Computational Model Library

Peer reviewed An agent-based model for brain drain

Furkan Gursoy Bertan Badur | Published Wed Mar 3 08:04:00 2021 | Last modified Fri Mar 12 09:40:13 2021

An agent-based model for the emigration of highly-skilled labour.

We hypothesise that there are two main factors that impact the decision and ability to move abroad: desire to maximise individual utility and network effects. Accordingly, several factors play role in brain drain such as the overall economic and social differences between the home and host countries, people’s ability and capacity to obtain good jobs and start a life abroad, the barriers of moving abroad, and people’s social network who are already working abroad.

This model simulates the form and function of an idealised estuary with associated barrier-spit complex on the north east coast of New Zealand’s North Island (from Bream Bay to central Bay of Plenty) during the years 2010 - 2050 CE. It combines variables from social, ecological and geomorphic systems to simulate potential directions of change in shallow coastal systems in response to external forcing from land use, climate, pollution, population density, demographics, values and beliefs. The estuary is over 1000Ha, making it a large estuary according to Hume et al. (2007) - there are 12 large estuaries in the Auckland region alone (Suyadi et al., 2019). The model was developed as part of Andrew Allison’s PhD Thesis in Geography from the School of Environment and Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand. The model setup allows for alteration of geomorphic, ecological and social variables to suit the specific conditions found in various estuaries along the north east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
This model is not a predictive or forecasting model. It is designed to investigate potential directions of change in complex shallow coastal systems. This model must not be used for any purpose other than as a heuristic to facilitate researcher and stakeholder learning and for developing system understanding (as per Allison et al., 2018).

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.

Schelling and Sakoda prominently proposed computational models suggesting that strong ethnic residential segregation can be the unintended outcome of a self-reinforcing dynamic driven by choices of individuals with rather tolerant ethnic preferences. There are only few attempts to apply this view to school choice, another important arena in which ethnic segregation occurs. In the current paper, we explore with an agent-based theoretical model similar to those proposed for residential segregation, how ethnic tolerance among parents can affect the level of school segregation. More specifically, we ask whether and under which conditions school segregation could be reduced if more parents hold tolerant ethnic preferences. We move beyond earlier models of school segregation in three ways. First, we model individual school choices using a random utility discrete choice approach. Second, we vary the pattern of ethnic segregation in the residential context of school choices systematically, comparing residential maps in which segregation is unrelated to parents’ level of tolerance to residential maps reflecting their ethnic preferences. Third, we introduce heterogeneity in tolerance levels among parents belonging to the same group. Our simulation experiments suggest that ethnic school segregation can be a very robust phenomenon, occurring even when about half of the population prefers mixed to segregated schools. However, we also identify a “sweet spot” in the parameter space in which a larger proportion of tolerant parents makes the biggest difference. This is the case when parents have moderate preferences for nearby schools and there is only little residential segregation. Further experiments are presented that unravel the underlying mechanisms.

Leviathan - Single Group Model

Thibaut Roubin | Published Thu Sep 17 15:21:40 2020

The model is based on the influence function of the Leviathan model (Deffuant, Carletti, Huet 2013 and Huet and Deffuant 2017), considering that all the agents belong to the same ingroup. This agent-based model studies how sharing the same group identity reduce the potential negative effect of gossip.

We consider agents sharing a single group, having an opinion/esteem about each other, about themselves and about the group. During dyadic meetings, agents change their respective opinion about each other, about the group, and possibly about other agents they gossip about, with a noisy perception of the opinions of their interlocutor. Highly valued agents are more influential in such encounters. The expressed opinion of an agent about another one is a combination of the opinion about the other agent and the opinion about the group.

We show that the addition of the group in the Leviathan model reduce the discrepancy between reputations, even if the group is not very important for the agents. In addition, the homogenization of the opinions reduce the negative effect of gossip.

The uFUNK Model

Davide Secchi | Published Mon Aug 31 11:35:44 2020

The agent-based simulation is set to work on information that is either (a) functional, (b) pseudo-functional, (c) dysfunctional, or (d) irrelevant. The idea is that a judgment on whether information falls into one of the four categories is based on the agent and its network. In other words, it is the agents who interprets a particular information as being (a), (b), (c), or (d). It is a decision based on an exchange with co-workers. This makes the judgment a socially-grounded cognitive exercise. The uFUNK 1.0.2 Model is set on an organization where agent-employee work on agent-tasks.

The purpose of this model is to explain the post-disaster recovery of households residing in their own single-family homes and to predict households’ recovery decisions from drivers of recovery. Herein, a household’s recovery decision is repair/reconstruction of its damaged house to the pre-disaster condition, waiting without repair/reconstruction, or selling the house (and relocating). Recovery drivers include financial conditions and functionality of the community that is most important to a household. Financial conditions are evaluated by two categories of variables: costs and resources. Costs include repair/reconstruction costs and rent of another property when the primary house is uninhabitable. Resources comprise the money required to cover the costs of repair/reconstruction and to pay the rent (if required). The repair/reconstruction resources include settlement from the National Flood Insurance (NFI), Housing Assistance provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA-HA), disaster loan offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA loan), a share of household liquid assets, and Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) fund provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Further, household income determines the amount of rent that it can afford. Community conditions are assessed for each household based on the restoration of specific anchors. ASNA indexes (Nejat, Moradi, & Ghosh 2019) are used to identify the category of community anchors that is important to a recovery decision of each household. Accordingly, households are indexed into three classes for each of which recovery of infrastructure, neighbors, or community assets matters most. Further, among similar anchors, those anchors are important to a household that are located in its perceived neighborhood area (Moradi, Nejat, Hu, & Ghosh 2020).

Peer reviewed BAM: The Bottom-up Adaptive Macroeconomics Model

Alejandro Platas López | Published Tue Jan 14 17:04:32 2020 | Last modified Sun Jul 26 00:26:21 2020



Modeling an economy with stable macro signals, that works as a benchmark for studying the effects of the agent activities, e.g. extortion, at the service of the elaboration of public policies..

In this agent-based model, agents decide to adopt a new product according to a utility function that depends on two kinds of social influences. First, there is a local influence exerted on an agent by her closest neighbors that have already adopted, and also by herself if she feels the product suits her personal needs. Second, there is a global influence which leads agents to adopt when they become aware of emerging trends happening in the system. For this, we endow agents with a reflexive capacity that allows them to recognize a trend, even if they can not perceive a significant change in their neighborhood.

Results reveal the appearance of slowdown periods along the adoption rate curve, in contrast with the classic stylized bell-shaped behavior. Results also show that network structure plays an important role in the effect of reflexivity: while some structures (e.g., scale-free networks) may amplify it, others (e.g., small-world structure) weaken such an effect.

TERRoir level Organic matter Interactions and Recycling model

Myriam Grillot | Published Wed Apr 19 14:33:44 2017 | Last modified Wed Jun 17 14:13:35 2020

The TERROIR agent-based model was built for the multi-level analysis of biomass and nutrient flows within agro-sylvo-pastoral villages in West Africa. It explicitly takes into account both human organization and spatial extension of such flows.

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