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Policymakers decide on alternative policies facing restricted budgets and uncertain, ever-changing future. Designing housing policies is further difficult giving the heterogeneous characteristics of properties themselves and the intricacy of housing markets and the spatial context of cities. We propose PolicySpace2 (PS2) as an adapted and extended version of the open source PolicySpace agent-based model. PS2 is a computer simulation that relies on empirically detailed spatial data to model real estate, along with labor, credit and goods and services markets. Interaction among workers, firms, a bank, households and municipalities follow the literature benchmarks to integrate economic, spatial and transport literature. PS2 is applied to a comparison among three competing municipal housing policies aimed at alleviating poverty: (a) property acquisition and distribution, (b) rental vouchers and (c) monetary aid. Within the model context, the monetary aid, that is, a smaller amounts of help for a larger number of households, makes the economy perform better in terms of production, consumption, reduction of inequality and maintenance of financial duties. PS2 as such is also a framework that may be further adapted to a number of related research questions.
The model simulates the national Campaign-Based Watershed Management program of Ethiopia. It includes three agents (farmers, Kebele/ village administrator, extension workers) and the physical environment that interact with each other. The physical environment is represented by patches (fields). Farmers make decisions on the locations of micro-watersheds to be developed, participation in campaign works to construct soil and water conservation structures, and maintenance of these structures. These decisions affect the physical environment or generate model outcomes. The model is developed to explore conditions that enhance outcomes of the program by analyzing the effect on the area of land covered and quality of soil and water conservation structures of (1) enhancing farmers awareness and motivation, (2) establishing and strengthening micro-watershed associations, (3) introducing alternative livelihood opportunities, and (4) enhancing the commitment of local government actors.
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.
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..
The model simulates the decisions of residents and a water authority to respond to socio-hydrological hazards. Residents from neighborhoods are located in a landscape with topographic complexity and two problems: water scarcity in the peripheral neighborhoods at high altitude and high risk of flooding in the lowlands, at the core of the city. The role of the water authority is to decide where investments in infrastructure should be allocated to reduce the risk to water scarcity and flooding events in the city, and these decisions are made via a multi-objective site selection procedure. This procedure accounts for the interdependencies and feedback between the urban landscape and a policy scenario that defines the importance, or priorities, that the authority places on four criteria.
Neighborhoods respond to the water authority decisions by protesting against the lack of investment and the level of exposure to water scarcity and flooding. Protests thus simulate a form of feedback between local-level outcomes (flooding and water scarcity) and higher-level decision-making. Neighborhoods at high altitude are more likely to be exposed to water scarcity and lack infrastructure, whereas neighborhoods in the lowlands tend to suffer from recurrent flooding. The frequency of flooding is also a function of spatially uniform rainfall events. Likewise, neighborhoods at the periphery of the urban landscape lack infrastructure and suffer from chronic risk of water scarcity.
The model simulates the coupling between the decision-making processes of institutional actors, socio-political processes and infrastructure-related hazards. In the documentation, we describe details of the implementation in NetLogo, the description of the procedures, scheduling, and the initial conditions of the landscape and the neighborhoods.
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1414052, CNH: The Dynamics of Multi-Scalar Adaptation in Megacities (PI Hallie Eakin).
We model the epistemic dynamics preceding political uprising. Before deciding whether to start protests, agents need to estimate the amount of discontent with the regime. This model simulates the dynamics of group knowledge about general discontent.
The current rate of production and consumption of meat poses a problem both to peoples’ health and to the environment. This work aims to develop a simulation of peoples’ meat consumption behaviour in Britain using agent-based modelling. The agents represent individual consumers. The key variables that characterise agents include sex, age, monthly income, perception of the living cost, and concerns about the impact of meat on the environment, health, and animal welfare. A process of peer influence is modelled with respect to the agents’ concerns. Influence spreads across two eating networks (i.e. co-workers and household members) depending on the time of day, day of the week, and agents’ employment status. Data from a representative sample of British consumers is used to empirically ground the model. Different experiments are run simulating interventions of application of social marketing campaigns and a rise in price of meat. The main outcome is the average weekly consumption of meat per consumer. A secondary outcome is the likelihood of eating meat.
The purpose of the simulation was to explore and better understand the process of bridging between an analysis of qualitative data and the specification of a simulation. This may be developed for more serious processes later but at the moment it is merely an illustration.
This exercise was done by Stephanie Dornschneider (School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin) and Bruce Edmonds to inform the discussion at the Lorentz workshop on “Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Data using Social Simulation” at Leiden in April 2019. The qualitative data was collected and analysed by SD. The model specification was developed as the result of discussion by BE & SD. The model was programmed by BE. This is described in a paper submitted to Social Simulation 2019 and (to some extent) in the slides presented at the workshop.
More frequently protests are accompanied by an opposing group performing a counter protest. This phenomenon can increase tension such that police must try to keep the two groups separated. However, what is the best strategy for police? This paper uses a simple agent-based model to determine the best strategy for keeping the two groups separated. The ‘thin blue line’ varies in density (number of police), width and the keenness of police to approach protesters. Three different groups of protesters are modelled to mimic peaceful, average and volatile protests. In most cases, a few police forming a single-file ‘thin blue line’ separating the groups is very effective. However, when the protests are more volatile, it is more effective to have many police occupying a wide ‘thin blue line’, and police being keen to approach protesters. To the authors knowledge, this is the first paper to model protests and counter-protests.
Takács, K. and Squazzoni, F. 2015. High Standards Enhance Inequality in Idealized Labor Markets. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 18(4), 2, http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/18/4/2.html
We built a simple model of an idealized labor market, in which there is no objective difference in average quality between groups and hiring decisions are not biased in favor of any particular group. Our results show that inequality in employment emerges necessarily also in such idealized situations due to the limited supply of high quality individuals and asymmetric information. Inequalities are exacerbated when employers have high standards and keep only the best workers in house. We found that ambitious workers get higher quality jobs even if ambition does not correlate or even negatively correlates with internal quality. Our findings help to corroborate empirical findings on higher employment discrepancies in high rather than low status jobs.