Computational Model Library

This agent-based simulation model for group interaction is rooted in social psychological theory. The
model integrates affect control theory with networked interaction structures and sequential behavior protocols as they are often encountered in task groups. By expressing status hierarchy through network structure we build a bridge between expectation states theory and affect control theory, and are able to reproduce central results from the expectation states research program in sociological social psychology. Furthermore, we demonstrate how the model can be applied to analyze specialized task groups or sub-cultural domains by combining it with empirical data sources. As an example, we simulate groups of open-source software developers and analyze how cultural expectations influence the occupancy of high status positions in these groups.

Style_Net_01

Andrew White | Published Tue Aug 3 16:06:06 2021

Style_Net_01 is a spatial agent-based model designed to serve as a platform for exploring geographic patterns of tool transport and discard among seasonally mobile hunter-gatherer populations. The model has four main levels: artifact, person, group, and system. Persons make, use, and discard artifacts. Persons travel in groups within the geographic space of the model. The movements of groups represent a seasonal pattern of aggregation and dispersal, with all groups coalescing at an aggregation site during one point of the yearly cycle. The scale of group mobility is controlled by a parameter. The creation, use, and discard of artifacts is controlled by several parameters that specify how many tools each person carries in a personal inventory, how many times each tool can be used before it is discarded, and the frequency of tool usage. A lithic source (representing a geographically-specific, recognizable source of stone for tools) can be placed anywhere in the geographic space of the model.

Modeling Prejudice And Its Effect On Societal Prosperity

no contributors listed | Published Sun Jun 27 19:20:28 2021

Existing studies on prejudice, which is important in multi-group dynamics in societies, focus on the social-psychological knowledge behind the processes involving prejudice and its propagation. We instead create a multi-agent framework that simulates the propagation of prejudice and measures its tangible impact on the prosperity of individuals as well as of larger social structures, including groups and factions within. Groups in society help us define prejudice, and factions represent smaller tight-knit circles of individuals with similar opinions. We model social interactions using the Continuous Prisoner’s Dilemma (CPD) and a type of agent called a prejudiced agent, whose cooperation is affected by a prejudice attribute, updated over time based both on the agent’s own experiences and those of others in its faction. This model generates various results that both provide new insights into intergroup prejudice and its effects, as well as highlight and reinforce certain existing notions of prejudice.

EMMIT is an end-user developed agent-based simulation of malaria transmission. The simulation’s development is a case study demonstrating an approach for non-technical investigators to easily develop useful simulations of complex public health problems. We focused on malaria transmission, a major global public health problem, and insecticide resistance (IR), a major problem affecting malaria control. Insecticides are used to reduce transmission of malaria caused by the Plasmodium parasite that is spread by the Anopheles mosquito. However, the emergence and spread of IR in a mosquito population can diminish the insecticide’s effectiveness. IR results from mutations that produce behavioral changes or biochemical changes (such as detoxification enhancement, target site alterations) in the mosquito population that provide resistance to the insecticide. Evolutionary selection for the IR traits reduces the effectiveness of an insecticide favoring the resistant mosquito population. It has been suggested that biopesticides, and specifically those that are Late Life Acting (LLA), could address this problem. LLA insecticides exploit Plasmodium’s approximate 10-day extrinsic incubation period in the mosquito vector, a delay that limits malaria transmission to older infected mosquitoes. Since the proposed LLA insecticide delays mosquito death until after the exposed mosquito has a chance to produce several broods of offspring, reducing the selective pressure for resistance, it delays IR development and gives the insecticide longer effectivity. Such insecticides are designed to slow the evolution of IR thus maintaining their effectiveness for malaria control. For the IR problem, EMMIT shows that an LLA insecticide could work as intended, but its operational characteristics are critical, primarily the mean-time-to-death after exposure and the associated standard deviation. We also demonstrate the simulation’s extensibility to other malaria control measures, including larval source control and policies to mitigate the spread of IR. The simulation was developed using NetLogo as a case study of a simple but useful approach to public health research.

Here we share the raw results of the social experiments of the paper “Gossip and competitive altruism support cooperation in a Public Good Game” by Giardini, Vilone, Sánchez, Antonioni, under review for Philosophical Transactions B. The experiment is thoroughly described there, in the following we summarize the main features of the experimental setup. The authors are available for further clarifications if requested.

Participants were recruited from the LINEEX subjects pool (University of Valencia Experimental Economics lab). 160 participants mean age = 21.7 years; 89 female) took part in this study in return for a flat payment of 5 EUR and the opportunity to earn an additional payment ranging from 8 to 16 EUR (mean total payment = 17.5 EUR). 80 subjects, divided into 5 groups of 16, took part in the competitive treatment while other 80 subjects participated in the non-competitive treatment. Laboratory experiments were conducted at LINEEX on September 16th and 17th, 2015.

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.

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