Computational Model Library

The rapid environmental changes currently underway in many dry regions of the world, and the deep uncertainty about their consequences, underscore a critical challenge for sustainability: how to maintain cooperation that ensures the provision of natural resources when the benefits of cooperating are variable, sometimes uncertain, and often limited. We present an agent-based model that simulates the economic decisions of households to engage, or not, in labor-sharing agreements under different scenarios of water supply, water variability, and socio-environmental risk. We formulate the model to investigate the consequences of environmental variability on the fate of labor-sharing agreements between farmers. The economic decisions were implemented in the framework of prospect theory.

This NetLogo model illustrates the cultural evolution of pro-environmental behaviour patterns. It illustrates how collective behaviour patterns evolve from interactions between agents and agents (in a social network) as well as agents and the affordances (action opportunities provided by the environment) within a niche. More specifically, the cultural evolution of behaviour patterns is understood in this model as a product of:

  1. The landscape of affordances provided by the material environment,
  2. Individual learning and habituation,
  3. Social learning and network structure,
  4. Personal states (such as habits and attitudes), and

07 EffLab_V5.07 NL

Garvin Boyle | Published Mon Oct 7 15:42:48 2019

EffLab was built to support the study of the efficiency of agents in an evolving complex adaptive system. In particular:
- There is a definition of efficiency used in ecology, and an analogous definition widely used in business. In ecological studies it is called EROEI (energy returned on energy invested), or, more briefly, EROI (pronounced E-Roy). In business it is called ROI (dollars returned on dollars invested).
- In addition, there is the more well-known definition of efficiency first described by Sadi Carnot, and widely used by engineers. It is usually represented by the Greek letter ‘h’ (pronounced as ETA). These two measures of efficiency bear a peculiar relationship to each other: EROI = 1 / ( 1 - ETA )

In EffLab, blind seekers wander through a forest looking for energy-rich food. In this multi-generational world, they live and reproduce, or die, depending on whether they can find food more effectively than their contemporaries. Data is collected to measure their efficiency as they evolve more effective search patterns.

00b SimEvo_V5.08 NetLogo

Garvin Boyle | Published Sat Oct 5 08:29:38 2019

In 1985 Dr Michael Palmiter, a high school teacher, first built a very innovative agent-based model called “Simulated Evolution” which he used for teaching the dynamics of evolution. In his model, students can see the visual effects of evolution as it proceeds right in front of their eyes. Using his schema, small linear changes in the agent’s genotype have an exponential effect on the agent’s phenotype. Natural selection therefore happens quickly and effectively. I have used his approach to managing the evolution of competing agents in a variety of models that I have used to study the fundamental dynamics of sustainable economic systems. For example, here is a brief list of some of my models that use “Palmiter Genes”:
- ModEco - Palmiter genes are used to encode negotiation strategies for setting prices;
- PSoup - Palmiter genes are used to control both motion and metabolic evolution;
- TpLab - Palmiter genes are used to study the evolution of belief systems;
- EffLab - Palmiter genes are used to study Jevon’s Paradox, EROI and other things.

There is a new type of economic model called a capital exchange model, in which the biophysical economy is abstracted away, and the interaction of units of money is studied. Benatti, Drăgulescu and Yakovenko described at least eight capital exchange models – now referred to collectively as the BDY models – which are replicated as models A through H in EiLab. In recent writings, Yakovenko goes on to show that the entropy of these monetarily isolated systems rises to a maximal possible value as the model approaches steady state, and remains there, in analogy of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. EiLab demonstrates this behaviour. However, it must be noted that we are NOT talking about thermodynamic entropy. Heat is not being modeled – only simple exchanges of cash. But the same statistical formulae apply.

In three unpublished papers and a collection of diary notes and conference presentations (all available with this model), the concept of “entropic index” is defined for use in agent-based models (ABMs), with a particular interest in sustainable economics. Models I and J of EiLab are variations of the BDY model especially designed to study the Maximum Entropy Principle (MEP – model I) and the Maximum Entropy Production Principle (MEPP – model J) in ABMs. Both the MEPP and H.T. Odum’s Maximum Power Principle (MPP) have been proposed as organizing principles for complex adaptive systems. The MEPP and the MPP are two sides of the same coin, and an understanding of their implications is key, I believe, to understanding economic sustainability. Both of these proposed (and not widely accepted) principles describe the role of entropy in non-isolated systems in which complexity is generated and flourishes, such as ecosystems, and economies.

EiLab is one of several models exploring the dynamics of sustainable economics – PSoup, ModEco, EiLab, OamLab, MppLab, TpLab, and CmLab.

06 EiLab V1.36 – Entropic Index Laboratory

Garvin Boyle | Published Sat Jan 31 15:44:18 2015 | Last modified Fri Apr 14 21:29:47 2017

EiLab explores the role of entropy in simple economic models. EiLab is one of several models exploring the dynamics of sustainable economics – PSoup, ModEco, EiLab, OamLab, MppLab, TpLab, and CmLab.

CHAAHK: a Spatial Simulation of the Maya Elevated Core Region

Alex Kara | Published Tue Dec 4 23:33:28 2018 | Last modified Thu Sep 26 20:45:13 2019

This thesis presents an abstract spatial simulation model of the Maya Central Lowlands coupled human and natural system from 1000 BCE to the present day. It’s name is the Climatically Heightened but Anothropogenically Achieved Historical Kerplunk model (CHAAHK). The simulation features features virtual human groups, population centers, transit routes, local resources, and imported resources. Despite its embryonic state, the model demonstrates how certain anthropogenic characteristics of a landscape can interact with externally induced trauma and result in a prolonged period of relative sociopolitical uncomplexity. Analysis of batch simulation output suggests decreasing empirical uncertainties about ancient wetland modification warrants more investment. This first submission of CHAAHK’s code represents the simulation’s implementation that was featured in the author’s master’s thesis.

Cultural Group Selection of Sustainable Institutions

Timothy Waring Sandra H Goff Paul Smaldino | Published Wed Jun 10 17:38:06 2015 | Last modified Tue Aug 4 14:14:05 2015

We develop a spatial, evolutionary model of the endogenous formation and dissolution of groups using a renewable common pool resource. We use this foundation to measure the evolutionary pressures at different organizational levels.

Nudging agents in social networks for collective action

Marco Janssen | Published Sun Aug 14 15:38:44 2011 | Last modified Sun Mar 17 01:53:00 2019

Agents are linked in a social-network and make decisions on which of 2 types of behavior to adopt. We explore consequences of different information feedback and providing targeted feedback to individuals.

The model investigates conditions, scenarios and strategies for future planning of energy in Egypt, with an emphasis on alternative energy pathways and a sustainable electricity supply mix as part of an energy roadmap till the year 2100. It combines the multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) with agent-based modeling (ABM) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) visualization to integrate the interactions of the decisions of multi-agents, the multi-criteria evaluation of sustainability, the time factor and the site factors to assess the transformation of energy landscapes.

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