Computational Model Library

Purpose

Brain drain can be defined as the emigration of highly trained or qualified people from a particular country, which has many undesirable effects for the source country. Purpose of the model is to understand the dynamics of brain drain; and provide an initial version of a simulation-based decision support tool which can be used in discovering future trends for such emigration, and design effective social policies which can reduce, stop, or reverse the brain drain. The model proposes that skilled people would like to emigrate to maximise their utility, yet actual emigration is constrained with barriers, luck, and individuals’ social network.

Entities, state variables, and scales

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.

Schelling famously proposed an extremely simple but highly illustrative social mechanism to understand how strong ethnic segregation could arise in a world where individuals do not necessarily want it. Schelling’s simple computational model is the starting point for our extensions in which we build upon Wilensky’s original NetLogo implementation of this model. Our two NetLogo models can be best studied while reading our chapter “Agent-based Computational Models” (Flache and de Matos Fernandes, 2021 [forthcoming]). In the chapter, we propose 10 best practices to elucidate how agent-based models are a unique method for providing and analyzing formally precise, and empirically plausible mechanistic explanations of puzzling social phenomena, such as segregation, in the social world. Our chapter addresses in particular analytical sociologists who are new to ABMs.

In the first model (SegregationExtended), we build on Wilensky’s implementation of Schelling’s model which is available in NetLogo library (Wilensky, 1997). We considerably extend this model, allowing in particular to include larger neighborhoods and a population with four groups roughly resembling the ethnic composition of a contemporary large U.S. city. Further features added concern the possibility to include random noise, and the addition of a number of new outcome measures tuned to highlight macro-level implications of the segregation dynamics for different groups in the agent society.

In SegregationDiscreteChoice, we further modify the model incorporating in particular three new features: 1) heterogeneous preferences roughly based on empirical research categorizing agents into low, medium, and highly tolerant within each of the ethnic subgroups of the population, 2) we drop global thresholds (%-similar-wanted) and introduce instead a continuous individual-level single-peaked preference function for agents’ ideal neighborhood composition, and 3) we use a discrete choice model according to which agents probabilistically decide whether to move to a vacant spot or stay in the current spot by comparing the attractiveness of both locations based on the individual preference functions.

TunaFisher ABM

Guus Ten Broeke | Published Wed Jan 13 11:27:36 2021

TunaFisher ABM simulates the decisions of fishing companies and fishing vessels of the Philippine tuna purse seinery operating in the Celebes and Sulu Seas.

High fishing effort remains in many of the world’s fisheries, including the Philippine tuna purse seinery, despite a variety of policies that have been implemented to reduce it. These policies have predominantly focused on models of cause and effect which ignore the possibility that the intended outcomes are altered by social behavior of autonomous agents at lower scales.

This model is a spatially explicit Agent-based Model (ABM) for the Philippine tuna purse seine fishery, specifically designed to include social behavior and to study its effects on fishing effort, fish stock and industry profit. The model includes economic and social factors of decision making by companies and fishing vessels that have been informed by interviews.

SESPES: socio-ecological systems and payment for ecosystem services model

Eulàlia Baulenas | Published Sun Dec 20 16:44:58 2020 | Last modified Sun Dec 20 18:43:41 2020

The purpose of this spatially-explicit agent-based model is to intervene in the debate about PES policy design, implementation and context. We use the case for a woodland-for-water payment for ecosystem services (PES) and model its implementation in a local area of Catalonia (NE Spain). The model is based on three sub-models. The structural contains four different designs of a PES policy. The social sub-model includes agent-based factors, by having four types of landowner categories managing or not the forests. This sub-model is based on behavioral studies and assumptions about reception and reaction to incentive policies from European-focused studies. The ecological sub-model is based on climate change data for the area. The output are the evolution of the ecological and social goals of the policy under different policy design scenarios. Our focus in Europe surges from the general context of land abandonment that many Mediterranean areas and Eastern countries are experiencing, and the growing interest from policy-makers and practitioners on the implementation of PES schemes to ameliorate this situation.

This is a simulation model of communication between two groups of managers in the course of project implementation. The “world” of the model is a space of interaction between project participants, each of which belongs either to a group of work performers or to a group of customers. Information about the progress of the project is publicly available and represents the deviation Earned value (EV) from the planned project value (cost baseline).
The key elements of the model are 1) persons belonging to a group of customers or performers, 2) agents that are communication acts. The life cycle of persons is equal to the time of the simulation experiment, the life cycle of the communication act is 3 periods of model time (for the convenience of visualizing behavior during the experiment). The communication act occurs at a specific point in the model space, the coordinates of which are realized as random variables. During the experiment, persons randomly move in the model space. The communication act involves persons belonging to a group of customers and a group of performers, remote from the place of the communication act at a distance not exceeding the value of the communication radius (MaxCommRadius), while at least one representative from each of the groups must participate in the communication act. If none are found, the communication act is not carried out. The number of potential communication acts per unit of model time is a parameter of the model (CommPerTick).

The managerial sense of the feedback is the stimulating effect of the positive value of the accumulated communication complexity (positive background of the project implementation) on the productivity of the performers. Provided there is favorable communication (“trust”, “mutual understanding”) between the customer and the contractor, it is more likely that project operations will be performed with less lag behind the plan or ahead of it.
The behavior of agents in the world of the model (change of coordinates, visualization of agents’ belonging to a specific communicative act at a given time, etc.) is not informative. Content data are obtained in the form of time series of accumulated communicative complexity, the deviation of the earned value from the planned value, average indicators characterizing communication - the total number of communicative acts and the average number of their participants, etc. These data are displayed on graphs during the simulation experiment.
The control elements of the model allow seven independent values to be varied, which, even with a minimum number of varied values (three: minimum, maximum, optimum), gives 3^7 = 2187 different variants of initial conditions. In this case, the statistical processing of the results requires repeated calculation of the model indicators for each grid node. Thus, the set of varied parameters and the range of their variation is determined by the logic of a particular study and represents a significant narrowing of the full set of initial conditions for which the model allows simulation experiments.

Peer reviewed A Model of Global Diversity and Local Consensus in Status Beliefs

André Grow Andreas Flache Rafael Wittek | Published Wed Mar 1 18:03:05 2017 | Last modified Wed Oct 25 11:16:27 2017

This model makes it possible to explore how network clustering and resistance to changing existing status beliefs might affect the spontaneous emergence and diffusion of such beliefs as described by status construction theory.

HomininSpace

Fulco Scherjon | Published Fri Nov 25 12:00:02 2016 | Last modified Tue Oct 6 11:01:00 2020

A modelling system to simulate Neanderthal demography and distribution in a reconstructed Western Europe for the late Middle Paleolithic.

This model was developed to test the usability of evolutionary computing and reinforcement learning by extending a well known agent-based model. Sugarscape (Epstein & Axtell, 1996) has been used to demonstrate migration, trade, wealth inequality, disease processes, sex, culture, and conflict. It is on conflict that this model is focused to demonstrate how machine learning methodologies could be applied.

The code is based on the Sugarscape 2 Constant Growback model, availble in the NetLogo models library. New code was added into the existing model while removing code that was not needed and modifying existing code to support the changes. Support for the original movement rule was retained while evolutionary computing, Q-Learning, and SARSA Learning were added.

Peer reviewed MGA - Minimal Genetic Algorithm

Cosimo Leuci | Published Tue Sep 3 07:52:29 2019 | Last modified Thu Jan 30 08:42:08 2020

Genetic algorithms try to solve a computational problem following some principles of organic evolution. This model has educational purposes; it can give us an answer to the simple arithmetic problem on how to find the highest natural number composed by a given number of digits. We approach the task using a genetic algorithm, where the candidate solutions to the problem are represented by agents, that in logo programming environment are usually known as “turtles”.

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