Computational Model Library

Motivated by the emergence of new Peer-to-Peer insurance organizations that rethink how insurance is organized, we propose a theoretical model of decision-making in risk-sharing arrangements with risk heterogeneity and incomplete information about the risk distribution as core features. For these new, informal organisations, the available institutional solutions to heterogeneity (e.g., mandatory participation or price differentiation) are either impossible or undesirable. Hence, we need to understand the scope conditions under which individuals are motivated to participate in a bottom-up risk-sharing setting. The model puts forward participation as a utility maximizing alternative for agents with higher risk levels, who are more risk averse, are driven more by solidarity motives, and less susceptible to cost fluctuations. This basic micro-level model is used to simulate decision-making for agent populations in a dynamic, interdependent setting. Simulation results show that successful risk-sharing arrangements may work if participants are driven by motivations of solidarity or risk aversion, but this is less likely in populations more heterogeneous in risk, as the individual motivations can less often make up for the larger cost deficiencies. At the same time, more heterogeneous groups deal better with uncertainty and temporary cost fluctuations than more homogeneous populations do. In the latter, cascades following temporary peaks in support requests more often result in complete failure, while under full information about the risk distribution this would not have happened.

Both models simulate n-person prisoner dilemma in groups (left figure) where agents decide to C/D – using a stochastic threshold algorithm with reinforcement learning components. We model fixed (single group ABM) and dynamic groups (bad-barrels ABM). The purpose of the bad-barrels model is to assess the impact of information during meritocratic matching. In the bad-barrels model, we incorporated a multidimensional structure in which agents are also embedded in a social network (2-person PD). We modeled a random and homophilous network via a random spatial graph algorithm (right figure).

Substitution of food products will be key to realising widespread adoption of sustainable diets. We present an agent-based model of decision-making and influences on food choice, and apply it to historically observed trends of British whole and skimmed (including semi) milk consumption from 1974 to 2005. We aim to give a plausible representation of milk choice substitution, and test different mechanisms of choice consideration. Agents are consumers that perceive information regarding the two milk choices, and hold values that inform their position on the health and environmental impact of those choices. Habit, social influence and post-decision evaluation are modelled. Representative survey data on human values and long-running public concerns empirically inform the model. An experiment was run to compare two model variants by how they perform in reproducing these trends. This was measured by recording mean weekly milk consumption per person. The variants differed in how agents became disposed to consider alternative milk choices. One followed a threshold approach, the other was probability based. All other model aspects remained unchanged. An optimisation exercise via an evolutionary algorithm was used to calibrate the model variants independently to observed data. Following calibration, uncertainty and global variance-based temporal sensitivity analysis were conducted. Both model variants were able to reproduce the general pattern of historical milk consumption, however, the probability-based approach gave a closer fit to the observed data, but over a wider range of uncertainty. This responds to, and further highlights, the need for research that looks at, and compares, different models of human decision-making in agent-based and simulation models. This study is the first to present an agent-based modelling of food choice substitution in the context of British milk consumption. It can serve as a valuable pre-curser to the modelling of dietary shift and sustainable product substitution to plant-based alternatives in Britain.

This model is an agent-based simulation written in Python 2.7, which simulates the cost of social care in an ageing UK population. The simulation incorporates processes of population change which affect the demand for and supply of social care, including health status, partnership formation, fertility and mortality. Fertility and mortality rates are drawn from UK population data, then projected forward to 2050 using the methods developed by Lee and Carter 1992.

The model demonstrates that rising life expectancy combined with lower birthrates leads to growing social care costs across the population. More surprisingly, the model shows that the oft-proposed intervention of raising the retirement age has limited utility; some reductions in costs are attained initially, but these reductions taper off beyond age 70. Subsequent work has enhanced and extended this model by adding more detail to agent behaviours and familial relationships.

The version of the model provided here produces outputs in a format compatible with the GEM-SA uncertainty quantification software by Kennedy and O’Hagan. This allows sensitivity analyses to be performed using Gaussian Process Emulation.

Bayesian Updating Opinion Shared Uncertainty Model.

Johnathan Adams | Published Mon Nov 16 23:25:02 2020 | Last modified Fri May 14 04:13:16 2021

This is an opinion dynamics model which extends the model found in (Martins 2009). The previous model had an unshared uncertainty assumption in agent-to-agent interaction this model relaxes that assumption. The model only supports a fully connect network where every agent has an equal likelihood of interacting with every other agent at any given time step. The model is highly modular so different social network paradigm can easier be implemented.

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.

Port of Mars simplified

Marco Janssen | Published Tue Jan 14 17:02:08 2020

This is a simulation model to explore possible outcomes of the Port of Mars cardgame. Port of Mars is a resource allocation game examining how people navigate conflicts between individual goals and common interests relative to shared resources. The game involves five players, each of whom must decide how much of their time and effort to invest in maintaining public infrastructure and renewing shared resources and how much to expend in pursuit of their individual goals. In the game, “Upkeep” is a number that represents the physical health of the community. This number begins at 100 and goes down by twenty-five points each round, representing resource consumption and wear and tear on infrastructure. If that number reaches zero, the community collapses and everyone dies.

Our model allows simulating repeated conservation auctions in low-income countries. It is designed to assess policy-making by exploring the extent to which non-targeted repeated auctions can provide biodiversity conservation cost-effectively, while alleviating poverty. Targeting landholders in order to integrate both goals is claimed to be overambitious and underachieving because of the trade-offs they imply. The simulations offer insight on the possible outcomes that can derive from implementing conservation auctions in low-income countries, where landholders are likely to be risk averse and to face uncertainty.

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.

Consumats on a network

Marco Janssen | Published Tue Jan 14 17:10:23 2020

Consumer agents make choices which products to choose using the consumat approach. In this approach agents will make choices using deliberation, repetition, imitation or social comparison dependent on the level of need satisfaction and uncertainty.
The model is discussed in Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling by Marco Janssen. For more information see https://intro2abm.com/

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