Andrew Crooks

Andrew Crooks is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment between the Computational Social Science Program within the Department of Computational and Data Sciences and the Department of Geography and GeoInformation Science, which are part of the College of Science at George Mason University. His areas of expertise specifically relate to integrating agent-based modeling (ABM) and geographic information systems (GIS) to explore human behavior. Moreover, his research focuses on exploring and understanding the natural and socio-economic environments specifically urban areas using GIS, spatial analysis, social network analysis (SNA), Web 2.0 technologies and ABM methodologies.

Research Interests

GIS, Agent-based modeling, social network analysis

The purpose of this model is explore how “friend-of-friend” link recommendations, which are commonly used on social networking sites, impact online social network structure. Specifically, this model generates online social networks, by connecting individuals based upon varying proportions of a) connections from the real world and b) link recommendations. Links formed by recommendation mimic mutual connection, or friend-of-friend algorithms. Generated networks can then be analyzed, by the included scripts, to assess the influence that different proportions of link recommendations have on network properties, specifically: clustering, modularity, path length, eccentricity, diameter, and degree distribution.

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.

Modeling the Emergence of Riots

Bianica Pires Andrew Crooks | Published Wed Jan 20 14:06:58 2016 | Last modified Wed Sep 21 13:28:10 2016

The purpose of the model is to explore how the unique socioeconomic variables underlying Kibera, local interactions, and the spread of a rumor, may trigger a riot.

The current project developed a spatial ABM to examine the likelihood of unplanned manager-subordinate encounters in an office setting with two floors.

Exploring Urban Shrinkage 2

njiang13 Andrew Crooks | Published Thu Jan 14 20:28:05 2021

While the world’s total urban population continues to grow, not all cities are witnessing such growth, some are actually shrinking. This shrinkage causes several problems to emerge including population loss, economic depression, vacant properties and the contraction of housing markets. Such problems challenge efforts to make cities sustainable. While there is a growing body of work on study shrinking cities, few explore such a phenomenon from the bottom up using dynamic computational models. To overcome this issue this paper presents an spatially explicit agent-based model stylized on the Detroit Tri-county area, an area witnessing shrinkage. Specifically, the model demonstrates how through the buying and selling of houses can lead to urban shrinkage from the bottom up. The model results indicate that along with the lower level housing transactions being captured, the aggregated level market conditions relating to urban shrinkage are also captured (i.e., the contraction of housing markets). As such, the paper demonstrates the potential of simulation to explore urban shrinkage and potentially offers a means to test polices to achieve urban sustainability.

We investigate the interplay of homophily, differentiation, and in-group cooperation mechanisms on the formation of opinion clusters and emergence of radical opinions.

Modeling the Emergence of Riots

Bianica Pires Andrew Crooks | Published Wed Jan 20 14:06:58 2016 | Last modified Wed Sep 21 13:28:10 2016

The purpose of the model is to explore how the unique socioeconomic variables underlying Kibera, local interactions, and the spread of a rumor, may trigger a riot.

The Geography of Conflict Diamonds: The Case of Sierra Leone

Bianica Pires Andrew Crooks | Published Thu Mar 24 18:59:16 2016 | Last modified Thu Mar 24 19:09:35 2016

Using Sierra Leone as a test case, the purpose of the model is to explore the role of geography in a resource-driven war. An ABM is integrated with geographic information systems (GIS) for this purpose.

The purpose of the OMOLAND-CA is to investigate the adaptive capacity of rural households in the South Omo zone of Ethiopia with respect to variation in climate, socioeconomic factors, and land-use at the local level.

Modeling the Emergence of Riots

Bianica Pires Andrew Crooks | Published Wed Jan 20 14:06:58 2016 | Last modified Wed Sep 21 13:28:10 2016

The purpose of the model is to explore how the unique socioeconomic variables underlying Kibera, local interactions, and the spread of a rumor, may trigger a riot.

The Geography of Conflict Diamonds: The Case of Sierra Leone

Bianica Pires Andrew Crooks | Published Thu Mar 24 18:59:16 2016 | Last modified Thu Mar 24 19:09:35 2016

Using Sierra Leone as a test case, the purpose of the model is to explore the role of geography in a resource-driven war. An ABM is integrated with geographic information systems (GIS) for this purpose.

Modeling the Emergence of Riots

Bianica Pires Andrew Crooks | Published Wed Jan 20 14:06:58 2016 | Last modified Wed Sep 21 13:28:10 2016

The purpose of the model is to explore how the unique socioeconomic variables underlying Kibera, local interactions, and the spread of a rumor, may trigger a riot.

Exploring Urban Shrinkage

Andrew Crooks | Published Thu Mar 19 22:15:47 2020

While the world’s total urban population continues to grow, this growth is not equal. Some cities are declining, resulting in urban shrinkage which is now a global phenomenon. Many problems emerge due to urban shrinkage including population loss, economic depression, vacant properties and the contraction of housing markets. To explore this issue, this paper presents an agent-based model stylized on spatially explicit data of Detroit Tri-county area, an area witnessing urban shrinkage. Specifically, the model examines how micro-level housing trades impact urban shrinkage by capturing interactions between sellers and buyers within different sub-housing markets. The stylized model results highlight not only how we can simulate housing transactions but the aggregate market conditions relating to urban shrinkage (i.e., the contraction of housing markets). To this end, the paper demonstrates the potential of simulation to explore urban shrinkage and potentially offers a means to test polices to alleviate this issue.

The purpose of the OMOLAND-CA is to investigate the adaptive capacity of rural households in the South Omo zone of Ethiopia with respect to variation in climate, socioeconomic factors, and land-use at the local level.

Modeling the Emergence of Riots

Bianica Pires Andrew Crooks | Published Wed Jan 20 14:06:58 2016 | Last modified Wed Sep 21 13:28:10 2016

The purpose of the model is to explore how the unique socioeconomic variables underlying Kibera, local interactions, and the spread of a rumor, may trigger a riot.

The current project developed a spatial ABM to examine the likelihood of unplanned manager-subordinate encounters in an office setting with two floors.

Exploring Urban Shrinkage 2

njiang13 Andrew Crooks | Published Thu Jan 14 20:28:05 2021

While the world’s total urban population continues to grow, not all cities are witnessing such growth, some are actually shrinking. This shrinkage causes several problems to emerge including population loss, economic depression, vacant properties and the contraction of housing markets. Such problems challenge efforts to make cities sustainable. While there is a growing body of work on study shrinking cities, few explore such a phenomenon from the bottom up using dynamic computational models. To overcome this issue this paper presents an spatially explicit agent-based model stylized on the Detroit Tri-county area, an area witnessing shrinkage. Specifically, the model demonstrates how through the buying and selling of houses can lead to urban shrinkage from the bottom up. The model results indicate that along with the lower level housing transactions being captured, the aggregated level market conditions relating to urban shrinkage are also captured (i.e., the contraction of housing markets). As such, the paper demonstrates the potential of simulation to explore urban shrinkage and potentially offers a means to test polices to achieve urban sustainability.

Under development.

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