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8 articles matched your search for the keywords:
Socio-Ecological Systems, Farmers, Invasive Pest, Long Distance Dispersion, Teaching

Teaching Social Simulation with Matlab

Warren Thorngate
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 3 (1) forum/1

Kyeywords: Simulation, Teaching, Social Processes, Programming Languages, Matlab
Abstract: Programming languages for social simulations are rapidly proliferating. The result is a Tower of Babel effect: Many of us find it increasingly effortful to learn and to teach more programming languages and increasingly difficult to sustain an audience beyond the programming dialect of our choice. We need a programming lingua franca. Here I argue why Matlab might be worth our consideration, especially to teach simulation programming techniques.

Using AgentSheets to Teach Simulation to Undergraduate Students

Joaquim Carvalho
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 3 (3) forum/2

Kyeywords: Simulation, Teaching, User Interfaces to Agent Based Models
Abstract: The AgentSheets simulation software has been used for the last two years in a course for undergraduate students. The ease of use and extreme care put into the interface makes this tool a classroom success, allowing students to have hands-on experience of model construction without the overhead of learning complicated frameworks or programming languages. The limitations of the tool, in particular those that make difficult the construction of more complex models, are reviewed.

The Evolution of Altruism in Spatially Structured Populations

András Németh and Károly Takács
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 10 (3) 4

Kyeywords: Altruism, Teaching, Knowledge Transfer, Spatially Structured Social Dilemmas
Abstract: The evolution of altruism in humans is still an unresolved puzzle. Helping other individuals is often kinship-based or reciprocal. Several examples show, however, that altruism goes beyond kinship and reciprocity and people are willing to support unrelated others even when this is at a cost and they receive nothing in exchange. Here we examine the evolution of this "pure" altruism with a focus on altruistic teaching. Teaching is modeled as a knowledge transfer which enhances the survival chances of the recipient, but reduces the reproductive efficiency of the provider. In an agent-based simulation we compare evolutionary success of genotypes that have willingness to teach with those who do not in two different scenarios: random matching of individuals and spatially structured populations. We show that if teaching ability is combined with an ability to learn and individuals encounter each other on a spatial proximity basis, altruistic teaching will attain evolutionary success in the population. Settlement of the population and accumulation of knowledge are emerging side-products of the evolution of altruism. In addition, in large populations our simple model also produces a counterintuitive result that increasing the value of knowledge keeps fewer altruists alive.

Agent-Based Modeling of Human-Induced Spread of Invasive Species in Agricultural Landscapes: Insights from the Potato Moth in Ecuador

François Rebaudo, Verónica Crespo-Pérez, Jean-François Silvain and Olivier Dangles
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 14 (3) 7

Kyeywords: Socio-Ecological Systems, Farmers, Invasive Pest, Long Distance Dispersion, Teaching
Abstract: Agent-based models (ABM) are ideal tools to deal with the complexity of pest invasion throughout agricultural socio-ecological systems, yet very few studies have applied them in such context. In this work we developed an ABM that simulates interactions between farmers and an invasive insect pest in an agricultural landscape of the tropical Andes. Our specific aims were to use the model 1) to assess the importance of farmers\' mobility and pest control knowledge on pest expansion and 2) to use it as an educational tool to train farmer communities facing pest risks. Our model combined an ecological sub-model, simulating pest population dynamics driven by a cellular automaton including environmental factors of the landscape, with a social model in which we incorporated agents (farmers) potentially transporting and spreading the pest through displacements among villages. Results of model simulation revealed that both agents\' movements and knowledge had a significant, non-linear, impact on invasion spread, confirming previous works on disease expansion by epidemiologists. However, heterogeneity in knowledge among agents had a low effect on invasion dynamics except at high levels of knowledge. Evaluations of the training sessions using ABM suggest that farmers would be able to better manage their crop after our implementation. Moreover, by providing farmers with evidence that pests propagated through their community not as the result of isolated decisions but rather as the result of repeated interactions between multiple individuals over time, our ABM allowed introducing them with social and psychological issues which are usually neglected in integrated pest management programs.

Which Perspective of Institutional Change Best Fits Empirical Data? An Agent-Based Model Comparison of Rational Choice and Cultural Diffusion in Invasive Plant Management

Abigail Sullivan, Li An and Abigail York
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 21 (1) 5

Kyeywords: Agent-Based Model, Institutions, Invasive Pest, Collective Action
Abstract: There are multiple theories regarding how institutions change over time, but institutional change is often difficult to study and understand in practice. Agent-based modeling is known as a technique to explore emergent phenomena resulting from the micro level activities and interactions between heterogeneous agents and between agents and the environment. Such models allow researchers to investigate theories which may otherwise be difficult to examine. We present a theoretically driven agent-based model to explore two perspectives on institutional change, rational choice and cultural diffusion, in the context of invasive plant management in Chitwan, Nepal. The Chitwan region is grappling with the spread of the invasive mile-a-minute weed, Mikania micrantha (Mikania). We focus on understanding which perspective of institutional change better fits empirical survey data on Mikania management. We find that rational choice is an unlikely candidate for institutional change in Chitwan and that the social learning and imitation mechanism modeled in the cultural diffusion perspective better replicates empirical patterns. Additionally, the model reveals that the percentage of agents adopting the best practice removal method is not as influential in reducing Mikania as the initial amount of Mikania removed. This result indicates that it may be useful to conduct an empirical assessment varying the initial amount of Mikania removed to understand the management implications for successful removal of Mikania in Chitwan and elsewhere.

Promoting Sustainable Food Consumption: An Agent-Based Model About Outcomes of Small Shop Openings

Roberto Calisti, Primo Proietti and Andrea Marchini
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 22 (1) 2

Kyeywords: Sustainable Consumption, Agent-Based Modelling, Farmers’ Market, Consumer Behaviour, Consumer Networks, Location-Allocation Problem
Abstract: A useful way of promoting sustainable food consumption is to consider the spread of food retail operations focused on food diversification, food specialization, and fresh and local products. These food shops are generally small, which is a great problem for survival against ruthless competition from supermarkets. Our research objective was to construct a simulation with an agent-based model, reproducing the local food consumption market and to investigate how a new, small food retailing shop interacts with this market. As a case study, the model simulates the opening of a small farmers’ market. The intent of the model is to reproduce the current status of consumption for food products within a certain territorial context and given time period, and to investigate how consumers’ behaviour changes with the opening of the new shop. As a result, we could predict changes in consumers’ habits, the economic positioning of new, small shops and its best location. This information is of considerable interest for farmers’ markets and also for policymakers.

Conflicts Induced by Different Responses to Land Expropriation Among the Farmers Involved During Urbanization in China

Haijun Bao, Xiaohe Wu, Haowen Wang, Qiuxiang Li, Yi Peng and Shibao Lu
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 22 (1) 7

Kyeywords: Conflict of Interests, Land Expropriation, Evolutionary Game, Multi-Agent Simulation, Farmers
Abstract: Expropriation of collectively-owned land has become an important realistic path for achieving urban development and new urbanization in China considering the shortage of state-owned land. During this process, farmers involved in land expropriation are often in conflict with one another because of the asymmetry of their interests. Such conflicts have a considerable effect on social harmony and stability. However, few studies have investigated such conflict of interests between farmers. Therefore, this research analyzed game behavior for the conflict of interests among farmers. A two-dimensional symmetric evolutionary game model and a multi-agent simulation experiment were used to explore the conflicts induced by the farmers’ different responses to land expropriation. This research finds that the changing strategy choices of farmers in the evolutionary game on collectively owned land expropriation are the main reasons for the occurrence of villager’ confrontations and “nail households”. Results provide targeted policy recommendations for local governments to promote cooperation among farmers, thereby enhancing social harmony. The findings also serve as references for other countries and regions in dealing with intra-conflict of interests in land expropriation.

Using Agent-Based Modelling to Assess Scenarios for Enhanced Soil and Water Conservation in the Boset District, Ethiopia

Samuel Assefa, Aad Kessler and Luuk Fleskens
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 24 (4) 8

Kyeywords: Social Simulation, Farmers, Soil and Water Conservation, Scenario Analysis, Ethiopia
Abstract: The sustainability of the ongoing Campaign-Based Watershed Management (CBWM) program in Ethiopia is questionable due to poor planning and implementation of the Soil and Water Conservation (SWC) structures. This study uses an empirically based, agent-based model to explore the effect of six scenarios on both area of land covered by, as well as the quality of SWC structures in three Kebeles (villages) of Boset District. The analysis revealed that integrating multiple interventions enhanced SWC most in all Kebeles. Furthermore, increasing the commitment of local government through capacity building generated most effect and yet required the lowest investment. Motivating farmers, introducing alternative livelihood opportunities and establishing and strengthening micro-watershed associations had limited, but differential influence on the outcomes across the Kebeles. However, all alternative scenarios had some added value compared to doing business as usual. Hence, in order to enhance the outcomes and sustainability of the ongoing CBWM program in the study area and other similar localities, it is crucial to pay much more attention to increasing the commitment of local government actors through capacity building. This empowers local government actors to (1) plan and more efficiently implement the program in consultation with other local actors, and (2) integrate locally sensitive need-based adaptation of the program.