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30 articles matched your search for the keywords:
Microsimulation, Software, LIAM2

Technological Change, Learning and Macro-Economic Coordination: an Evolutionary Model

Gérard Ballot and Erol Taymaz
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 2 (2) 3

Kyeywords: Technological Change, Human Capital, Endogenous Growth, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Worlds, Classifier Systems, Microsimulation, Evolutionary Theory
Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to model the process of rule generation by firms that must allocate their resources between physical assets, training, and R&D, and to study the microeconomic performances as well as the aggregate outcomes. The framework is a complete micro-macroeconomic Leontieff-Keynesian model initialised with Swedish firms, and provides one of the first applications of the " artificial world " methodology to a complete economic system. The model also displays detailed features of technological change and firms' human capital. In this complex and evolving Schumpeterian environment, firms are "boundedly rational" and use rules. They learn better rules to survive, and we model this process with the use of classifiers. We are able to show that the diversity of rules is sustained over time, as well as the heterogeneity of firms' performances. Simple rules appear to secure larger market shares than complex rules. The learning process improves macroeconomic performance to a large extent whereas barriers to entry are also detrimental for macroeconomic performance.

Concepts for an Agent-Based Framework for Interdisciplinary Social Science Simulation

Elke Mentges
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 2 (2) 4

Kyeywords: Modelling Language, Software System, Multi-Agent System, Modelling Interactions, Toolkit

Liberal Order for Software Agents? an Economic Analysis

Dirk Nicolas Wagner
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 3 (1) forum/2

Kyeywords: Software Agents, Multi-Agent Systems, Economics, Liberalism, Social Order, Spontaneous Order, Adaptation, Unpredictability
Abstract: Computer science and economics face a common problem, the unpredictability of individual actors. Common problems do not necessarily imply a common understanding so that it is important to note that the agent-paradigm can function as an interface between Computer science and economics. On this basis, economics is able to provide valuable insights for the design of artificial societies that are intended to constructively deal with individual unpredictability. It is argued that liberal rules and adaptive actors are promising concepts in order to achieve spontaneous social order among software-agents

What is Ascape and Why Should You Care?

Miles Parker
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 4 (1) 5

Kyeywords: Agent-Based Simulation, Computer Modelling, Software Frameworks, Java
Abstract: Ascape is a framework designed to support the development, visualization, and exploration of agent based models. In this article I will argue that agent modeling tools and Ascape, in particular, can contribute significantly to the quality, creativity, and efficiency of social science simulation research efforts. Ascape is examined from the perspectives of use, design, and development. While Ascape has some unique design advantages, a close examination should also provide potential tool users with more insight into the kinds of services and features agent modeling toolkits provide in general.

Intervening to Achieve Co-Operative Ecosystem Management: Towards an Agent Based Model

Jim Doran
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 4 (2) 4

Kyeywords: Software Agent, Agent-Based Modelling, Integrated Watershed Management, Sustainability, Fraser River, Intervention Strategy
Abstract: We propose an advanced agent-based modelling approach to ecosystem management, informed and motivated by consideration of the Fraser River watershed and its management problems. Agent-based modelling is introduced, and a three-stage computer-based research programme is formulated, the focus of which is on how best to intervene to cause stakeholders to co-operate effectively in ecosystem management, and on the objective discovery and comparison of intervention strategies by way of computer experimentation. The agent-based model outlined is technically relatively complex, and several potential difficulties in its detailed development are discussed. Types of ecosystem intervention strategy that might plausibly be discovered or recommended by the model are projected and compared with those currently advocated in the literature.

UMDBS - a New Tool for Dynamic Microsimulation

Thomas Sauerbier
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 5 (2) 5

Kyeywords: Microsimulation, Monte Carlo Simulation, Micro Data, Simulation Languages, Simulation Systems, UMDBS, MISTRAL
Abstract: Microsimulation is a powerful method for analysis and forecasting especially in the field of economics and social science. One of the main reasons for its relatively rare usage is that until now there has been no standard software available. The Universal Micro DataBase System, UMDBS, is a new tool that runs on any Windows PC. It is suited for all tasks involved in running a microsimulation starting from the import of external data, the development of the simulation model, to the analysis of the results. It includes MISTRAL, an integrated modelling language that allows implementing the simulation models as well as analysing the micro data. After a short introduction to microsimulation, this article first presents the UMDBS and its main functions. Then an overview to the new modelling language MISTRAL is given including the features, the structure, and the implementation. Finally information is given about how to get UMDBS for free.

The Design of Participatory Agent-Based Social Simulations

Ana Maria Ramanath and Nigel Gilbert
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 7 (4) 1

Kyeywords: Participatory Simulation, Software Methodologies, Development Techniques
Abstract: It is becoming widely accepted that applied social simulation research is more effective if potential users and stakeholders are closely involved in model specification, design, testing and use, using the principles of participatory research. In this paper, a review of software engineering principles and accounts of the development of simulation models are used as the basis for recommendations about some useful techniques that can aid in the development of agent-based social simulation models in conjunction with users. The authors' experience with scenario analysis, joint analysis of design workshops, prototyping and user panels in a collaborative participatory project is described and, in combination with reviews from other participatory projects, is used to suggest how these techniques might be used in simulation-based research.

Forecasting China's Medical Insurance Policy for Urban Employees Using a Microsimulation Model

Linping Xiong and Xiuqiang Ma
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 10 (1) 8

Kyeywords: Medical Insurance, Policy Research, Microsimulation, Model
Abstract: This paper uses microsimulation techniques to model individual's medical behavior and forecast the effects of different settings of medical insurance policies. The aim of the simulation is to measure the possible change and difference in policies in the process of implementation of the medical insurance policy settings for government policy makers. Based on predicting the medical expenses for urban employees in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province of China, the medical insurance policy was simulated over the five-year forecast period 2002 - 2006. The results estimated that the medical expenses of medical insurance participants in Zhenjiang will increase over this period. Retirees were found to be the main group of participants receiving the highest share of medical resource expenditure, with their medical expenses accounting for more than 45% of total medical expenses of all age groups. The proportion of medical expenses paid by the social pool funds for all groups of participants will increase annually. In addition to the base case forecasting the current policy setting, this paper also modeled two other policy settings to investigate what happens to key output variables if the policy settings are changed.

Open Access for Social Simulation

Gary Polhill and Bruce Edmonds
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 10 (3) 10

Kyeywords: Agent-Based Social Simulation, Replication, Software Licences, Documentation, Archiving
Abstract: We consider here issues of open access to social simulations, with a particular focus on software licences, though also briefly discussing documentation and archiving. Without any specific software licence, the default arrangements are stipulated by the Berne Convention (for those countries adopting it), and are unsuitable for software to be used as part of the scientific process (i.e. simulation software used to generate conclusions that are to be considered part of the scientific domain of discourse). Without stipulating any specific software licence, we suggest rights that should be provided by any candidate licence for social simulation software, and provide in an appendix an evaluation of some popularly used licences against these criteria.

Towards a Community Framework for Agent-Based Modelling

Marco A. Janssen, Lilian N. Alessa, C. Michael Barton, Sean Bergin and Allen Lee
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 11 (2) 6

Kyeywords: Replication, Documentation Protocol, Software Development, Standardization, Test Beds, Education, Primitives
Abstract: Agent-based modelling has become an increasingly important tool for scholars studying social and social-ecological systems, but there are no community standards on describing, implementing, testing and teaching these tools. This paper reports on the establishment of the Open Agent-Based Modelling Consortium, www.openabm.org, a community effort to foster the agent-based modelling development, communication, and dissemination for research, practice and education.

Enhancing the Australian National Health Survey Data for Use in a Microsimulation Model of Pharmaceutical Drug Usage and Cost

Annie Abello, Sharyn Lymer, Laurie Brown, Ann Harding and Ben Phillips
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 11 (3) 2

Kyeywords: Base Data, Drug Usage, Microsimulation, Pharmaceutical Benefits, Scripts, Statistical Matching
Abstract: While static microsimulation models of the tax-transfer system are now available throughout the developed world, health microsimulation models are much rarer. This is, at least in part, due to the difficulties in creating adequate base micro-datasets upon which the microsimulation models can be constructed. In sharp contrast to tax-transfer modelling, no readily available microdata set typically contains all the health status, health service usage and socio-demographic information required for a sophisticated health microsimulation model. This paper describes three new techniques developed to overcome survey data limitations when constructing \'MediSim\', a microsimulation model of the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Comparable statistical matching and data imputation techniques may be of relevance to other modellers, as they attempt to overcome similar data deficiencies. The 2001 national health survey (NHS) was the main data source for MediSim. However, the NHS has a number of limitations for use in a microsimulation model. To compensate for this, we statistically matched the NHS with another national survey to create synthetic families and get a complete record for every individual within each family. Further, we used complementary datasets to impute short term health conditions and prescribed drug usage for both short- and long-term health conditions. The application of statistical matching methods and use of complementary data sets significantly improved the usefulness of the NHS as a base dataset for MediSim.

Pricing Strategies and Protection of Digital Products Under Presence of Piracy: A Welfare Analysis

Gokhan Ozertan and Baris Cevik
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 11 (4) 1

Kyeywords: Duopoly, Monitoring, Pricing Strategy, Software Piracy
Abstract: Based on a duopolistic set-up where firms produce software products with respective support packs, we analyze firms' pricing and predetermined monitoring decisions, as well as the impacts of these factors on welfare. In the presence of end-user piracy, users are classified as support-dependent and support-independent. First, a theoretical model is derived, but, due to its complexity, a numerical example is employed to derive the results. We observe that firms that are in competition face a menu of monitoring and pricing combinations. Our results indicate that (i) firms may use monitoring and pricing as strategic complements, rather than substitutes, (ii) profits are not necessarily an increasing function of both monitoring rates and prices, and welfare improvement from the lowest set of monitoring and pricing levels is possible, (iii) firms may prefer improvement in software rather than support packs, targeting especially the support-independent users.

Income Distribution Effects of a Finnish Work Incentive Trap Reform

Paivi Mattila-Wiro
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 12 (3) 3

Kyeywords: Work Incentive Trap Reforms, Microsimulation, Disposable Income, Economic Well-Being, Inequality, Poverty
Abstract: The present study concentrates on the income distribution effects of A Finnish Work Incentive Trap Reform started in 1996. I estimate how the reforms made have affected income levels and income inequality - the distribution of economic wellbeing. I look at the effects both without and with behavioral response. The data used is the Income Distribution Statistics of Statistics Finland from the years 1996 and 1998. The empirical part of the study is based on a microsimulation model. The method of microsimulation is a powerful tool for the analysis of ex post evaluation of policy reforms. However, the method is rarely and on very few occasions applied in Finland. The results drawn without behavioral response show that the 1996 data with the 1998 legislation produces lower values for income inequality measures and higher average income levels for almost all income decile groups compared to those with the 1996 legislation. However, the changes are very small. When the labor supply effect is included, the lowest incomes rise only very little (in fact, hardly at all) and the Gini coefficient remains unaltered.

JAMSIM: a Microsimulation Modelling Policy Tool

Oliver Mannion, Roy Lay-Yee, Wendy Wrapson, Peter Davis and Janet Pearson
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 15 (1) 8

Kyeywords: Microsimulation, Software Frameworks, Policy Tool, Java, r
Abstract: JAMSIM (JAva MicroSIMulation) is an innovative synthesis of open source packages that provides an environment and set of features for the creation of dynamic discrete-time microsimulation models that are to be executed, manipulated and interrogated by non-technical, policy-oriented users. Combining the leading open source statistical package R and one of the foremost agent-based modelling (ABM) graphical tools Ascape, JAMSIM is available as an open source tool, for public reuse and modification. Here we describe microsimulation, our functional requirements, a review of tools used by other micro-simulators and an evaluation of existing software, followed by the architecture, features and use of JAMSIM.

Agent-Based Modelling: Tools for Linking NetLogo and r

Jan C. Thiele, Winfried Kurth and Volker Grimm
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 15 (3) 8

Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modelling, Design of Experiments, R, NetLogo, Model Analysis, Modelling Software
Abstract: A seamless integration of software platforms for implementing agent-based models and for analysing their output would facilitate comprehensive model analyses and thereby make agent-based modelling more useful. Here we report on recently developed tools for linking two widely used software platforms: NetLogo for implementing agent-based models, and R for the statistical analysis and design of experiments. Embedding R into NetLogo allows the use of advanced statistical analyses, specific statistical distributions, and advanced tools for visualization from within NetLogo programs. Embedding NetLogo into R makes it possible to design simulation experiments and all settings for analysing model output from the outset, using R, and then embed NetLogo programs in this virtual laboratory. Our linking tools have the potential to significantly advance research based on agent-based modelling.

Building Mic-Core, a Specialized M&S Software to Simulate Multi-State Demographic Micro Models, Based on JAMES II, a General M&S Framework

Sabine Zinn, Jan Himmelspach, Adelinde M. Uhrmacher and Jutta Gampe
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 16 (3) 5

Kyeywords: Continuous-Time Microsimulation, Framework, Plug-In, Demography, Modeling, Simulation
Abstract: Often new modeling and simulation software is developed from scratch with no or only little reuse. The benefits that can be gained from developing a modeling and simulation environment by using (and thus reusing components of) a general modeling and simulation framework refer to reliability and efficiency of the developed software, which eventually contributes to the quality of simulation experiments. Developing the tool Mic-Core which supports continuous-time micro modeling and simulation in demography based on the plug-in-based modeling and simulation framework JAMES II will illuminate some of these benefits of reuse. Thereby, we will focus on the development process itself and on the quality of simulation studies, e.g., by analyzing the impact of random number generators on the reliability of results and of event queues on efficiency. The "lessons learned" summary presents a couple of insights gained by using a general purpose framework for M&S as a base to create a specialized M&S software.

Generating a Synthetic Population of Individuals in Households: Sample-Free Vs Sample-Based Methods

Maxime Lenormand and Guillaume Deffuant
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 16 (4) 12

Kyeywords: Synthetic Populations, Sample-Free, Iterative Proportional Updating, Sample Based Method, Microsimulation
Abstract: We compare a sample-free method proposed by Gargiulo et al. (2010) and a sample-based method proposed by Ye et al. (2009) for generating a synthetic population, organised in households, from various statistics. We generate a reference population for a French region including 1310 municipalities and measure how both methods approximate it from a set of statistics derived from this reference population. We also perform a sensitivity analysis. The sample-free method better fits the reference distributions of both individuals and households. It is also less data demanding but it requires more pre-processing. The quality of the results for the sample-based method is highly dependent on the quality of the initial sample.

Evaluating Binary Alignment Methods in Microsimulation Models

Jinjing Li and Cathal O'Donoghue
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (1) 15

Kyeywords: Alignment, Microsimulation, Dynamic Microsimulation, Algorithm Evaluation
Abstract: Alignment is a widely adopted technique in the field of microsimulation for social and economic policy research. However, limited research has been devoted to understanding the statistical properties of the various alignment algorithms currently in use. This paper discusses and evaluates six common alignment algorithms used in the dynamic microsimulation through a set of theoretical and statistical criteria proposed in the earlier literature (e.g. Morrison 2006; O’Donoghue 2010). This paper presents and compares the alignment processes, probability transformations, and the statistical properties of alignment outputs in transparent and controlled setups. The results suggest that there is no single best method for all simulation scenarios. Instead, the choice of alignment method might need to be adapted to the assumptions and requirements in a specific project.

LIAM2: a New Open Source Development Tool for Discrete-Time Dynamic Microsimulation Models

Gaëtan de Menten, Gijs Dekkers, Geert Bryon, Philippe Liégeois and Cathal O'Donoghue
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (3) 9

Kyeywords: Microsimulation, Software, LIAM2
Abstract: Most existing microsimulation models have been developed by separate (teams of) researchers. The drawback of each team working on its own is that they have to put a lot of time and effort in the customary development of fairly general simulation tools. Hence, economies of scale cannot be exploited, which makes microsimulation models even more expensive than strictly necessary. The objective of this paper is to present LIAM2, a free and open source modelling framework designed for the development of discrete-time dynamic models. It is meant to make microsimulation models much easier to develop. This paper makes a comparison with other simulation frameworks, presents a minimal LIAM2 model and discusses its performance in terms of data capacity and simulation speed.

Nowcasting in Microsimulation Models: A Methodological Survey

Cathal O'Donoghue and Jason Loughrey
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (4) 12

Kyeywords: Microsimulation, Survey, Nowcasting, Uprating, Reweighting, Projections
Abstract: In this paper, we survey the use of nowcasting methods in Microsimulation models. These nowcasting methods differ in a number of respects to the more established methods of forecasting. The main distinction is that while forecasting extrapolates from current data to estimate the future, the methods of nowcasting extrapolate from data of the recent past to reflect the present situation. In this paper, we undertake a survey of a number of modelling teams globally, selected for their experience and breadth of use with the methodologies of nowcasting and to ascertain the modelling choices made. Different methodologies are used to adjust the different components, with indexation or price uprating applied for the adjustments to growth in wages or prices, the updating of tax-benefit policy to adjust for policy change and either static or dynamic ageing to account for changes to the population and labour market structure. Our survey reports some of the choices made. We find that these model teams are increasingly utilising variants of these methods for short-term projections, which is relatively novel relative to the published literature.

Evaluating the Performance of Iterative Proportional Fitting for Spatial Microsimulation: New Tests for an Established Technique

Robin Lovelace, Mark Birkin, Dimitris Ballas and Eveline van Leeuwen
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (2) 21

Kyeywords: Microsimulation, Iterative Proportional Fitting, Deterministic Reweighting, Population Synthesis, Model Testing, Validation
Abstract: Iterative Proportional Fitting (IPF), also known as biproportional fitting, ‘raking’ or the RAS algorithm, is an established procedure used in a variety of applications across the social sciences. Primary amongst these for urban modelling has been its use in static spatial microsimulation to generate small area microdata — individual level data allocated to administrative zones. The technique is mature, widely used and relatively straight-forward. Although IPF is well described mathematically, accessible examples of the algorithm written in modern programming languages are rare. There is a tendency for researchers to ‘start from scratch’, resulting in a variety of ad hoc implementations and little evidence about the relative merits of differing approaches. These knowledge gaps mean that answers to certain methodological questions must be guessed: How can ‘empty cells’ be identified and how do they influence model fit? Can IPF be made more computationally efficient? This paper tackles these questions and more using a systematic methodology with publicly available code and data. The results demonstrate the sensitivity of the results to initial conditions, notably the presence of ‘empty cells’, and the dramatic impact of software decisions on computational efficiency. The paper concludes by proposing an agenda for robust and transparent future tests in the field.

Agile Development of an Attitude-Behaviour Driven Simulation of Alcohol Consumption Dynamics

Daniel Moyo, Abdallah K. Ally, Alan Brennan, Paul Norman, Robin C. Purshouse and Mark Strong
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (3) 10

Kyeywords: Agile, Agent-Based, Alcohol, Attitudes, Microsimulation, Modelling
Abstract: Whilst there have been several advocates for the application of software engineering (SE) methodologies in the development of agent-based models and simulations in the social sciences, the uptake of these techniques in the research community has been limited – or if authors are using such techniques, their use is underreported. Software engineering provides structured processes and techniques for designing, documenting, implementing and testing computer software. Software processes have many variations, each with their own unique advantages and disadvantages depending on the constraints (such as: human resources, time, finance, quality) facing a project team. This paper sets out the methods of Scrum agile software development, and discusses the experience of using Scrum to organise workflow and guide the development of an agent-based model of alcohol consumption. By employing Scrum in conjunction with another software engineering method, the Unified Modelling Language, this paper represents a case study in SE methods applied to a real world research problem.

Repast Simphony Statecharts

Jonathan Ozik, Nicholson Collier, Todd Combs, Charles M. Macal and Michael North
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (3) 11

Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Statecharts, Agent-Based Social Simulation, Repast Simphony, Software Engineering Processes
Abstract: Agent states and transitions between states are important abstractions in agent-based social simulation (ABSS). Although it is common to develop ad hoc implementations of state-based and transition-based agent behaviors, “best practice” software engineering processes provide transparent and formally grounded design notations that translate directly into working implementations. Statecharts are a software engineering design methodology and an explicit visual and logical representation of the states of system components and the transitions between those states. Used in ABSS, they can clarify a model’s logic and allow for efficient software engineering of complex state-based models. In addition to agent state and behavioral logic representation, visual statecharts can also be useful for monitoring agent status during a simulation, quickly conveying the underlying dynamics of complex models as a simulation evolves over time. Visual approaches include drag-and-drop editing capabilities for constructing state-based models of agent behaviors and conditions for agent state transitions. Repast Simphony is a widely used, open source, and freely accessible agent-based modeling toolkit. While it is possible for Repast Simphony users to create their own implementations of state-based agent behaviors and even create dynamic agent state visualizations, the effort involved in doing so is usually prohibitive. The new statecharts framework in Repast Simphony, a subset of Harel’s statecharts, introduces software engineering practices through the use of statecharts that directly translate visual representations of agent states and behaviors into software implementations. By integrating an agent statecharts framework into Repast Simphony, we have made it easier for users at all levels to take advantage of this important modeling paradigm. Through the visual programming that statecharts afford, users can effectively create the software underlying agents and agent-based models. This paper describes the development and use of the free and open source Repast Simphony statecharts capability for developing ABSS models.

Engineering Agent-Based Social Simulations: An Introduction

Peer-Olaf Siebers and Paul Davidsson
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (3) 13

Kyeywords: Agent-Based Social Simulation, Software Engineering, Software Architectures, UML
Abstract: This special section on "Engineering Agent-Based Social Simulations" aims to represent the current state of the art in using Software Engineering (SE) methods in ABSS. It includes a mixture of theoretically oriented papers that describe frameworks, notations and methods adapted from SE and practice-oriented papers that demonstrate the application of SE methods in real world ABSS projects.

Simulation Design: Trans-Paradigm Best-Practice from Software Engineering

Stuart Rossiter
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (3) 9

Kyeywords: Software-Engineering, Simulation-Toolkits,, Reference-Architecture, Best-Practice
Abstract: There are growing initiatives to apply software engineering (SE) best-practice to computational science, which includes simulation. One area where the simulation literature appears to be particularly light is in the overall structural design of simulations, and what architectures and features are valuable for what reasons. (Part of the problem is that parts of this knowledge are abstracted away in simulation toolkits which are often not easily comparable, and have different conceptual aims.) To address this, I outline three key software properties which embody SE best-practices, and then define an 'idealised' software architecture for simulation—what SE would call a reference architecture—which strongly exhibits them. I show that this is universal to all simulations (largely because modelling-paradigm-specific detail is encapsulated into a 'single black box' layer of functionality) but that simulation toolkits tend to differ in how they map to them; this relates to the aims of the toolkits, which I provide a useful categorisation of. I show that, interestingly, there are several core features of this architecture that are not fully represented in any simulation toolkit that I am aware of. I present a library—JSIT—which provides some proof-of-concept implementations of them for Java-based toolkits. This library, and other ideas in the reference architecture, are put into practice on a published, multi-paradigm model of health and social care which uses the AnyLogic toolkit. I conclude with some thoughts on why this area receives so little focus, how to take it forwards, and some of the related cultural issues.

Population Synthesis with Quasirandom Integer Sampling

Andrew Smith, Robin Lovelace and Mark Birkin
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 20 (4) 14

Kyeywords: Population Synthesis, Microsimulation, Quasirandom Numbers, Statistical Sampling
Abstract: Established methods for synthesising a population from geographically aggregated data are robust and well understood. However, most rely on the potentially detrimental process of integerisation if a whole individual population is required, e.g. for use in agent-based modelling (ABM). This paper describes and investigates the use of quasirandom sequences to sample populations from known marginal constraints whilst preserving those marginal distributions. We call this technique Quasirandom Integer Without-replacement Sampling (QIWS) and show that the statistical properties of quasirandomly sampled populations to be superior to those of pseudorandomly sampled ones in that they tend to yield entropies much closer to populations generated using the entropy-maximising iterative proportional fitting (IPF) algorithm. The implementation is extremely efficient, easily outperforming common IPF implementations. It is freely available as an open source R package called humanleague. Finally, we suggest how the current limitations of the implementation can be overcome, providing a direction for future work.

Towards the Right Ordering of the Sequence of Models for the Evolution of a Population Using Agent-Based Simulation

Morgane Dumont, Johan Barthelemy, Nam Huynh and Timoteo Carletti
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 21 (4) 3

Kyeywords: Microsimulation, Agent-Based Modelling, Ordering of Models, Population Evolution, Robustness
Abstract: Agent based modelling is nowadays widely used in transport and the social science. Forecasting population evolution and analysing the impact of hypothetical policies are often the main goal of these developments. Such models are based on sub-models defining the interactions of agents either with other agents or with their environment. Sometimes, several models represent phenomena arising at the same time in the real life. Hence, the question of the order in which these sub-models need to be applied is very relevant for simulation outcomes. This paper aims to analyse and quantify the impact of the change in the order of sub-models on an evolving population modelled using TransMob. This software simulates the evolution of the population of a metropolitan area in South East of Sydney (Australia). It includes five principal models: ageing, death, birth, marriage and divorce. Each possible order implies slightly different results mainly driven by how agents' ageing is defined with respect to death. Furthermore, we present a calendar-based approach for the ordering that decreases the variability of final populations. Finally, guidelines are provided proposing general advices and recommendations for researchers designing discrete time agent-based models.

ABOOMS: Overcoming the Hurdles of Continuous-Time Public Goods Games with a Simulation-Based Approach

Tuong Manh Vu, Christian Wagner and Peer-Olaf Siebers
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 22 (2) 7

Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modelling and Simulation, Continuous-Time Public Goods Game, Software Engineering, Agent-Based Computational Economics, Object-Oriented Analysis and Design
Abstract: Public Goods Games (PGGs) are a standard experimental economic approach to studying cooperative behaviour. There are two types of games: discrete-time and continuous-time PGGs. While discrete-time PGGs (one-shot decisions about contributions to public goods) can be easily done as lab experiments, continuous-time PGGs (where participants can change contributions at any time) are much harder to realise within a lab environment. This is mainly because it is difficult to consider events happening in continuous time in lab experiments. Simulation offers an opportunity to support real-world lab experiments and is well suited to explore continuous-time PGGs. In this paper, we show how to apply our recently developed ABOOMS (Agent-Based Object-Oriented Modelling and Simulation) development framework to create models for simulation-supported continuous-time PGG studies. The ABOOMS framework utilizes Software Engineering techniques to support the development at the macro level (considering the overall study lifecycle) and at the micro level (considering individual steps related to simulation model development). Our case study shows that outputs from the simulation-supported continuous-time PGG generate dynamics that do not exist in discrete-time setting, highlighting the fact that it is important to study both, discrete and continuous-time PGGs.

A Software Architecture for Mechanism-Based Social Systems Modelling in Agent-Based Simulation Models

Tuong Manh Vu, Charlotte Probst, Alexandra Nielsen, Hao Bai, Petra S. Meier, Charlotte Buckley, Mark Strong, Alan Brennan and Robin C. Purshouse
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (3) 1

Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modelling, Social Simulation, Software Architecture, Analytical Sociology, Abductive Reasoning
Abstract: This paper introduces the MBSSM (Mechanism-Based Social Systems Modelling) software architecture that is designed for expressing mechanisms of social theories with individual behaviour components in a unified way and implementing these mechanisms in an agent-based simulation model. The MBSSM architecture is based on a middle-range theory approach most recently expounded by analytical sociology and is designed in the object-oriented programming paradigm with Unified Modelling Language diagrams. This paper presents two worked examples of using the architecture for modelling individual behaviour mechanisms that give rise to the dynamics of population-level alcohol use: a single-theory model of norm theory and a multi-theory model that combines norm theory with role theory. The MBSSM architecture provides a computational environment within which theories based on social mechanisms can be represented, compared, and integrated. The architecture plays a fundamental enabling role within a wider simulation model-based framework of abductive reasoning in which families of theories are tested for their ability to explain concrete social phenomena.

Generating a Two-Layered Synthetic Population for French Municipalities: Results and Evaluation of Four Synthetic Reconstruction Methods

Boyam Fabrice Yameogo, Pierre-Olivier Vandanjon, Pascal Gastineau and Pierre Hankach
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 24 (2) 5

Kyeywords: Synthetic Population Generation, Multi-Level, Microsimulation, Simultaneous Control
Abstract: This article describes the generation of a detailed two-layered synthetic population of households and individuals for French municipalities. Using French census data, four synthetic reconstruction methods associated with two probabilistic integerization methods are applied. The paper offers an in-depth description of each method through a common framework. A comparison of these methods is then carried out on the basis of various criteria. Results showed that the tested algorithms produce realistic synthetic populations with the most efficient synthetic reconstruction methods assessed being the Hierarchical Iterative Proportional Fitting and the relative entropy minimization algorithms. Combined with the Truncation Replication Sampling allocation method for performing integerization, these algorithms generate household-level and individual-level data whose values lie closest to those of the actual population.