae, primeuse contents (e.g. olive oil) and reused amphorae. These simulated distributions will differ between experiments depending on the experiment’s variable settings representing the tested theory: variations in the probability of reuse, the supply volume, the probability of reuse at ports. What we are interested in teasing out is what the effect is of each theory on the simulated amphora distributions.

The results presented in the related publication (Brughmans and Pecci in press) for all experiments were obtained after running the simulation for 1000 time steps, at which point the simulated distribution patterns have stabilized.

PowerGen-ABM is an optimisation model for power plant expansions from 2010 to 2025 with Indonesian electricity systems as the case study. PowerGen-ABM integrates three approaches: techno-economic analysis (TEA), linear programming (LP), and input-output analysis (IOA) and environmental analysis. TEA is based on the revenue requirement (RR) formula by UCDavis (2016), and the environmental analysis accounts for resource consumption (i.e., steel, concrete, aluminium, and energy) and carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions during the construction and operational stages of power plants.

This software simulates the Random-Subset Voting method for Borda, plurality, approval and Condorcet.

An Agent-Based Model of Language Contact

Marco Civico | Published Tue Jul 30 13:28:25 2019

This model is part of an article that discusses the adoption of a complexity theory approach to study the dynamics of language contact within multilingual communities. The model simulates the dynamics of communication within a community where a minority and a majority group coexist. The individual choice of language for communication is based on a number of simple rules derived from a review of the main literature on the topic of language contact. These rules are then combined with different variables, such as the rate of exogamy of the minority group and the presence of relevant education policies, to estimate the trends of assimilation of the minority group into the majority one. The model is validated using actually observed data from the case of Romansh speakers in the canton of Grisons, Switzerland.

This model accompanies a paper looking at the role and limits of values and norms for modeling realistic social agents. Based on literature we synthesize a theory on norms and a theory that combines both values and norms. In contrast to previous work, these theories are checked against data on human behavior obtained from a psychological experiment on dividing money: the ultimatum game. We found that agents that act according to a theory that combines both values and norms, produce behavior quite similar to that of humans. Furthermore, we found that this theory is more realistic than theories solely concerned with norms or theories solely concerned with values. However, to explain the amount of money people accept in this ultimatum game we will eventually need an even more realistic theory. We propose that a theory that explains when people exactly choose to use norms instead of values could provide this realism.

The model aims at estimating household energy consumption and the related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction based on the behavior of the individual household under different operationalizations of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB).
The original model is developed as a tool to explore households decisions regarding solar panel investments and cumulative consequences of these individual choices (i.e. diffusion of PVs, regional emissions savings, monetary savings). We extend the model to explore a methodological question regarding an interpretation of qualitative concepts from social science theories, specifically Theory of Planned Behaviour in a formal code of quantitative agent-based models (ABMs). We develop 3 versions of the model: one TPB-based ABM designed by the authors and two alternatives inspired by the TPB-ABM of Schwarz and Ernst (2009) and the TPB-ABM of Rai and Robinson (2015). The model is implemented in NetLogo.

GRASP world

Gert Jan Hofstede | Published Tue Apr 16 13:34:52 2019

This agent-based model investigates group longevity in a population in a foundational way, using theory on social relations and culture. It is the first application of the GRASP meta-model for social agents, containing elements of Groups, Rituals, Affiliation, Status, and Power. It can be considered an exercise in artificial sociality: a culture-general, content-free base-line trust model from which to engage in more specific studies. Depending on cultural settings for individualism and power distance, as well as settings for xenophobia and for the increase of trust over group life, the GRASP world model generates a variety of patters. Number of groups ranges from one to many, composition from random to segregated, and pattern genesis from rapid to many hundreds of time steps. This makes GRASP world an instrument that plausibly models some basic elements of social structure in different societies.

Oneshot negotiation in Colored Trails

Harmen de Weerd | Published Tue Apr 9 08:37:09 2019

This model allows for oneshot negotiations in the Colored Trails setting. Two allocator agents simultaneously make an offer to a responder agent, who chooses which of these offers to accept, or to reject both offers. The code allows for allocator allocator agents of different orders of theory of mind reasoning to play against one another.

The model proposes a translation of some Luhmann’s concepts (social sub-system, perturbation, dissipation, social communication and power) into a model using a stylized spatial-society as a metaphor of a Luhmann’s social subsystem. The model has been used to improve the social theory understanding and to evaluate the effect of different parameterization in the global stabilization and individual/social power distribution.

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