93 articles matched your search for
Agent-Based Modeling, Methodologies, Statistical Test, Sensitivity Analysis, Spatio-Temporal Heterogeneity, Visualization
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 3 (1) 1
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Identity, Constructivism
Abstract: Agent-based modeling is an alternative and complementary approach to the study of political identities, including ethnicity and nationalism. By generating many runs with different initial conditions large data sets of virtual histories can be accumulated. This paper presents the ABIR (Agent-Based Identity Repertoire) model which seeks to refine, elaborate, and test constructivist theories of identity and identity change. In this model agents with activated identities interact on a landscape. These agents have repertoires of latent identities. A simple set of micro rules, conforming to constructivist theory's standard propositions about the fluidity, multiplicity, and institutionalizability of identities, as well as their responsiveness to changing incentive structures, determines in any particular interaction what identities will be activated, deactivated, or maintained. Macro-patterns that emerge from these myriad micro-interactions can then be systematically studied. Experiments reported in this paper focus how variation in the size of agent repertoires can affect tension reduction and aggregation across the landscape. Results suggest that tipping and cascade effects are much more likely when a small number of exclusivist identities are present in a population.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 4 (3) 10
Kyeywords: Object-Oriented Simulation, Multi-Paradigm Modelling, Java, Simulation Framework, Web-Based Simulation, Simulation Visualization
Abstract: Social science research calls for the explorative modelling of complex problem domains. A modelling tool that aims at supporting this kind of effort has to strike the balance between offering sufficient flexibility for free exploration on the one hand and effective measures to relieve the modeler from the more cumbersome parts of programming on the other. The Java-based VSEit framework, presented in this paper, embodies a pragmatic approach to strike that middle ground. One key element of the VSEit architecture is the supplementation of the usual object-oriented class concept with the capability for specifying types of model entities and structures at a high semantic level.
Benjamin M. Eidelson and Ian Lustick
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 7 (3) 6
Kyeywords: Smallpox, Bioterrorism, Agent-Based Modeling, Stochastic Simulation, Vaccination Policy
Abstract: Because conjectural 'thought experiments' can be formalized, refined, and conducted systematically using computers, computational modeling is called for in situations that demand robust quantitative study of phenomena which occur only rarely, or may never occur at all. In light of mounting concerns regarding the threats of bioterrorism in general and smallpox in specific, we developed a stochastic agent-based model, VIR-POX, in order to explore the viability of available containment measures as defenses against the spread of this infectious disease. We found the various vaccination and containment programs to be highly interdependent, and ascertained that these policy options vary not only in their mean effects, but also in their subordination to factors of chance or otherwise uncontrollable interference, relationships which themselves fluctuate across ranges of the counterfactual distribution. Broadly speaking, ring vaccination rivaled mass vaccination if a very substantial proportion of smallpox cases could be detected and isolated almost immediately after infection, or if residual herd immunity in the population was relatively high. Pre-attack mass vaccination and post-attack mass vaccination were equivalent in their capacities to eliminate the virus from the population within five months, but the pre-attack strategy did so with significantly fewer deaths in the process. Our results suggest that the debate between ring and mass vaccination approaches may hinge on better understanding residual herd immunity and the feasibility of early detection measures.
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.
Josep M. Pujol, Andreas Flache, Jordi Delgado and Ramon Sangüesa
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 8 (4) 12
Kyeywords: Complex Networks, Power-Law, Scale-Free, Small-World, Agent-Based Modeling, Social Exchange Theory, Structural Emergence
Abstract: Small-world and power-law network structures have been prominently proposed as models of large networks. However, the assumptions of these models usually lack sociological grounding. We present a computational model grounded in social exchange theory. Agents search attractive exchange partners in a diverse population. Agent use simple decision heuristics, based on imperfect, local information. Computer simulations show that the topological structure of the emergent social network depends heavily upon two sets of conditions, harshness of the exchange game and learning capacities of the agents. Further analysis show that a combination of these conditions affects whether star-like, small-world or power-law structures emerge.
Matteo Richiardi, Roberto Leombruni, Nicole J. Saam and Michele Sonnessa
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 9 (1) 15
Kyeywords: Agent-Based, Simulations, Methodology, Calibration, Validation, Sensitivity Analysis
Abstract: Traditional (i.e. analytical) modelling practices in the social sciences rely on a very well established, although implicit, methodological protocol, both with respect to the way models are presented and to the kinds of analysis that are performed. Unfortunately, computer-simulated models often lack such a reference to an accepted methodological standard. This is one of the main reasons for the scepticism among mainstream social scientists that results in low acceptance of papers with agent-based methodology in the top journals. We identify some methodological pitfalls that, according to us, are common in papers employing agent-based simulations, and propose appropriate solutions. We discuss each issue with reference to a general characterization of dynamic micro models, which encompasses both analytical and simulation models. In the way, we also clarify some confusing terminology. We then propose a three-stage process that could lead to the establishment of methodological standards in social and economic simulations.
Francesc S. Beltran, Laura Salas and Vicenç Quera
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 9 (3) 5
Kyeywords: Spatial Behavior, Proxemics, Agent-Based Modeling, Minimum Dissatisfaction Model, Small Groups, Social Interaction
Abstract: We present an agent-based model with the aim of studying how macro-level dynamics of spatial distances among interacting individuals in a closed space emerge from micro-level dyadic and local interactions. Our agents moved on a lattice (referred to as a room) using a model implemented in a computer program called P-Space in order to minimize their dissatisfaction, defined as a function of the discrepancy between the real distance and the ideal, or desired, distance between agents. Ideal distances evolved in accordance with the agent\'s personal and social space, which changed throughout the dynamics of the interactions among the agents. In the first set of simulations we studied the effects of the parameters of the function that generated ideal distances, and in a second set we explored how group macro-level behavior depended on model parameters and other variables. We learned that certain parameter values yielded consistent patterns in the agents\' personal and social spaces, which in turn led to avoidance and approaching behaviors in the agents. We also found that the spatial behavior of the group of agents as a whole was influenced by the values of the model parameters, as well as by other variables such as the number of agents. Our work demonstrates that the bottom-up approach is a useful way of explaining macro-level spatial behavior. The proposed model is also shown to be a powerful tool for simulating the spatial behavior of groups of interacting individuals.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 9 (4) 2
Kyeywords: Autonomy Movements, Ethno-Regional Mobilization, Constructivism, Agent-Based Modeling, Collective Identity
Abstract: Explanations of the emergence of regional autonomy movements - political organizations seeking to express sub-state affinities and interests - often highlight cultural differences and economic incentives as important reasons driving regional elites and local politicians to form such organization and explain the support regional autonomy movements receive. In this paper I employ a specialized agent-based computer simulation as a laboratory for 'thought experiments' to evaluate alternative theoretical expectations of the independent and combined consequences of regional economic and cultural circumstances on the likelihood of regional mobilization. The simulations suggest that pronounced cultural differences and strong economic incentives contribute to the emergence of three independent yet related aspects of autonomy mobilization: the emergence of political boundaries, minority support, and minority clustering. Furthermore, these experiment indicate that the impact of cultural differences on the emergence of political boundaries may be contingent on the strength of the economic incentives, and visa versa.
Stephen Wendel and Catherine Dibble
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 10 (2) 9
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Scaling, Homogeneity, Compression
Abstract: We introduce a new method for processing agents in agent-based models that significantly improves the efficiency of certain models. Dynamic Agent Compression allows agents to shift in and out of a compressed state based on their changing levels of heterogeneity. Sets of homogeneous agents are stored in compact bins, making the model more efficient in its use of memory and computational cycles. Modelers can use this increased efficiency to speed up the execution times, to conserve memory, or to scale up the complexity or number of agents in their simulations. We describe in detail an implementation of Dynamic Agent Compression that is lossless, i.e., no model detail is discarded during the compression process. We also contrast lossless compression to lossy compression, which promises greater efficiency gains yet may introduce artifacts in model behavior. The advantages outweigh the overhead of Dynamic Agent Compression in models where agents are unevenly heterogeneous — where a set of highly heterogeneous agents are intermixed with numerous other agents that fall into broad internally homogeneous categories. Dynamic Agent Compression is not appropriate in models with few, exclusively complex, agents.
Uri Wilensky and William Rand
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 10 (4) 2
Kyeywords: Replication, Agent-Based Modeling, Verification, Validation, Scientific Method, Ethnocentrism
Abstract: Scientists have increasingly employed computer models in their work. Recent years have seen a proliferation of agent-based models in the natural and social sciences. But with the exception of a few "classic" models, most of these models have never been replicated by anyone but the original developer. As replication is a critical component of the scientific method and a core practice of scientists, we argue herein for an increased practice of replication in the agent-based modeling community, and for widespread discussion of the issues surrounding replication. We begin by clarifying the concept of replication as it applies to ABM. Furthermore we argue that replication may have even greater benefits when applied to computational models than when applied to physical experiments. Replication of computational models affects model verification and validation and fosters shared understanding about modeling decisions. To facilitate replication, we must create standards for both how to replicate models and how to evaluate the replication. In this paper, we present a case study of our own attempt to replicate a classic agent-based model. We begin by describing an agent-based model from political science that was developed by Axelrod and Hammond. We then detail our effort to replicate that model and the challenges that arose in recreating the model and in determining if the replication was successful. We conclude this paper by discussing issues for (1) researchers attempting to replicate models and (2) researchers developing models in order to facilitate the replication of their results.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 10 (4) 4
Kyeywords: Social Influence; Decision Processes; Social Networks; Group Dynamics; Simulation; Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: This paper describes a simulation study of decision-making. It is based on a model of social influence in small, task-oriented, groups. A process model of dyadic social influence is built on top of a dynamic model of status and task participation that describes the emergence of a stable power and prestige order. Two models of group decision-making are examined: a static model for which the beliefs of actors do not change, and a process model for which they do as a function of the standing of each member of each interacting pair in the evolving power and prestige order. The models are compared on a set of N=111 cases, each requiring an affirmative or negative group response to a proposition A(c) that pertains to a case c. Initial beliefs are assigned to each of five members of distinct professions based on an analysis of independently collected behavioral data pertinent to the proposition to be affirmed or denied in each case. Although the two influence models yield identical decisions in 70% of the cases examined, the differences between them are statistically significant and in several instances show a medium effect size. Most importantly, the differences can be explained in terms of social influence and the status and task participation model on which it depends.
Luca Arciero, Claudia Biancotti, Leandro D'Aurizio and Claudio Impenna
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 12 (1) 2
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Payment Systems, RTGS, Liquidity, Crisis Simulation
Abstract: This paper presents an exploratory agent-based model of a real time gross settlement (RTGS) payment system. Banks are represented as agents who exchange payment requests, which are then settled according to a set of simple rules. The model features the main elements of a real-life system, including a central bank acting as liquidity provider, and a simplified money market. A simulation exercise using synthetic data of BI-REL (the Italian RTGS) predicts the macroscopic impact of a disruptive event on the flow of interbank payments. In our reduced-scale system, three hypothetical distinct phases emerge after the disruptive event: 1) a liquidity sink effect is generated and the participants\' liquidity expectations turn out to be excessive; 2) an illusory thickening of the money market follows, along with increased payment delays; and, finally 3) defaulted obligations dramatically rise. The banks cannot staunch the losses accruing on defaults, even after they become fully aware of the critical event, and a scenario emerges in which it might be necessary for the central bank to step in as liquidity provider.
Daniel Kornhauser, Uri Wilensky and William Rand
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 12 (2) 1
Kyeywords: Visualization, Design, Graphics, Guidelines, Communication, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: In the field of agent-based modeling (ABM), visualizations play an important role in identifying, communicating and understanding important behavior of the modeled phenomenon. However, many modelers tend to create ineffective visualizations of Agent Based Models (ABM) due to lack of experience with visual design. This paper provides ABM visualization design guidelines in order to improve visual design with ABM toolkits. These guidelines will assist the modeler in creating clear and understandable ABM visualizations. We begin by introducing a non-hierarchical categorization of ABM visualizations. This categorization serves as a starting point in the creation of an ABM visualization. We go on to present well-known design techniques in the context of ABM visualization. These techniques are based on Gestalt psychology, semiology of graphics, and scientific visualization. They improve the visualization design by facilitating specific tasks, and providing a common language to critique visualizations through the use of visual variables. Subsequently, we discuss the application of these design techniques to simplify, emphasize and explain an ABM visualization. Finally, we illustrate these guidelines using a simple redesign of a NetLogo ABM visualization. These guidelines can be used to inform the development of design tools that assist users in the creation of ABM visualizations.
Nicholas M. Gotts and J. Gareth Polhill
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 12 (3) 2
Kyeywords: Imitation, Innovation, Aspiration, Land-Use, Spatio-Temporal Heterogeneity
Abstract: This paper summarises some previously published work on imitation, experimentation (or innovation) and aspiration thresholds using the FEARLUS modelling system and reports new work with FEARLUS extending these studies. Results are discussed in the context of existing literature on imitation and innovation in related contexts. A form of imitation in which land uses are selected on the criterion of their recent performance within the neighbourhood of the land parcel concerned (called here 'Best-mean Imitation'), outperforms comparably simple forms of imitation in a wide range of FEARLUS Environments. However, the choice of criterion is shown to interact with both the way the criterion is applied, and the land manager's aspiration threshold: the level of return with which they are satisfied. The implications of work with FEARLUS for the broader bodies of research discussed, and vice versa, are considered.
Stefania Bandini, Sara Manzoni and Giuseppe Vizzari
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 12 (4) 4
Kyeywords: Multi-Agent Systems, Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation
Abstract: The term computer simulation is related to the usage of a computational model in order to improve the understanding of a system's behavior and/or to evaluate strategies for its operation, in explanatory or predictive schemes. There are cases in which practical or ethical reasons make it impossible to realize direct observations: in these cases, the possibility of realizing 'in-machina' experiments may represent the only way to study, analyze and evaluate models of those realities. Different situations and systems are characterized by the presence of autonomous entities whose local behaviors (actions and interactions) determine the evolution of the overall system; agent-based models are particularly suited to support the definition of models of such systems, but also to support the design and implementation of simulators. Agent-Based models and Multi-Agent Systems (MAS) have been adopted to simulate very different kinds of complex systems, from the simulation of socio-economic systems to the elaboration of scenarios for logistics optimization, from biological systems to urban planning. This paper discusses the specific aspects of this approach to modeling and simulation from the perspective of Informatics, describing the typical elements of an agent-based simulation model and the relevant research.
Brian Heath, Raymond Hill and Frank Ciarallo
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 12 (4) 9
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Survey, Current Practices, Simulation Validation, Simulation Purpose
Abstract: In the 1990s, Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) began gaining popularity and represents a departure from the more classical simulation approaches. This departure, its recent development and its increasing application by non-traditional simulation disciplines indicates the need to continuously assess the current state of ABM and identify opportunities for improvement. To begin to satisfy this need, we surveyed and collected data from 279 articles from 92 unique publication outlets in which the authors had constructed and analyzed an agent-based model. From this large data set we establish the current practice of ABM in terms of year of publication, field of study, simulation software used, purpose of the simulation, acceptable validation criteria, validation techniques and complete description of the simulation. Based on the current practice we discuss six improvements needed to advance ABM as an analysis tool. These improvements include the development of ABM specific tools that are independent of software, the development of ABM as an independent discipline with a common language that extends across domains, the establishment of expectations for ABM that match their intended purposes, the requirement of complete descriptions of the simulation so others can independently replicate the results, the requirement that all models be completely validated and the development and application of statistical and non-statistical validation techniques specifically for ABM.
Mark Altaweel, Lilian N. Alessa and Andrew D. Kliskey
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 13 (1) 15
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Artificial Neural Network, Social Network, Social Influence, Resilience, Freshwater
Abstract: This paper presents a model, using concepts from artificial neural networks, that explains how small rural communities make decisions that affect access to potable freshwater. Field observations indicate that social relationships as well as individual goals and perceptions of decision makers have a strong influence on decisions that are made by community councils. Our work identifies three types of agents, which we designate as alpha, beta, and gamma agents. We address how gamma agents affect decisions made by community councils in passing resolutions that benefit a village\'s collective access to clean freshwater. The model, which we call the Agent Types Model (ATM), demonstrates the effects of social interactions, corporate influence, and agent-specific factors that determine choices for agents. Data from two different villages in rural Alaska and several parameter sensitivity tests are applied to the model. Results demonstrate that minimizing the social significance and agent-specific factors affecting gamma agents\' negative compliance increases the likelihood that communities adopt measures promoting potable freshwater access. The significance of this work demonstrates which types of communities are potentially more socially vulnerable or resilient to social-ecological change affecting water supplies.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 13 (1) 7
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling Methodology, M2M, Social Simulation, Computational Social Science, Social Complexity, Inner Asia
Abstract: Social simulation - an emerging field of computational social science - has progressed from simple toy models to increasingly realistic models of complex social systems, such as agent-based models where heterogeneous agents interact with changing natural or artificial environments. These larger, multidisciplinary projects require a scientific research methodology distinct from, say, simpler social simulations with more limited scope, intentionally minimal complexity, and typically under a single investigator. This paper proposes a methodology for complex social simulations - particularly inter- and multi-disciplinary socio-natural systems with multi-level architecture - based on a succession of models akin to but distinct from the late Imre Lakatos' notion of a 'research programme'. The proposed methodology is illustrated through examples from the Mason-Smithsonian project on agent-based models of the rise and fall of polities in Inner Asia. While the proposed methodology requires further development, so far it has proven valuable for advancing the scientific objectives of the project and avoiding some pitfalls.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 13 (2) 3
Kyeywords: Public IT Investment, Interoperability, Standardization, Social Network, Agent-Based Modeling, Exploratory Modeling
Abstract: Governments have come under increasing pressure to promote horizontal flows of information across agencies, but investment in cross-agency interoperable and standard systems have been minimally made since it seems to require government agencies to give up the autonomies in managing own systems and its outcomes may be subject to many external and interaction risks. By producing an agent-based model using 'Blanche' software, this study provides policy-makers with a simulation-based demonstration illustrating how government agencies can autonomously and interactively build, standardize, and operate interoperable IT systems in a decentralized environment. This simulation designs an illustrative body of 20 federal agencies and their missions. A multiplicative production function is adopted to model the interdependent effects of heterogeneous systems on joint mission capabilities, and six social network drivers (similarity, reciprocity, centrality, mission priority, interdependencies, and transitivity) are assumed to jointly determine inter-agency system utilization. This exercise simulates five policy alternatives derived from joint implementation of three policy levers (IT investment portfolio, standardization, and inter-agency operation). The simulation results show that modest investments in standard systems improve interoperability remarkably, but that a wide range of untargeted interoperability with lagging operational capabilities improves mission capability less remarkably. Nonetheless, exploratory modeling against the varying parameters for technology, interdependency, and social capital demonstrates that the wide range of untargeted interoperability responds better to uncertain future states and hence reduces the variances of joint mission capabilities. In sum, decentralized and adaptive investments in interoperable and standard systems can enhance joint mission capabilities substantially and robustly without requiring radical changes toward centralized IT management.
Christof Knoeri, Claudia R. Binder and Hans-Joerg Althaus
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 14 (2) 4
Kyeywords: Agent Operationalization, Decision-Making, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), Agent-Based Modeling, Conceptual Validation
Abstract: The potential of agent-based modeling (ABM) has been demonstrated in various research fields. However, three major concerns limit the full exploitation of ABM; (i) agents are too simple and behave unrealistically without any empirical basis, (ii) \'proof of concept\' applications are too theoretical and (iii) too much value placed on operational validity instead of conceptual validity. This paper presents an operationalization approach to determine the key system agents, their interaction, decision-making and behavior for context specific ABM, thus addressing the above-mentioned shortcomings. The approach is embedded in the framework of Giddens\' structuration theory and the structural agent analysis (SAA). The agents\' individual decision-making (i.e. reflected decisions) is operationalized by adapting the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). The approach is supported by empirical system knowledge, allowing us to test empirically the presumed decision-making and behavioral assumptions. The output is an array of sample agents with realistic (i.e. empirically quantified) decision-making and behavior. Results from a Swiss mineral construction material case study illustrate the information which can be derived by applying the proposed approach and demonstrate its practicability for context specific agent-based model development.
Christopher D. Hollander and Annie S. Wu
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 14 (2) 6
Kyeywords: Norms, Normative Agents, Agents, Agent-Based System, Agent-Based Simulation, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: Recent years have seen an increase in the application of ideas from the social sciences to computational systems. Nowhere has this been more pronounced than in the domain of multiagent systems. Because multiagent systems are composed of multiple individual agents interacting with each other many parallels can be drawn to human and animal societies. One of the main challenges currently faced in multiagent systems research is that of social control. In particular, how can open multiagent systems be configured and organized given their constantly changing structure? One leading solution is to employ the use of social norms. In human societies, social norms are essential to regulation, coordination, and cooperation. The current trend of thinking is that these same principles can be applied to agent societies, of which multiagent systems are one type. In this article, we provide an introduction to and present a holistic viewpoint of the state of normative computing (computational solutions that employ ideas based on social norms.) To accomplish this, we (1) introduce social norms and their application to agent-based systems; (2) identify and describe a normative process abstracted from the existing research; and (3) discuss future directions for research in normative multiagent computing. The intent of this paper is to introduce new researchers to the ideas that underlie normative computing and survey the existing state of the art, as well as provide direction for future research.
Ana Luisa Ballinas-Hernández, Angélica Muñoz-Meléndez and Alejandro Rangel-Huerta
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 14 (3) 2
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Pedestrian Crowd, Activity Measurement
Abstract: An agent-based model to simulate a pedestrian crowd in a corridor is presented. Pedestrian crowd models are valuable tools to gain insight into the behavior of human crowds in both, everyday and crisis situations. The main contribution of this work is the definition of a pedestrian crowd model by applying ideas from the field of the kinetic theory of living systems on the one hand, and ideas from the field of computational agents on the other hand. Such combination supported a quantitative characterization of the performance of our agents, a neglected issue in agent-based models, through well-known kinetic parameters. Fundamental diagrams of flow and activity are presented for both, groups of homogeneous pedestrians, and groups of heterogeneous pedestrians in terms of their willingness to reach their goals.
Marc Mölders, Robin D. Fink and Johannes Weyer
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 14 (4) 6
Kyeywords: Systems Theory, Theory of Action and Decision Making, Academic Publication System, Science System, New Public Management, Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation
Abstract: The paper at hand applies agent-based modeling and simulations (ABMS) as a tool to reconstruct and to analyze how the science system works. A Luhmannian systems perspective is combined with a model of decision making of individual actors. Additionally, changes in the socio-political context of science, such as the introduction of „new public management\", are considered as factors affecting the functionality of the system as well as the decisions of individual scientists (e.g. where to publish their papers). Computer simulation helps to understand the complex interplay of developments at the macro (system) and the micro (actor) level.
Maria Fonoberova, Vladimir A. Fonoberov, Igor Mezic, Jadranka Mezic and P. Jeffrey Brantingham
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 15 (1) 2
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Crime, Violence, Anthropology, Socio-Cultural Model, Police
Abstract: We perform analysis of data on crime and violence for 5,660 U.S. cities over the period of 2005-2009 and uncover the following trends: 1) The proportion of law enforcement officers required to maintain a steady low level of criminal activity increases with the size of the population of the city; 2) The number of criminal/violent events per 1,000 inhabitants of a city shows non-monotonic behavior with size of the population. We construct a dynamical model allowing for system-level, mechanistic understanding of these trends. In our model the level of rational behavior of individuals in the population is encoded into each citizen's perceived risk function. We find strong dependence on size of the population, which leads to partially irrational behavior on the part of citizens. The nature of violence changes from global outbursts of criminal/violent activity in small cities to spatio-temporally distributed, decentralized outbursts of activity in large cities, indicating that in order to maintain peace, bigger cities need larger ratio of law enforcement officers than smaller cities. We also observe existence of tipping points for communities of all sizes in the model: reducing the number of law enforcement officers below a critical level can rapidly increase the incidence of criminal/violent activity. Though surprising, these trends are in agreement with the data.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 15 (1) 9
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Object-Orientation Simulation, UML, Complex Systems
Abstract: Although the majority of researchers interested in ABM increasingly agree that the most natural way to program their models is to adopt OO practices, UML diagrams are still largely absent from their publications. In the last 15 years, the use of UML has risen constantly, to the point where UML has become the de facto standard for graphical visualization of software development. UML and its 13 diagrams has many universally accepted virtues. Most importantly, UML provides a level of abstraction higher than that offered by OO programming languages (Java, C++, Python, .Net ...). This abstraction layer encourages researchers to spend more time on modeling rather than on programming. This paper initially presents the four most common UML diagrams - class, sequence, state and activity diagrams (based on my personal experience, these are the most useful diagrams for ABM development). The most important features of these diagrams are discussed, and explanations based on conceptual pieces often found in ABM models are given of how best to use the diagrams. Subsequently, some very well known and classical ABM models such as the Schelling segregation model, the spatial evolutionary game, and a continuous double action free market are subjected to more detailed UML analysis.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 15 (2) 7
Kyeywords: Statistical Test, Stationarity, Ergodicity, Agent-Based, Simulations
Abstract: This paper illustrates the use of the nonparametric Wald-Wolfowitz test to detect stationarity and ergodicity in agent-based models. A nonparametric test is needed due to the practical impossibility to understand how the random component influences the emergent properties of the model in many agent-based models. Nonparametric tests on real data often lack power and this problem is addressed by applying the Wald-Wolfowitz test to the simulated data. The performance of the tests is evaluated using Monte Carlo simulations of a stochastic process with known properties. It is shown that with appropriate settings the tests can detect non-stationarity and non-ergodicity. Knowing whether a model is ergodic and stationary is essential in order to understand its behavior and the real system it is intended to represent; quantitative analysis of the artificial data helps to acquire such knowledge.
Amit Patel, Andrew Crooks and Naoru Koizumi
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 15 (4) 2
Kyeywords: Slums, Housing, Developing Countries, Urban Poor, Informal Settlements, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: Slums provide shelter for nearly one third of the world's urban population, most of them in the developing world. Slumulation represents an agent-based model which explores questions such as i) how slums come into existence, expand or disappear ii) where and when they emerge in a city and iii) which processes may improve housing conditions for urban poor. The model has three types of agents that influence emergence or sustenance of slums in a city: households, developers and politicians, each of them playing distinct roles. We model a multi-scale spatial environment in a stylized form that has housing units at the micro-scale and electoral wards consisting of multiple housing units at the macro-scale. Slums emerge as a result of human-environment interaction processes and inter-scale feedbacks within our model.
Keeheon Lee, Shintae Kim, Chang Ouk Kim and Taeho Park
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 16 (1) 3
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Product Diffusion Model, Individual Purchase Time, Social Network Structure, Estimation, Sensitivity Analysis
Abstract: To maximise the possibility of success for a new product and minimise the risk and opportunity cost of a failed product, firms must understand the diffusion dynamics of competing products. The diffusion dynamics of competing products emerge from the aggregation of consumers' decisions. At the individual level, a consumer's decision consists of "which product to buy among the available products" and "when to buy a product". Individual product choices are affected by local and global social interactions among consumers. It would be helpful for firms to be able to determine the characteristics of the relevant social network for their target market and how changes in this social network influence their market shares. In addition, determining the distribution of product purchase times of consumers and how their variation affects market shares are interesting issues for firms. In this study, therefore, we propose an agent-based simulation model that generates the market share paths (market shares over time) of competing products. We apply the model to estimate the social network and purchase time distribution of the Korean netbook market. Our observation is that Korean netbook consumers tend to buy a product without hesitation, and their social network is rather regular but sparse. We also conduct sensitivity analyses with respect to the social network and the purchase time distribution.
Timothy R. Gulden
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 16 (2) 1
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Agent-Based Computational Economics, International Economics, Comparative Advantage, Increasing Returns, NetLogo
Abstract: This paper makes use of an agent-based framework to extend traditional models of comparative advantage in international trade, illustrating several cases that make theoretical room for industrial policy and the regulation of trade. Using an agent based implementation of the Hecksher-Ohlin trade model; the paper confirms Samuelson's 2004 result demonstrating that the principle of comparative advantage does not ensure that technological progress in one country benefits its trading partners. It goes on to demonstrate that the presence of increasing returns leads to a situation with multiple equilibria, where free market trading policies can not be relied on to deliver an outcome which is efficient or equitable, with first movers in development enjoying permanent advantage over later developing nations. Finally, the paper examines the impact of relaxation of the Ricardian assumption of capital immobility on the principle of comparative advantage. It finds that the dynamics of factor trade are radically different from the dynamics of trade in goods and that factor mobility converts a regime of comparative advantage into a regime of absolute advantage, thus obviating the reassuring equity results that stem from comparative advantage.
Yushim Kim, Wei Zhong and Yongwan Chun
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 16 (2) 8
Kyeywords: Fraud, Public Service Delivery, Deterrence, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: Public service delivery programs are not free from players' opportunistic behaviors, such as fraudulent benefit exchanges. The standard methods used to detect such misbehaviors are static, less effective in uncovering interactions between corrupt agents, and easy to evade because of corrupt agents' familiarity with detection procedures. Current fraud detection efforts do not match the dynamics and adaptive processes they are supposed to monitor and regulate. In this paper, an agent-based simulation model is built to gain insight on sanction choices to deter fraudulent activities in public service delivery programs. The simulation outputs demonstrate that sanctions with low certainty must be accompanied by prompt action in order to observe a reduction in fraudulent vendors. However, a similar level of reduction in fraudulent vendors may be achieved once a certain number of fraudulent vendors are sanctioned, even if the public agency's action is relatively delayed. These characteristics of sanctions provide strategic choices that public service delivery program managers can consider based on their priorities and resources.
Denton Cockburn, Stefani A. Crabtree, Ziad Kobti, Timothy A. Kohler and R. Kyle Bocinsky
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 16 (4) 4
Kyeywords: Specialization, Agent-Based Modeling, Archaeology, Social Networks, Models of Social Influence, Barter
Abstract: We introduce a model for agent specialization in small-scale human societies that incorporates planning based on social influence and economic state. Agents allocate their time among available tasks based on exchange, demand, competition from other agents, family needs, and previous experiences. Agents exchange and request goods using barter, balanced reciprocal exchange, and generalized reciprocal exchange. We use a weight-based reinforcement model for the allocation of resources among tasks. The Village Ecodynamics Project (VEP) area acts as our case study, and the work reported here extends previous versions of the VEP agent-based model (“Village”). This model simulates settlement and subsistence practices in Pueblo societies of the central Mesa Verde region between A.D. 600 and 1300. In the base model on which we build here, agents represent households seeking to minimize their caloric costs for obtaining enough calories, protein, fuel, and water from a landscape which is always changing due to both exogenous factors (climate) and human resource use. Compared to the baseline condition of no specialization, specialization in conjunction with barter increases population wealth, global population size, and degree of aggregation. Differences between scenarios for specialization in which agents use only a weight-based model for time allocation among tasks, and one in which they also consider social influence, are more subtle. The networks generated by barter in the latter scenario exhibit higher clustering coefficients, suggesting that social influence allows a few agents to assume particularly influential roles in the global exchange network.
Hong Zhang and Yang Li
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (1) 18
Kyeywords: Resale Housing Market, Search Behavior, Search Model, Agent-Based Simulation, Sensitivity Analysis
Abstract: In the paradigm of the search theory, we established the search model applicable to the characteristics of China's resale housing market, by modeling the search behavior for buyer and seller, respectively. Setting the parameters based on the Beijing housing market survey in August 2012, we implemented agent-based simulation to study the dynamics of the search behavior measured by search intensity and search time. Sensitivity test was also used to analyze the determinants of the search behavior for trading agents. The simulation results validate the idiosyncratic feature of the agent's search behavior, which is consistent with theoretical analysis. The increase of matching efficiency promotes the agents' search intensities, but the higher unit search cost can reduce the agents' search intensities. The buyer's search behavior is more sensitive to the change in the market tightness ratio. Brokerage service lowers the transaction price and lessens the agents' search intensities. Sensitivity test further reveals that, the matching efficiency and the market tightness ratio play very important role in improving housing market liquidity. The changes in the search cost and the broker commission rate can reduce the agents' search intensities significantly and there are critical turning points at which the abrupt change occurs.
Keeheon Lee, Hoyeop Lee and Chang Ouk Kim
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (2) 1
Kyeywords: Product Diffusion, Pricing and Time Strategies, Korean Mobile Phone Market, Sensitivity Analysis
Abstract: In this study, we are interested in the problem of determining the pricing and timing strategies of a new product by developing an agent-based product diffusion simulation. In the proposed simulation model, agents imitate behavioural consumers, who are reference dependent and risk averse in the evaluation of new products and whose interactions create word-of-mouth regarding new products. Pricing and timing strategies involve the timing of a new product release, the timing of providing a discount on a new product, and the relative rates of discounts. We conduct two experiments in this study. In both experiments, we consider the urban young person segment in the mobile phone market in Korea, in which three major new products - two smartphones and one convergence product - compete with one another. The first experiment is sensitivity analysis on the product life cycle and social influence. The objective is to observe how consumer agents behave as the product life cycle and the degree of sensitivity on social influence change. The second experiment is sensitivity analysis on time-to-market, time-to-discount, and amount-to-discount. The marketing strategy that maximises the sales volume (or revenue) of the new convergence product is sought from the sensitivity analysis. Based on the result, we provide pricing and timing implications for firms pursuing sales volumes (or revenue) increase.
Bo Xu, Renjing Liu and Weijiao Liu
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (2) 2
Kyeywords: Individual Bias, Agent-Based Modeling, Diversity, Exploration, Exploitation
Abstract: We introduce individual bias to the simulation model of exploration and exploitation and examine the joint effects of individual bias and other parameters, aiming to answer two questions: First, whether reducing individual bias can increase organizational objectivity? Second, whether measures, such as increasing organization size, can increase organizational objectivity in the presence of individual bias? Our results show that individual bias has both positive and negative effects, and reducing individual bias may be not beneficial when organization size is large or environment is turbulent. Diverse knowledge resulting from large organization size can help avoid the negative effects of individual bias when the bias is strong enough so that the individuals who are less limited by bias can be distinguished as the source of learning. Our results also suggest that increasing interpersonal learning, decreasing learning from the organization, task complexity, and environmental turbulence, and maintaining personnel turnover can improve organizational objectivity in the presence of individual bias.
Matthew Oremland and Reinhard Laubenbacher
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (2) 6
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Optimization, Statistical Test, Genetic Algorithms, Reduction
Abstract: Questions concerning how one can influence an agent-based model in order to best achieve some specific goal are optimization problems. In many models, the number of possible control inputs is too large to be enumerated by computers; hence methods must be developed in order to find solutions that do not require a search of the entire solution space. Model reduction techniques are introduced and a statistical measure for model similarity is proposed. Heuristic methods can be effective in solving multi-objective optimization problems. A framework for model reduction and heuristic optimization is applied to two representative models, indicating its applicability to a wide range of agent-based models. Results from data analysis, model reduction, and algorithm performance are assessed.
Hai-hua Hu, Wen-tian Cui, Jun Lin and Yan-jun Qian
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (2) 7
Kyeywords: ICTs, Social Connectivity, Collective Action, Cultural Difference, Political Preference Distribution, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: In recent years, information and communication technologies (ICTs) have significantly affected the outcomes of large-scale collective actions. In addition, there is a well-known theoretical proposition that ICTs can fuel collective action by increasing individuals’ social connectivity that is closely related to recruitment capacity. This study aims to test this proposition by examining two moderating factors: the cultural context (i.e., online communication patterns) and the political context (i.e., the distribution of political preferences). By utilizing agent-based modeling, we find that ICT-improved connectivity not only scales down collective action if the distribution of political preference is insufficiently dispersed, but it also slows the diffusion speed if the overall propensity to participate is not strong. Moreover, the effects of ICT-improved connectivity on the scale and speed of collective action are similar under different cultural contexts. However, the theoretical implications suggest that ICTs are more effective in the collectivistic culture than in the individualistic culture.
Jan C. Thiele, Winfried Kurth and Volker Grimm
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (3) 11
Kyeywords: Parameter Fitting, Sensitivity Analysis, Model Calibration, Agent-Based Model, Inverse Modeling, NetLogo
Abstract: Agent-based models are increasingly used to address questions regarding real-world phenomena and mechanisms; therefore, the calibration of model parameters to certain data sets and patterns is often needed. Furthermore, sensitivity analysis is an important part of the development and analysis of any simulation model. By exploring the sensitivity of model output to changes in parameters, we learn about the relative importance of the various mechanisms represented in the model and how robust the model output is to parameter uncertainty. These insights foster the understanding of models and their use for theory development and applications. Both steps of the model development cycle require massive repetitions of simulation runs with varying parameter values. To facilitate parameter estimation and sensitivity analysis for agent-based modellers, we show how to use a suite of important established methods. Because NetLogo and R are widely used in agent-based modelling and for statistical analyses, we use a simple model implemented in NetLogo as an example, packages in R that implement the respective methods, and the RNetLogo package, which links R and NetLogo. We briefly introduce each method and provide references for further reading. We then list the packages in R that may be used for implementing the methods, provide short code examples demonstrating how the methods can be applied in R, and present and discuss the corresponding outputs. The Supplementary Material includes full, adaptable code samples for using the presented methods with R and NetLogo. Our overall aim is to make agent-based modellers aware of existing methods and tools for parameter estimation and sensitivity analysis and to provide accessible tools for using these methods. In this way, we hope to contribute to establishing an advanced culture of relating agent-based models to data and patterns observed in real systems and to foster rigorous and structured analyses of agent-based models.
Márcia Baptista, Carlos Roque Martinho, Francisco Lima, Pedro A. Santos and Helmut Prendinger
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (3) 7
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Business Simulation, Consumer Behavior, Learning Processes
Abstract: Artificial society simulations may provide unprecedented insight into the intricate dynamics of economic markets. Such an insight may help solve the well-known black-box dilemma of business simulations, where designers prefer model concealment over model transparency. The core contribution of this work is an agent-based business simulation that models the marketplace as an artificial society of consumers. In the simulation, users assume the role of a store owner playing against an artificial intelligence competitor. The simulation can be accessed via a graphical user interface that animates the decision behavior of consumers. Consumers are modeled as agents with concrete beliefs, intentions and desires that act to maximize their utility and accomplish their purchase plans. We claim that unlike the classical equation-based approach, the visualization of market dynamics facilitated by our agent-based approach can provide important information to the user. We hypothesize that such information is key to understanding several economic concepts. To validate our hypothesis, we conducted an experiment with 30 users, where we compared the effects of the graphical animation of the market. Our results indicate that the agent-based approach has better learning outcomes both at the level of users' subjective self-assessment and at the level of objective performance metrics and knowledge acquisition tests. As a secondary contribution, we demonstrate by example how simple codification rules at the level of the utility functions of agents allow the emergence of diverse macroeconomic behavior of a two-product duopoly.
Ammar Malik, Andrew Crooks, Hilton Root and Melanie Swartz
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (2) 12
Kyeywords: Developing Countries, Urban, Segregation, Land Use, Transport, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: Scholars and urban planners have suggested that the key characteristic of leading world cities is that they attract the highest quality human talent through educational and professional opportunities. They offer enabling environments for productive human interactions and the growth of knowledge-based industries which drives economic growth through innovation. Both through hard and soft infrastructure, they offer physical connectivity which fosters human creativity and results in higher income levels. When combined with population density, socio-economic diversity and societal tolerance; the elevated interaction intensity diffuses creativity and improves productivity. In many developing country cities however, rapid urbanization is increasing sprawl and causing deteriorating in public services. We operationalize these insights by creating a stylized agent-based model where heterogeneous and independent decision-making agents interact under the following three scenarios: (1) improved urban transportation investments; (2) mixed land-use regulations; and (3) reduced residential segregation. We find that any combination of these scenarios results in greater population density and enables the diffusion of creativity, thus resulting in economic growth. However, the results demonstrate a clear trade-off between rapid economic progress and socioeconomic equity mainly due to the crowding out of low- and middle-income households from clusters of creativity.
Caroline Krejci and Benita Beamon
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (2) 19
Kyeywords: Food Supply Chains, Sustainable Agriculture, Coordination, Agent-Based Modeling, Farmer Decision Making, Multi-Agent Simulation
Abstract: To increase profitability, farmers often decide to form strategic partnerships with other farmers, pooling their resources and outputs for greater efficiency and scale. These coordination decisions can have far-reaching and complex implications for overall food supply chain structural emergence, which in turn impacts system outcomes and long-term sustainability. In this paper, we describe an agent-based model that explores the impacts of farmer coordination decisions on the development of food supply chain structure over time. This model focuses on one type of coordination mechanism implementation method, in which coordinated farmer groups produce a single crop type and combine their yields to achieve economies of scale. The farmer agents’ decisions to coordinate with one another depend on their evaluation of the tradeoff between their autonomy and the expected economic benefits of coordination. Each coordination decision is a bilateral process in which the terms of group reward sharing are negotiated. We capture the effects of farmers’ size, income, and autonomy premia, as well as volume-price relationships and group profit-sharing rules, on the rate of farmer coordination and the number and size of groups that form. Results indicate that under many conditions, coordination groups tend to consolidate over time, which suggests implications for overall supply chain structural resilience.
Hai-hua Hu, Jun Lin and Wen-tian Cui
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (2) 6
Kyeywords: Local Opinion Heterogeneity, Participation Likelihood, Participation Timing, Collective Behavior, Agent-Based Modeling, Threshold Model
Abstract: Local opinion heterogeneity (LOH) critically influences an individual’s choice of collective behaviors, such as voting and protesting. However, several empirical studies have presented different conclusions on how LOH affects such preference. In the current research, the effect of LOH is considered based on agent-based modeling and the threshold model introduced by Granovetter (1978). A series of simulation experiments and statistical analyses are conducted. Results show that LOH has an inverse U-shape effect on the likelihood of participation (whether an individual decides to participate). By contrast, the findings reveal that LOH has a monotonous effect on participation timing (when a participant makes the decision). Specifically, when LOH is high, an individual opts to participate early. These observations can be explained by the influence of LOH on the structure of social networks and by the moderating effect of the global distribution of opinions within the population.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (2) 8
Kyeywords: Mobilization, Identity, Nation, Ethnicity, Culture, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: In modern states, mobilization policy has been used to awaken people to new ideas such as national identity, industrial capitalism, and civic society. However, it has long been debated whether mobilization in new countries or in countries under reconstruction creates an integrated identity or results in fragmentation of various ethnic groups. Although the idea that identity is not immutable but malleable is now widely accepted in political science, sociology, and other social sciences, the degree to which identity can be reconstructed once it has been mobilized remains unclear. This study employs an agent-based model to address questions regarding the relationship between governments’ mobilization and the integration of identity in countries. The analysis suggests that more rapid mobilization by governments stabilizes a greater ethnic cleavage. This result is found to be robust by changing parameters and by modifying the specifications of the model. In addition, the analysis presents two other implications. The first is that a spiraling fragmentation of identity might occur if governments fail to accommodate people. The second is that in an age of advanced communication, governments need more assimilative power than before in order to secure integration. The analysis suggests that future research about identity formation in countries should consider the rigidity as well as the flexibility of identity.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (2) 9
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Search, Food Safety, Inspection, Policy
Abstract: The overall burden of foodborne illness is unknown, in part because of under-reporting and limited surveillance. Although the morbidity associated with foodborne illness is lower than ever, public risk perception and an increasingly complex food supply chain contribute to uncertainty in the food system. This paper presents an agent-based model of a simple food safety system involving consumers, inspectors and stores, and investigates the effect of three different inspection scenarios incorporating access to information. The increasing complexity of the food supply chain and agent-based modeling as an appropriate method for this line of investigation from a policy perspective are discussed.
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.
Andrew Collins, Mikel Petty, Daniele Vernon-Bido and Solomon Sherfey
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (3) 12
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation, Standards, Standardization, Standards Development Organization, ODD, Simulation Methods
Abstract: Standards are as old as civilization itself and they are vital to human development. Standards touch almost every part of our lives, from the water we drink to the language used to write this article. A sign of a good standard is one that we do not notice. Good standards exist and so do processes and organizations to create and maintain them. As agent-based modeling and simulation matures as a methodology, a discussion of standards applicable to it becomes increasingly important. Descriptive standards for agent-based models, such as the Overview, Design concepts, and Details protocol and agent-based extensions to the Unified Modeling Language, have already begun to emerge. Software tools for implementing such models, such as Netlogo and Repast Simphony, are increasingly well-known and have the potential to become de facto standards among the wider scientific community for agent-based simulation. Based on the findings of a series of workshops that brought together experts throughout the modeling and simulation community, we argue that agent-based modeling and simulation is no different from the other emerging technical subjects in the sense that standards, both existing and new, may be applicable to it, and that the community should both adopt existing standards that are relevant and exploit the already existing standards processes and organizations to develop new ones.
Hai-hua Hu, Jun Lin and Wen-tian Cui
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (3) 16
Kyeywords: Intervention Strategy, Diffusion of Collective Behavior, Social Network, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: This paper examines the intervention strategies for the diffusion of collective behavior, such as promoting innovation adoption and repressing a strike. An intervention strategy refers to controlling the behaviors of a small number of individuals in terms of their social or personal attributes, including connectivity (i.e., the number of social ties one holds), motivation (i.e., an individual’s intrinsic cost–benefit judgment on behavior change), and sensitivity (i.e., the degree to which one follows others). Extensive agent-based simulations demonstrate that the optimal strategy fundamentally depends on the goal and time of intervention. Moreover, the nature of the social network (determined by homophily type and level) moderates the effectiveness of a strategy. These results have substantial implications for the design and evaluation of intervention programs.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (4) 14
Kyeywords: Social Norms, Agent-Based Modeling, Social Networks, Neighborhood Structure, Cooperation
Abstract: The different ways individuals socialize with others affect the conditions under which social norms are able to emerge. In this work an agent-based model of cooperation in a population of adaptive agents is presented. The model has the ability to implement a multitude of network topologies. The agents possess strategies represented by boldness and vengefulness values in the spirit of Axelrod's (1986) norms game. However, unlike in the norms game, the simulations abandon the evolutionary approach and only follow a single-generation of agents who are nevertheless able to adapt their strategies based on changes in their environment. The model is analyzed for potential emergence or collapse of norms under different network and neighborhood configurations as well as different vigilance levels in the agent population. In doing so the model is found able to exhibit interesting emergent behavior suggesting potential for norm establishment even without the use of so-called metanorms. Although the model shows that the success of the norm is dependent on the neighborhood size and the vigilance of the agent population, the likelihood of norm collapse is not monotonically related to decreases in vigilance.
Ju-Sung Lee, Tatiana Filatova, Arika Ligmann-Zielinska, Behrooz Hassani-Mahmooei, Forrest Stonedahl, Iris Lorscheid, Alexey Voinov, J. Gareth Polhill, Zhanli Sun and Dawn C. Parker
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (4) 4
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Methodologies, Statistical Test, Sensitivity Analysis, Spatio-Temporal Heterogeneity, Visualization
Abstract: The proliferation of agent-based models (ABMs) in recent decades has motivated model practitioners to improve the transparency, replicability, and trust in results derived from ABMs. The complexity of ABMs has risen in stride with advances in computing power and resources, resulting in larger models with complex interactions and learning and whose outputs are often high-dimensional and require sophisticated analytical approaches. Similarly, the increasing use of data and dynamics in ABMs has further enhanced the complexity of their outputs. In this article, we offer an overview of the state-of-the-art approaches in analyzing and reporting ABM outputs highlighting challenges and outstanding issues. In particular, we examine issues surrounding variance stability (in connection with determination of appropriate number of runs and hypothesis testing), sensitivity analysis, spatio-temporal analysis, visualization, and effective communication of all these to non-technical audiences, such as various stakeholders.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (4) 6
Kyeywords: Self-Initiated Behavior, Infectious Diseases, Agent-Based Modeling, Relative Agreement Rules, Social Network
Abstract: Human self-initiated behavior against epidemics is recognized to have significant impacts on disease spread. A few epidemic models have incorporated self-initiated behavior, and most of them are based on a classic population-based approach, which assumes a homogeneous population and a perfect mixing pattern, thus failing to capture heterogeneity among individuals, such as their responsive behavior to diseases. This article proposes an agent-based model that combines epidemic simulation with a relative agreement model for individual self-initiated behavior. This model explicitly represents discrete individuals, their contact structure, and most importantly, their progressive decision making processes, thus characterizing individualized responses to disease risks. The model simulation and sensitivity analysis show the existence of critical points (threshold values) in the model parameter space to control influenza epidemic including minimum values for the initially positive population size, the communication rate, and the attitude uncertainty. These threshold effects shed insights on preventive strategy design to deal with the current circumstances that new vaccines are often insufficient to combat emerging communicable diseases.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (4) 8
Kyeywords: Cultural Transmission, Seasonal Mobility, Complex Foragers, Agent-Based Modeling, Social Networks, Cultural Drift
Abstract: Understanding the relationships between seasonal social networks and diversity in artifact styles, is crucial for examining the production and reproduction of knowledge among complex foraging societies such as those of the Pacific Northwest Coast. This agent-based model examines the impact of seasonal aggregation, dispersion, and learning opportunities on the richness and evenness of artifact styles under random social learning (unbiased transmission). The results of these simulations suggest that the relationship between learning opportunities and innovation rate has more impact on artifact style richness and evenness than seasonal social networks. Seasonal aggregation does appear to result in a higher amount of one-off rare variants, but this effect is not statistically significant. Overall, the restriction of learning opportunities appears more crucial in patterning cultural diversity among complex foragers than the potential impacts from individuals drawing on different seasonal social networks.
Guus ten Broeke, George van Voorn and Arend Ligtenberg
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 19 (1) 5
Kyeywords: Sensitivity Analysis, Emergent Properties, Harvest Decision Model, Variance Decomposition
Abstract: Existing methodologies of sensitivity analysis may be insufficient for a proper analysis of Agent-based Models (ABMs). Most ABMs consist of multiple levels, contain various nonlinear interactions, and display emergent behaviour. This limits the information content that follows from the classical sensitivity analysis methodologies that link model output to model input. In this paper we evaluate the performance of three well-known methodologies for sensitivity analysis. The three methodologies are extended OAT (one-at-a-time), and proportional assigning of output variance by means of model fitting and by means of Sobol’ decomposition. The methodologies are applied to a case study of limited complexity consisting of free-roaming and procreating agents that make harvest decisions with regard to a diffusing renewable resource. We find that each methodology has its own merits and exposes useful information, yet none of them provide a complete picture of model behaviour. We recommend extended OAT as the starting point for sensitivity analysis of an ABM, for its use in uncovering the mechanisms and patterns that the ABM produces.
Stefan Holm, Renato Lemm, Oliver Thees and Lorenz M. Hilty
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 19 (3) 3
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Discrete Choice Experiments, Preference Elicitation, Decision Model, Market Simulation, Wood Market
Abstract: Agent-based modeling is a promising method to investigate market dynamics, as it allows modeling the behavior of all market participants individually. Integrating empirical data in the agents’ decision model can improve the validity of agent-based models (ABMs). We present an approach of using discrete choice experiments (DCEs) to enhance the empirical foundation of ABMs. The DCE method is based on random utility theory and therefore has the potential to enhance the ABM approach with a well-established economic theory. Our combined approach is applied to a case study of a roundwood market in Switzerland. We conducted DCEs with roundwood suppliers to quantitatively characterize the agents’ decision model. We evaluate our approach using a fitness measure and compare two DCE evaluation methods, latent class analysis and hierarchical Bayes. Additionally, we analyze the influence of the error term of the utility function on the simulation results and present a way to estimate its probability distribution.
Sebastiaan Greeven, Oscar Kraan, Émile Chappin and Jan H. Kwakkel
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 19 (3) 9
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Scenario Discovery, Uncertainty, Climate Change Mitigation, Exploratory Modeling
Abstract: Developing model-based narratives of society’s response to climate change is challenged by two factors. First, society’s response to possible future climate change is subject to many uncertainties. Second, we argue that society’s mitigation action emerge out of the actions and interactions of the many actors in society. Together, these two factors imply that the overarching dynamics of society’s response to climate change are unpredictable. In contrast to conventional processes of developing scenarios, in this study the emergence of climate change mitigation action by society has been represented in an agent-based model with which we developed two narratives of the emergence of climate change mitigation action by applying exploratory modelling and analysis. The agent-based model represents a two-level game involving governments and citizens changing their emission behaviour in the face of climate change through mitigation action. Insights gained from the exploration on uncertainties pertaining to the system have been used to construct two internally consistent and plausible narratives on the pathways of the emergence of mitigation action, which, as we argue, are a reasonable summary of the uncertainty space. The first narrative highlights how and when strong mitigation action emerges while the second narrative highlights how and when weak mitigation action emerges. In contrast to a conventional scenario development process, these two scenarios have been discovered bottom up rather than being defined top down. They succinctly capture the possible outcomes of the emergence of climate change mitigation by society across a large range of uncertain factors. The narratives therefore help in conveying the consequences of the various uncertainties influencing the emergence of climate change mitigation action by society.
Mingxin Zhang, Alexander Verbraeck, Rongqing Meng, Bin Chen and Xiaogang Qiu
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 19 (4) 3
Kyeywords: Spatial Contacts, Agent-Based Modeling, Artificial City
Abstract: Spatial contacts among human beings are considered as one of the influential factors during the transmission of contagious diseases, such as influenza and tuberculosis. Therefore, representing and understanding spatial contacts plays an important role in epidemic modeling research. However, most current research only considers regular spatial contacts such as contacts at home/school/office, or they assume static social networks for modeling social contacts and omit travel contacts in their epidemic models. This paper describes a way to model relatively complete spatial contacts in the context of a large-scale artificial city, which combines different data sources to construct an agent-based model of the city Beijing. In this model, agents have regular contacts when executing their daily activity patterns which is similar to other large-scale agent-based epidemic models. Besides, a microscopic public transportation component is included in the artificial city to model public travel contacts. Moreover, social contacts also emerge in this model due to the dynamic generation of social networks. To systematically examine the effect of the relatively complete spatial contacts have for epidemic prediction in the artificial city, a pandemic influenza disease progression model was implemented in this artificial city. The simulation results validated the model. In addition, the way to model spatial contacts in this paper shows potential not only for improving comprehension of disease spread dynamics, but also for use in other social systems, such as public transportation systems and city level evacuation planning.
Steven F. Railsback, Daniel Ayllón, Uta Berger, Volker Grimm, Steven Lytinen, Colin Sheppard and Jan Thiele
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 20 (1) 3
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Computational Efficiency, Execution Speed, Individual-Based Modeling, NetLogo, Modeling Platforms
Abstract: NetLogo has become a standard platform for agent-based simulation, yet there appears to be widespread belief that it is not suitable for large and complex models due to slow execution. Our experience does not support that belief. NetLogo programs often do run very slowly when written to minimize code length and maximize clarity, but relatively simple and easily tested changes can almost always produce major increases in execution speed. We recommend a five-step process for quantifying execution speed, identifying slow parts of code, and writing faster code. Avoiding or improving agent filtering statements can often produce dramatic speed improvements. For models with extensive initialization methods, reorganizing the setup procedure can reduce the initialization effort in simulation experiments. Programming the same behavior in a different way can sometimes provide order-of-magnitude speed increases. For models in which most agents do nothing on most time steps, discrete event simulation—facilitated by the time extension to NetLogo—can dramatically increase speed. NetLogo’s BehaviorSpace tool makes it very easy to conduct multiple-model-run experiments in parallel on either desktop or high performance cluster computers, so even quite slow models can be executed thousands of times. NetLogo also is supported by efficient analysis tools, such as BehaviorSearch and RNetLogo, that can reduce the number of model runs and the effort to set them up for (e.g.) parameterization and sensitivity analysis.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 20 (3) 15
Kyeywords: Schelling, Sakoda, Checkerboard Models, Tipping Models, Threshold Models, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: The Journal of Mathematical Sociology (JMS) started in 1971. The second issue contained its most cited article: Thomas C. Schelling, “Dynamic Models of Segregation”. In that article, Schelling presented a family of models, one of which became a canonical model. To date it is called the Schelling model—an eponym that affixes the inventor’s name to the invention, one of the highest forms of scientific recognition. In the very first issue of JMS, James Minoru Sakoda published an article entitled “The Checkerboard Model of Social Interaction”. Sakoda’s article more or less went unrecognized. Yet, a careful comparison demonstrates that in a certain sense the Schelling model is just an instance of Sakoda’s model. A precursor of that model was already part of Sakoda’s 1949 dissertation submitted to the University of California at Berkeley. A substantial amount of evidence indicates that in the 1970s Sakoda was well known and recognized as a computational social scientist, whereas Schelling was an unknown in the field. A generation later, the pattern of recognition almost completely reversed: Sakoda had become the unknown, while Schelling was the well-known inventor of the pioneering Schelling model. This article explains this puzzling pattern of recognition. Technical and social factors play a decisive role. Some contrafactual historical reflection suggests that the final result was not inevitable.
Mark Kofi Boateng and Kwame Awuah-Offei
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 20 (3) 4
Kyeywords: Mining Community, Agent-Based Modeling, Diffusion, Sensitivity Analysis, Mining
Abstract: The mining industry has difficulties predicting changes in the level of community acceptance of its projects over time. These changes are due to changes in the society and individual perceptions around these mines as a result of the mines’ environmental and social impacts. Agent-based modeling can be used to facilitate better understanding of how community acceptance changes with changing mine environmental impacts. This work investigates the sensitivity of an agent-based model (ABM) for predicting changes in community acceptance of a mining project due to information diffusion to key input parameters. Specifically, this study investigates the responsiveness of the ABM to average degree (total number of friends) of the social network, close neighbor ratio (a measure of homophily in the social network) and number of early adopters (“innovators”). A two-level full factorial experiment was used to investigate the sensitivity of the model to these parameters. The primary (main), secondary and tertiary effects of each parameter were estimated to assess the model’s sensitivity. The results show that the model is more responsive to close neighbor ratio and number of early adopters than average degree. Consequently, uncertainty surrounding the inferences drawn from simulation experiments using the agent-based model will be minimized by obtaining more reliable estimates of close neighbor ratio and number of early adopters. While it is possible to reliably estimate the level of early adopters from the literature, the degree of homophily (close neighbor ratio) has to be estimated from surveys that can be expensive and unreliable. Further, work is required to find economic ways to document relevant degrees of homophily in social networks in mining communities.
Alena Schmidt, Magdalena Necpalova, Albert Zimmermann, Stefan Mann, Johan Six and Gabriele Mack
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 20 (4) 7
Kyeywords: Sensitivity Analysis, Full Factorial Design, Nitrogen Input Tax, Nitrogen Surplus, Swiss Agriculture
Abstract: The reduction of nitrogen (N) surplus is an ongoing topic in the agri-environmental policies of many countries in the developed world. The introduction of N balance estimation in agricultural sector models is therefore pertinent and requires an interdisciplinary approach. We extended the agent based agricultural sector model SWISSland with an N farm gate balance estimation to pre-evaluate the introduction of a levy on N inputs, particularly a levy on fertilizer and imported concentrates, on N surplus reduction in the Swiss agriculture. The model was based on the Swiss farm accountancy data network (FADN) for 3,000 farms. The model’s ability to represent the N balance was assessed by conducting a structured full factorial sensitivity analysis. The sensitivity analysis revealed the possibility to switch to organic farming and the hectare based payments for ensuring food security as key parameters with the largest influence on the modelled N surplus. The evaluation of N input levy scenarios suggested that an introduction of a tax of 800% of N price will reduce the N surplus by 10% indicating a price elasticity of -0.03. The sensitivity analysis and the results from the levy scenarios suggest that indirect instruments, such as optimizing the direct payments scheme, should be considered rather than direct instruments for an effective N surpluses mitigation in Swiss agriculture.
Nicholas Magliocca, Virginia McConnell and Margaret Walls
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 21 (1) 12
Kyeywords: Global Sensitivity Analysis, Variance Decomposition, Time-Varying Sensitivity Analysis, Spatial Uncertainty, Coastal Hazards
Abstract: Spatial agent-based models (ABMs) can be powerful tools for understanding individual level decision-making. However, in an attempt to represent realistic decision-making processes, spatial ABMs often become extremely complex, making it difficult to identify and quantify sources of model sensitivity. This paper implements a coastal version of the economic agent-based urban growth model, CHALMS, to investigate both space- and time-varying sensitivities of simulated coastal development dynamics. We review the current state of spatially- and temporally-explicit global sensitivity analyses (GSA) for environmental modeling in general, and build on the innovative but nascent efforts to implement these approaches with complex spatial ABMs. Combined variance- and density-based approaches to GSA were used to investigate the partitioning, magnitude, and directionality of model output variance. Time-varying GSA revealed sensitivity of multiple outputs to storm frequency and cyclical patterns of sensitivity for other input parameters. Spatially-explicit GSA showed diverging sensitivities at landscape versus (smaller-scale) zonal levels, reflecting trade-offs in residential housing consumer location decisions and spatial ‘spill-over’ interactions. More broadly, when transitioning from a conceptual to empirically parameterized model, sensitivity analysis is a helpful step to prioritize parameters for data collection, particularly when data collection is costly. These findings illustrate unique challenges of and need to perform comprehensive sensitivity analysis with dynamic, spatial ABMs.
Sara Cuenda, Maximiliano Fernández, Javier Galeano and José A. Capitán
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 21 (1) 2
Kyeywords: Interbank Markets, Agent-Based Modeling, Complex Networks
Abstract: The description of the empirical structure of interbank networks constitutes an important field of study since network theory can be used as a powerful tool to assess the resilience of financial systems and their robustness against failures. On the other hand, the development of reliable models of interbank market structure is relevant as they can be used to analyze systemic risk in the absence of transaction data or to test statistical hypotheses regarding network properties. Based on a detailed data-driven analysis of bank positions (assets and liabilities) taken from the Bankscope database, we here develop a minimal, stochastic, agent-based network model that accounts for the basic topology of interbank networks reported in the literature. The main assumption of our model is that loans between banks attempt to compensate assets and liabilities at each time step, and the model renders networks comparable with those observed in empirical studies. In particular, our model is able to qualitatively reproduce degree distributions, the distribution of the number of transactions, the distribution of exposures, the correlations with nearest-neighbor out-degree, and the clustering coefficient. As our simple model captures the overall structure of empirical networks, it can thus be used as a null model for testing hypotheses relative to other specific properties of interbank networks.
Kamwoo Lee, Sinan Ulkuatam, Peter Beling and William Scherer
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 21 (3) 5
Kyeywords: Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Inverse Reinforcement Learning, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: In this paper, we present a novel method to predict Bitcoin price movement utilizing inverse reinforcement learning (IRL) and agent-based modeling (ABM). Our approach consists of predicting the price through reproducing synthetic yet realistic behaviors of rational agents in a simulated market, instead of estimating relationships between the price and price-related factors. IRL provides a systematic way to find the behavioral rules of each agent from Blockchain data by framing the trading behavior estimation as a problem of recovering motivations from observed behavior and generating rules consistent with these motivations. Once the rules are recovered, an agent-based model creates hypothetical interactions between the recovered behavioral rules, discovering equilibrium prices as emergent features through matching the supply and demand of Bitcoin. One distinct aspect of our approach with ABM is that while conventional approaches manually design individual rules, our agents’ rules are channeled from IRL. Our experimental results show that the proposed method can predict short-term market price while outlining overall market trend.
Oliver Reinhardt, Jason Hilton, Tom Warnke, Jakub Bijak and Adelinde M. Uhrmacher
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 21 (3) 9
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Demography, Simulation Experimentation, Meta-Modeling
Abstract: In the last decade, the uptake of agent-based modeling in demography and other population sciences has been slowly increasing. Still, in such areas, where traditional data-driven, statistical approaches prevail, the hypothesis-driven design of agent-based models leads to questioning the validity of these models. Consequently, suitable means to increase the confidence into models and simulation results are required. To that end, explicit, replicable simulation experiments play a central role in model design and validation. However, the analysis of more complex models implies executing various experiments, each of which combines various methods. To streamline these experimentation processes a flexible computational simulation environment is necessary. With a new binding between SESSL -- an internal domain-specific language for simulation experiments -- and ML3 -- a simulator for linked lives designed specifically for agent-based demographic models -- we cater for these objectives and provide a powerful simulation tool. The proposed approach can serve as a foundation for current efforts of employing advanced and statistical model analysis of agent-based demographic models, as part of a wider process of iterative model building. We demonstrate its potential in specifying and executing different experiments with a simple model of return migration and a more complex model of social care.
Atesmachew Hailegiorgis, Andrew Crooks and Claudio Cioffi-Revilla
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 21 (4) 4
Kyeywords: Climate Change Adaptation, Agent-Based Modeling, Socio-Cognitive Behavior
Abstract: Future climate change is expected to have greater impacts on societies whose livelihoods rely on subsistence agricultural systems. Adaptation is essential for mitigating adverse effects of climate change, to sustain rural livelihoods and ensure future food security. We present an agent-based model, called OMOLAND-CA, which explores the impact of climate change on the adaptive capacity of rural communities in the South Omo Zone of Ethiopia. The purpose of the model is to answer research questions on the resilience and adaptive capacity of rural households with respect to variations in climate, socioeconomic factors, and land-use at the local level. Our model explicitly represents the socio-cognitive behavior of rural households toward climate change and resource flows that prompt agents to diversify their production strategy under different climatic conditions. Results from the model show that successive episodes of extreme events (e.g., droughts) affect the adaptive capacity of households, causing them to migrate from the region. Nonetheless, rural communities in the South Omo Zone, and in the model, manage to endure in spite of such harsh climatic change conditions.
Mostafa Shaaban, Jürgen Scheffran, Jürgen Böhner and Mohamed S. Elsobki
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 22 (1) 4
Kyeywords: Energy Security, Energy Landscape, Egypt, Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis, Agent-Based Modeling, Geographic Information System
Abstract: To respond to the emerging challenge of climate change, feasible strategies need to be formulated towards sustainable development and energy security on a national and international level. Lacking a dynamic sustainability assessment of technologies for electricity planning, this paper fills the gap with a multi-criteria and multi-stakeholder evaluation in an integrated assessment of energy systems. This allows to select the most preferred strategies for future planning of energy security in Egypt, with a focus on alternative energy pathways and a sustainable electricity supply mix up to 2100. A novel prototype model is used to integrate multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) as a premium decision support approach with agent-based modeling (ABM). This tool is popular in analyzing dynamic complex systems. A GIS-based spatial ABM analyzes future pathways for energy security in Egypt, depending on the preferences of agents for selected criteria to facilitate the transformation of energy landscapes. The study reveals significant temporal variations in the spatial ranking of technologies between actors in the energy sector over this period. We conclude that in order to attain a sustainable energy landscape, we should involve relevant stakeholders and analyze their interactions while considering local spatial conditions and key dimensions of sustainable development.
Noudéhouénou Lionel Jaderne Houssou, Juan Durango Cordero, Audren Bouadjio-Boulic, Lucie Morin, Nicolas Maestripieri, Sylvain Ferrant, Mahamadou Belem, Jose Ignacio Pelaez Sanchez, Melio Saenz, Emilie Lerigoleur, Arnaud Elger, Benoit Gaudou, Laurence Maurice and Mehdi Saqalli
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 22 (2) 1
Kyeywords: Ecuadorian Amazon, Oil Pollution Exposure, Agent-Based Modeling, Colonization Demography, Historical Modeling Reconstruction
Abstract: Since the 1970s, the northern part of the Amazonian region of Ecuador has been colonized with the support of intensive oil extraction that has opened up roads and supported the settlement of people from Outside Amazonia. These dynamics have caused important forest cuttings but also regular oil leaks and spills, contaminating both soil and water. The PASHAMAMA Model seeks to simulate these dynamics on both environment and population by examining exposure and demography over time thanks to a retro-prospective and spatially explicit agent-based approach. The aim of the present paper is to describe this model, which integrates two dynamics: (a) Oil companies build roads and oil infrastructures and generate spills, inducing leaks and pipeline ruptures affecting rivers, soils and people. This infrastructure has a probability of leaks, ruptures and other accidents that produce oil pollution affecting rivers, soils and people. (b) New colonists settled in rural areas mostly as close as possible to roads and producing food and/or cash crops. The innovative aspect of this work is the presentation of a qualitative-quantitative approach explicitly addressed to formalize interdisciplinary modeling when data contexts are almost always incomplete.
Francisco J. León-Medina
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 22 (2) 4
Kyeywords: Opinion Dynamics, Mechanism Explanation, Agent-Based Modeling, Homophily, Social Influence, Social Network
Abstract: Opinion dynamics models usually center on explaining how macro-level regularities in public opinion (uniformity, polarization or clusterization) emerge as the effect of local interactions of a population with an initial random distribution of opinions. However, with only a few exceptions, the understanding of patterns of public opinion change has generally been dismissed in this literature. To address this theoretical gap in our understanding of opinion dynamics, we built a multi-agent simulation model that could help to identify some mechanisms underlying changes in public opinion. Our goal was to build a model whose behavior could show different types of endogenously (not induced by the researcher) triggered transitions (rapid or slow, radical or soft). The paper formalizes a situation where agents embedded in different types of networks (random, small world and scale free networks) interact with their neighbors and express an opinion that is the result of different mechanisms: a coherence mechanism, in which agents try to stick to their previously expressed opinions; an assessment mechanism, in which agents consider available external information on the topic; and a social influence mechanism, in which agents tend to approach their neighbor’s opinions. According to our findings, only scale-free networks show fluctuations in public opinion. Public opinion changes in this model appear as a diffusion process of individual opinion shifts that is triggered by an opinion change of a highly connected agent. The frequency, rapidity and radicalness of the diffusion, and hence of public opinion fluctuations, positively depends on how influential external information is in individual opinions and negatively depends on how homophilic social interactions are.
Serge Wiltshire, Asim Zia, Christopher Koliba, Gabriela Bucini, Eric Clark, Scott Merrill, Julie Smith and Susan Moegenburg
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 22 (2) 8
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Network Analytics, Computational Epidemiology, Evolutionary Computation, Livestock Production
Abstract: We developed an agent-based susceptible/infective model which simulates disease incursions in the hog production chain networks of three U.S. states. Agent parameters, contact network data, and epidemiological spread patterns are output after each model run. Key network metrics are then calculated, some of which pertain to overall network structure, and others to each node's positionality within the network. We run statistical tests to evaluate the extent to which each network metric predicts epidemiological vulnerability, finding significant correlations in some cases, but no individual metric that serves as a reliable risk indicator. To investigate the complex interactions between network structure and node positionality, we use a genetic programming (GP) algorithm to search for mathematical equations describing combinations of individual metrics — which we call "meta-metrics" — that may better predict vulnerability. We find that the GP solutions — the best of which combine both global and node-level metrics — are far better indicators of disease risk than any individual metric, with meta-metrics explaining up to 91% of the variability in agent vulnerability across all three study areas. We suggest that this methodology could be applied to aid livestock epidemiologists in the targeting of biosecurity interventions, and also that the meta-metric approach may be useful to study a wide range of complex network phenomena.
Hung Khanh Nguyen, Raymond Chiong, Manuel Chica, Richard Middleton and Dung Thi Kim Pham
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 22 (3) 1
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Contract Farming, Agricultural Supply Chain, Computational Simulation
Abstract: In this paper, we use agent-based modeling (ABM) to study different obstacles to the expansion of contract rice farming in the context of Mekong Delta (MKD)'s rice supply chain. ABM is a bottom-up approach for modeling the dynamics of interactions among individuals and complex combinations of various factors (e.g., economic, social or environmental). Our agent-based contract farming model focuses on two critical components of contractual relationship, namely financial incentives and trust. We incorporate the actual recurrent fluctuations of spot market prices, which induce both contractor and farmer agents to renege on the agreement. The agent-based model is then used to predict emergent system-wide behaviors and compare counterfactual scenarios of different policies and initiatives on maintaining the contract rice farming scheme. Simulation results firstly show that a fully-equipped contractor who opportunistically exploits a relatively small proportion (less than 10%) of the contracted farmers in most instances can outperform spot market-based contractors in terms of average profit achieved for each crop. Secondly, a committed contractor who offers lower purchasing prices than the most typical rate can obtain better earnings per ton of rice as well as higher profit per crop. However, those contractors in both cases could not enlarge their contract farming scheme, since either farmers' trust toward them decreases gradually or their offers are unable to compete with the benefits from a competitor or the spot market. Thirdly, the results are also in agreement with the existing literature that the contract farming scheme is not a cost-effective method for buyers with limited rice processing capacity, which is a common situation among the contractors in the MKD region. These results yield significant insights into the difficulty in expanding the agricultural contracting program in the MKD's rice supply chain.
Junhyok Jang, Xiaofeng Ju, Unsok Ryu and Hyonchol Om
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 22 (3) 3
Kyeywords: Knowledge Diffusion, Knowledge Network, Coevolutionary, Genetic Algorithm, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: The co-evolutionary dynamics of knowledge diffusion and network structure in knowledge management is a recent research trend in the field of complex networks. The aim of this study is to improve the knowledge diffusion performance of knowledge networks including personnel, innovative organizations and companies. In order to study the co-evolutionary dynamics of knowledge diffusion and network structure, we developed a genetic algorithm-agent based model (GA-ABM) by combining a genetic algorithm (GA) and an agent-based model (ABM). Our simulations show that our GA-ABM improved the average knowledge stock and knowledge growth rate of the whole network, compared with several other models. In addition, it was shown that the topological structure of the optimal network obtained by GA-ABM has the property of a random network. Finally, we found that the clustering coefficients of agents are not significant to improve knowledge diffusion performance.
Antoni Perello-Moragues, Pablo Noriega and Manel Poch
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 22 (4) 1
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Innovation Diffusion, Policy-Making, Irrigation Agriculture, Socio-Hydrology
Abstract: Of all the uses of water, agriculture is the one that requires the greatest proportion of resources worldwide. Consequently, it is a salient subject for environmental policy-making, and adoption of modern irrigation systems is a key means to improve water use efficiency. In this paper we present an agent-based model of the adoption process —known as "modernisation"— of a community constituted by farmer agents. The phenomenon is approached as a contingent innovation adoption: a first stage to reach a collective agreement followed by an individual adoption decision. The model is based on historical data from two Spanish irrigation communities during the period 1975-2010. Results suggest that individual profits and farm extension (as proxy of social influence) are suitable assumptions when modelling the modernisation of communities in regions where agriculture is strongly market-oriented and water is scarce. These encouraging results point towards the interest of more sophisticated socio-cognitive modelling within a more realistic socio-hydrologic context.
Jie Yan, Renjing Liu, Zhengwen He and Xiaobo Wan
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 22 (4) 2
Kyeywords: Forgetting, Knowledge Management Strategy, Exploration-Exploitation, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: The creation, transfer and retention of knowledge in an organization has always been the focus of knowledge management researchers; however, one aspect of the dynamics of knowledge, i.e., forgetting, has received comparatively limited attention. To fill this research gap, we extend the basic simulation model proposed by March by incorporating forgetting and three knowledge management strategies, i.e., personalization, codification, and mixed, to explore the impacts of different knowledge management strategies and forgetting on the organizational knowledge level. The simulation results not only clarify the specific measures used to manage individual forgetting in each knowledge management strategy but also identify the boundary conditions under which knowledge management strategies should be adopted under different conditions.
Christopher Weimer, J.O. Miller, Raymond Hill and Douglas Hodson
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 22 (4) 5
Kyeywords: Opinion Dynamics, Agent-Based Modeling, Scheduling, Asynchronous, Synchronous
Abstract: Opinion dynamics models are an important field of study within the agent-based modeling community. Agent scheduling elements within existing opinion dynamics models vary but are largely unjustified and only minimally explained. Furthermore, previous research on the impact of scheduling is scarce, partially due to a lack of a common taxonomy with which to discuss and compare schedules. The Synchrony, Actor type, Scale (SAS) taxonomy is presented, which aims to provide a common lexicon for agent scheduling in opinion dynamics models. This is demonstrated using a generalized repeated averaging model (GRAM) and a generalized bounded confidence model (GBCM). Significant differences in model outcomes with varied schedules are given, along with the results of intentional model biasing using only schedule variation. We call on opinion dynamics modelers to make explicit their choice of schedule and to justify that choice based on realistic social phenomena.
Li An, Volker Grimm and Billie L. Turner II
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (1) 13
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Complex Systems, System Integration, Social-Ecological Systems, Overview
Abstract: This editorial paper reviews the state of the science about agent-based modeling (ABM), pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of ABM. This paper also highlights several impending tasks that warrant special attention in order to improve the science and application of ABM: Modeling human decisions, ABM transparency and reusability, validation of ABM, ABM software and big data ABM, and ABM theories. Six innovative papers that are included in the special issue are summarized, and their connections to the ABM impending tasks are brought to attention. The authors hope that this special issue will help prioritize specific resources and activities in relation to ABM advances, leading to coordinated, joint efforts and initiatives to advance the science and technology behind ABM.
Diana Suleimenova and Derek Groen
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (1) 2
Kyeywords: Refugee Modelling, Agent-Based Modelling, Automation Toolkit, Policy Decisions, Validation, Sensitivity Analysis
Abstract: Forced displacement has a huge impact on society today, as more than 68 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide. Existing methods for forecasting the arrival of migrants, especially refugees, may help us to better allocate humanitarian support and protection. However, few researchers have investigated the effects of policy decisions, such as border closures, on the movement of these refugees. Recently established simulation development approaches have made it possible to conduct such a study. In this paper, we use such an approach to investigate the effect of policy decisions on refugee arrivals for the South Sudan refugee crisis. To make such a study feasible in terms of human effort, we rely on agent-based modelling, and have automated several phases of simulation development using the FabFlee automation toolkit. We observe a decrease in the average relative difference from 0.615 to 0.499 as we improved the simulation model with additional information. Moreover, we conclude that the border closure and a reduction in camp capacity induce fewer refugee arrivals and more time spend travelling to other camps. While a border opening and an increase in camp capacity result in a limited increase in refugee arrivals at the destination camps. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to conduct such an investigation for this conflict.
Arthur Hjorth, Bryan Head, Corey Brady and Uri Wilensky
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (1) 4
Kyeywords: Multi-Level, Agent-Based Modeling, Modeling Tools, Netlogo
Abstract: Multi-Level Agent-Based Modeling (ML-ABM) has been receiving increasing attention in recent years. In this paper we present LevelSpace, an extension that allows modelers to easily build ML-ABMs in the popular and widely used NetLogo language. We present the LevelSpace framework and its associated programming primitives. Based on three common use-cases of ML-ABM – coupling of heterogeneous models, dynamic adaptation of detail, and cross-level interaction - we show how easy it is to build ML-ABMs with LevelSpace. We argue that it is important to have a unified conceptual language for describing LevelSpace models, and present six dimensions along which models can differ, and discuss how these can be combined into a variety of ML-ABM types in LevelSpace. Finally, we argue that future work should explore the relationships between these six dimensions, and how different configurations of them might be more or less appropriate for particular modeling tasks.
Li An, Judy Mak, Shuang Yang, Rebecca Lewison, Douglas A. Stow, Hsiang Ling Chen, Weihua Xu, Lei Shi and Yu Hsin Tsai
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (1) 5
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Payments for Ecosystem Services, Complex Human-Environment Systems, Guizhou Snub-Nosed Monkey, Migration, Land Use
Abstract: The theory and practice associated with payments for ecosystem services (PES) feature a variety of piecemeal studies related to impacts of socioeconomic, demographic, and environmental variables, lacking efforts in understanding their mutual relationships in a spatially and temporally explicit manner. In addition, PES literature is short of ecological metrics that document the consequences of PES other than land use and land cover and its change. Building on detailed survey data from Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve (FNNR), China, we developed and tested an agent-based model to study the complex interactions among human livelihoods (migration and resource extraction in particular), PES, and the Guizhou golden monkey habitat occupancy over 20 years. We then performed simulation-based experiments testing social and ecological impacts of PES payments as well as human population pressures. The results show that with a steady increase in outmigration, the number of land parcels enrolled in one of China’s major PES programs tends to increase, reach a peak, and then slowly decline, showing a convex trend that converges to a stable number of enrolled parcels regardless of payment levels. Simulated monkey occupancy responds to changes in PES payment levels substantially in edge areas of FNNR. Our model is not only useful for FNNR, but also applicable as a platform to study and further understand human and ecological roles of PES in many other complex human-environment systems, shedding light into key elements, interactions, or relationships in the systems that PES researchers and practitioners should bear in mind. Our research contributes to establishing a scientific basis of PES science that incorporates features in complex systems, offering more realistic, spatially and temporally explicit insights related to PES policy or related interventions.
Arika Ligmann-Zielinska, Peer-Olaf Siebers, Nicholas Magliocca, Dawn C. Parker, Volker Grimm, Jing Du, Martin Cenek, Viktoriia Radchuk, Nazia N. Arbab, Sheng Li, Uta Berger, Rajiv Paudel, Derek T. Robinson, Piotr Jankowski, Li An and Xinyue Ye
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (1) 6
Kyeywords: Sensitivity Analysis, Agent-Based Model, Individual-Based Model, Review
Abstract: Designing, implementing, and applying agent-based models (ABMs) requires a structured approach, part of which is a comprehensive analysis of the output to input variability in the form of uncertainty and sensitivity analysis (SA). The objective of this paper is to assist in choosing, for a given ABM, the most appropriate methods of SA. We argue that no single SA method fits all ABMs and that different methods of SA should be used based on the overarching purpose of the model. For example, abstract exploratory models that focus on a deeper understanding of the target system and its properties are fed with only the most critical data representing patterns or stylized facts. For them, simple SA methods may be sufficient in capturing the dependencies between the output-input spaces. In contrast, applied models used in scenario and policy-analysis are usually more complex and data-rich because a higher level of realism is required. Here the choice of a more sophisticated SA may be critical in establishing the robustness of the results before the model (or its results) can be passed on to end-users. Accordingly, we present a roadmap that guides ABM developers through the process of performing SA that best fits the purpose of their ABM. This roadmap covers a wide range of ABM applications and advocates for the routine use of global methods that capture input interactions and are, therefore, mandatory if scientists want to recognize all sensitivities. As part of this roadmap, we report on frontier SA methods emerging in recent years: a) handling temporal and spatial outputs, b) using the whole output distribution of a result rather than its variance, c) looking at topological relationships between input data points rather than their values, and d) looking into the ABM black box – finding behavioral primitives and using them to study complex system characteristics like regime shifts, tipping points, and condensation versus dissipation of collective system behavior.
Alireza Mansouri and Fattaneh Taghiyareh
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (2) 3
Kyeywords: Opinion Formation, Noise, Agent-Based Modeling, Social Impact Model, Phase Transition
Abstract: Human interactions and opinion exchanges lead to social opinion dynamics, which is well described by opinion formation models. In these models, a random parameter is usually considered as the system noise, indicating the individual's inexplicable opinion changes. This noise could be an indicator of any other influential factors, such as public media, affects, and emotions. We study phase transitions, changes from one social phase to another, for various noise levels in a discrete opinion formation model based on the social impact theory with a scale-free random network as its interaction network topology. We also generate another similar model using the concept of social power based on the agents' node degrees in the interaction network as an estimation for their persuasiveness and supportiveness strengths and compare both models from phase transition viewpoint. We show by agent-based simulation and analytical considerations how opinion phases, including majority and non-majority, are formed in terms of the initial population of agents in opinion groups and noise levels. Two factors affect the system phase in equilibrium when the noise level increases: breaking up more segregated groups and dominance of stochastic behavior of the agents on their deterministic behavior. In the high enough noise levels, the system reaches a non-majority phase in equilibrium, regardless of the initial combination of opinion groups. In relatively low noise levels, the original model and the model whose agents' strengths are proportional to their centrality have different behaviors. The presence of a few high-connected influential leaders in the latter model consequences a different behavior in reaching equilibrium phase and different thresholds of noise levels for phase transitions.
Bruno Pietzsch, Sebastian Fiedler, Kai G. Mertens, Markus Richter, Cédric Scherer, Kirana Widyastuti, Marie-Christin Wimmler, Liubov Zakharova and Uta Berger
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (2) 9
Kyeywords: Individual-Based Model, Surrogate Model, Emulator, Calibration, Sensitivity Analysis, Review
Abstract: The recent advancement of agent-based modeling is characterized by higher demands on the parameterization, evaluation and documentation of these computationally expensive models. Accordingly, there is also a growing request for "easy to go" applications just mimicking the input-output behavior of such models. Metamodels are being increasingly used for these tasks. In this paper, we provide an overview of common metamodel types and the purposes of their usage in an agent-based modeling context. To guide modelers in the selection and application of metamodels for their own needs, we further assessed their implementation effort and performance. We performed a literature research in January 2019 using four different databases. Five different terms paraphrasing metamodels (approximation, emulator, meta-model, metamodel and surrogate) were used to capture the whole range of relevant literature in all disciplines. All metamodel applications found were then categorized into specific metamodel types and rated by different junior and senior researches from varying disciplines (including forest sciences, landscape ecology, or economics) regarding the implementation effort and performance. Specifically, we captured the metamodel performance according to (i) the consideration of uncertainties, (ii) the suitability assessment provided by the authors for the particular purpose, and (iii) the number of valuation criteria provided for suitability assessment. We selected 40 distinct metamodel applications from studies published in peer-reviewed journals from 2005 to 2019. These were used for the sensitivity analysis, calibration and upscaling of agent-based models, as well to mimic their prediction for different scenarios. This review provides information about the most applicable metamodel types for each purpose and forms a first guidance for the implementation and validation of metamodels for agent-based models.
Angelos Chliaoutakis and Georgios Chalkiadakis
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (3) 10
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Model-Based Archaeology, Spatial Interaction Model, GraphTheory, Trade Network, Minoan Civilization
Abstract: Social and computational archaeology focuses largely on the study of past societies and the evolution of human behaviour. At the same time, agent-based models (ABMs) allow the efficient modeling of human agency, and the quantitative representation and exploration of specific properties and patterns in archaeological information. In this work we put forward a novel agent-based trading model, for simulating the exchange and distribution of resources across settlements in past societies. The model is part of a broader ABM populated with autonomous, utility-seeking agents corresponding to households; with the ability to employ any spatial interaction model of choice. As such, it allows the study of the settlements’ trading ability and power, given their geo-location and their position within the trading network, and the structural properties of the network itself. As a case study we use the Minoan society during the Bronze Age, in the wider area of "Knossos" on the island of Crete, Greece. We instantiate two well-known spatial interaction sub-models, XTENT and Gravity, and conduct a systematic evaluation of the dynamic trading network that is formed over time. Our simulations assess the sustainability of the artificial Minoan society in terms of population size, number and distribution of agent communities, with respect to the available archaeological data and spatial interaction model employed; and, further, evaluate the resulting trading network’s structure (centrality, clustering, etc.) and how it affects inter-settlement organization, providing in the process insights and support for archaeological hypotheses on the settlement organization in place at the time. Our results show that when the trading network is modeled using Gravity, which focuses on the settlements' "importance" rather than proximity to each other, settlement numbers’ evolution patterns emerge that are similar to the ones that exist in the archaeological record. It can also be inferred by our simulations that a rather dense trading network, without a strict settlement hierarchy, could have emerged during the Late Minoan period, after the Theran volcanic eruption, a well documented historic catastrophic event. Moreover, it appears that the trading network's structure and interaction patterns are reversed after the Theran eruption, when compared to those in effect in earlier periods.
Simon Schweighofer, Frank Schweitzer and David Garcia
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (3) 5
Kyeywords: Polarization, Balance Theory, Opinion Dynamics, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: Polarization is threatening the stability of democratic societies. Until now, polarization research has focused on opinion extremeness, overlooking the correlation between different policy issues. In this paper, we explain the emergence of hyperpolarization, i.e., the combination of extremeness and correlation between issues, by developing a new theory of opinion formation called "Weighted Balance Theory (WBT)". WBT extends Heider's cognitive balance theory to encompass multiple weighted attitudes. We validated WBT on empirical data from the 2016 National Election Survey. Furthermore, we developed an opinion dynamics model based on WBT, which, for the first time, is able to generate hyperpolarization and to explain the link between affective and opinion polarization. Finally, our theory encompasses other phenomena of opinion dynamics, including mono-polarization and backfire effects.
Thomas Feliciani, Ramanathan Moorthy, Pablo Lucas and Kalpana Shankar
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (3) 8
Kyeywords: Peer Review, Grade Language, Agent-Based Modeling
Abstract: Simulation models have proven to be valuable tools for studying peer review processes. However, the effects of some of these models’ assumptions have not been tested, nor have these models been examined in comparative contexts. In this paper, we address two of these assumptions which go in tandem: (1) on the granularity of the evaluation scale, and (2) on the homogeneity of the grade language (i.e. whether reviewers interpret evaluation grades in the same fashion). We test the consequences of these assumptions by extending a well-known agent-based model of author and reviewer behaviour with discrete evaluation scales and reviewers’ interpretation of the grade language. In this way, we compare a peer review model with a homogeneous grade language, as assumed in most models of peer review, with a more psychologically realistic model where reviewers interpret the grades of the evaluation scale heterogeneously. We find that grade language heterogeneity can indeed affect the predictions of a model of peer review.
Chaitanya Kaligotla, Jonathan Ozik, Nicholson Collier, Charles M. Macal, Kelly Boyd, Jennifer Makelarski, Elbert S. Huang and Stacy T. Lindau
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (4) 1
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Model Exploration, High-Performance Computing, Active Learning
Abstract: This paper describes the application of a large-scale active learning method to characterize the parameter space of a computational agent-based model developed to investigate the impact of CommunityRx, a clinical information-based health intervention that provides patients with personalized information about local community resources to meet basic and self-care needs. The diffusion of information about community resources and their use is modeled via networked interactions and their subsequent effect on agents' use of community resources across an urban population. A random forest model is iteratively fitted to model evaluations to characterize the model parameter space with respect to observed empirical data. We demonstrate the feasibility of using high-performance computing and active learning model exploration techniques to characterize large parameter spaces; by partitioning the parameter space into potentially viable and non-viable regions, we rule out regions of space where simulation output is implausible to observed empirical data. We argue that such methods are necessary to enable model exploration in complex computational models that incorporate increasingly available micro-level behavior data. We provide public access to the model and high-performance computing experimentation code.
Saeed Moradi and Ali Nejat
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (4) 13
Kyeywords: Disaster Recovery, Recovery Modeling, Agent-Based Modeling, Perceived Community
Abstract: The housing sector is an important part of every community. It directly affects people, constitutes a major share of the building market, and shapes the community. Meanwhile, the increase of developments in hazard-prone areas along with the intensification of extreme events has amplified the potential for disaster-induced losses. Consequently, housing recovery is of vital importance to the overall restoration of a community. In this relation, recovery models can help with devising data-driven policies that can better identify pre-disaster mitigation needs and post-disaster recovery priorities by predicting the possible outcomes of different plans. Although several recovery models have been proposed, there are still gaps in the understanding of how decisions made by individuals and different entities interact to output the recovery. Additionally, integrating spatial aspects of recovery is a missing key in many models. The current research proposes a spatial model for simulation and prediction of homeowners’ recovery decisions through incorporating recovery drivers that could capture interactions of individual, communal, and organizational decisions. RecovUS is a spatial agent-based model for which all the input data can be obtained from publicly available data sources. The model is presented using the data on the recovery of Staten Island, New York, after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The results confirm that the combination of internal, interactive, and external drivers of recovery affect households’ decisions and shape the progress of recovery.
Nicholas LaBerge, Aria Chaderjian, Victor Ginelli, Margrethe Jebsen and Adam Landsberg
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (4) 3
Kyeywords: Cultural Evolution, Cultural Transmission, Opinion Dynamics, Agent-Based Modeling, Cultural Dissemination
Abstract: The process by which beliefs, opinions, and other individual, socially malleable attributes spread across a society, known as "cultural dissemination," is a broadly recognized concept among sociologists and political scientists. Yet fundamental aspects of how this process can ultimately lead to cultural divergences between rural and urban segments of society are currently poorly understood. This article uses an agent-based model to isolate and analyze one very basic yet essential facet of this issue, namely, the question of how the intrinsic differences in urban and rural population densities influence the levels of cultural homogeneity/heterogeneity that emerge within each region. Because urban and rural cultures do not develop in isolation from one another, the dynamical interplay between the two is of particular import in their evolution. It is found that, in urban areas, the relatively high number of local neighbors with whom one can interact tends to promote cultural homogeneity in both urban and rural regions. Moreover, and rather surprisingly, the higher frequency of potential interactions with neighbors within urban regions promotes homogeneity in urban regions but tends to drive rural regions towards greater levels of heterogeneity.
Tae-Sub Yun and Il-Chul Moon
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 23 (4) 5
Kyeywords: Housing Market, Macro-Prudential Policy, Loan-To-Value, Debt-To-Income, Agent-Based Modeling, Policy Impact Analysis
Abstract: This paper introduces an agent-based model of a housing market with macro-prudential policy experiments. Specifically, the simulation model is used to examine the effects of a policy setting on loan-to-value (LTV) and debt-to-income (DTI), which are policy instruments several governments use to regulate the housing market. The simulation model illustrates the interactions among the households, the house suppliers, and the real estate brokers. We model each household in the population as either seller or buyer, and some of households may behave as speculators in the housing market. To better understand the impact of the policies, we used the real-world observations from the Korean housing market, which include various economic conditions, policy variables, and Korean census data. Our baseline model is quantitatively validated to the price index and the transaction volume of the past Korean housing market. After validation, we show the empirical effectiveness of setting LTV and DTI towards house prices, transaction volumes, and the amount of households' mortgages. Furthermore, we investigate the simulation results for the owner-occupier rate of households. These investigations provide the policy analyses in Korea's housing market, and other governments with LTV and DTI regulations.
Daniele Vernon-Bido and Andrew Collins
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 24 (1) 6
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Cooperative Game Theory, Modeling and Simulation, ABM, Cooperative Games
Abstract: Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a powerful paradigm to gain insight into social phenomena. One area that ABM has rarely been applied is coalition formation. Traditionally, coalition formation is modelled using cooperative game theory. In this paper, a heuristic algorithm, which can be embedded into an ABM to allow the agents to find a coalition, is described. Our heuristic algorithm combines agent-based modeling and cooperative game theory to help find agent partitions that are members of a games' core solutions (if they exist). The accuracy of our heuristic algorithm can be determined by comparing its outcomes to the actual core solutions. This comparison is achieved by developing an experiment that uses a specific example of a cooperative game called the glove game. The glove game is a type of market economy game. Finding the traditional cooperative game solutions is computationally intensive for large numbers of players because each possible partition must be compared to each possible coalition to determine the core set; hence our experiment only considers up to nine-player games. The results indicate that our heuristic approach achieves a core solution over 90% of the games considered in our experiment.
Guus ten Broeke, George van Voorn, Arend Ligtenberg and Jaap Molenaar
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 24 (2) 3
Kyeywords: Sensitivity Analysis, Surrogate Model, Support Vector Machine, Model Analysis
Abstract: The utility of Agent Based Models (ABMs) for decision making support as well as for scientific applications can be increased considerably by the availability and use of methodologies for thorough model behaviour analysis. In view of their intrinsic construction, ABMs have to be analysed numerically. Furthermore, ABM behaviour is often complex, featuring strong non-linearities, tipping points, and adaptation. This easily leads to high computational costs, presenting a serious practical limitation. Model developers and users alike would benefit from methodologies that can explore large parts of parameter space at limited computational costs. In this paper we present a methodology that makes this possible. The essence of our approach is to develop a cost-effective surrogate model based on ABM output using machine learning to approximate ABM simulation data. The development consists of two steps, both with iterative loops of training and cross-validation. In the first part, a Support Vector Machine (SVM) is developed to split behaviour space into regions of qualitatively different behaviour. In the second part, a Support Vector Regression (SVR) is developed to cover the quantitative behaviour within these regions. Finally, sensitivity indices are calculated to rank the importance of parameters for describing the boundaries between regions, and for the quantitative dynamics within regions. The methodology is demonstrated in three case studies, a differential equation model of predator-prey interaction, a common-pool resource ABM and an ABM representing the Philippine tuna fishery. In all cases, the model and the corresponding surrogate model show a good match. Furthermore, different parameters are shown to influence the quantitative outcomes, compared to those that influence the underlying qualitative behaviour. Thus, the method helps to distinguish which parameters determine the boundaries in parameter space between regions that are separated by tipping points, or by any criterion of interest to the user.
Zhongtian Chen and Hanlin Lan
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 24 (2) 8
Kyeywords: Opinion Dynamics, Social Media, Polarization, Agent-Based Modeling, Opinion Guidance
Abstract: Studies on the fundamental role of diverse media in the evolution of public opinion can protect us from the spreading of brainwashing, extremism, and terrorism. Many fear the information cocoon may result in polarization of the public opinion. Hence, in this work, we investigate how audiences' choices among diverse media might influence public opinion. Specifically, we aim to figure out how peoples' horizons (i.e., range of available media) and quantity, as well as the distribution of media, may shape the space of public opinion. We propose a novel model of opinion dynamics that considers different influences and horizons for every individual, and we carry out simulations using a real-world social network. Numerical simulations show that diversity in media can provide more choices to the people, although individuals only choose media within the bounds of their horizons, extreme opinions are more diluted, and no opinion polarizations emerge. Furthermore, we find that the distribution of media's opinions can effectively influence the space for public opinion, but when the number of media grows to a certain level, its effect will reach a limitation. Finally, we show that the effect of campaigns for consciousness or education can be improved by constructing the opinion of media, which can provide a basis for the policy maker in the new media age.
Matthew Koehler, David M Slater, Garry Jacyna and James R Thompson
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 24 (2) 9
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Covid-19, Contact Networks, Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions
Abstract: As a result of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, the United States instituted various non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in an effort to slow the spread of the disease. Although necessary for public safety, these NPIs can also have deleterious effects on the economy of a nation. State and federal leaders need tools that provide insight into which combination of NPIs will have the greatest impact on slowing the disease and at what point in time it is reasonably safe to start lifting these restrictions to everyday life. In the present work, we outline a modeling process that incorporates the parameters of the disease, the effects of NPIs, and the characteristics of individual communities to offer insight into when and to what degree certain NPIs should be instituted or lifted based on the progression of a given outbreak of COVID-19. We apply the model to the 24 county-equivalents of Maryland and illustrate that different NPI strategies can be employed in different parts of the state. Our objective is to outline a modeling process that combines the critical disease factors and factors relevant to decision-makers who must balance the health of the population with the health of the economy.
Matthew Gibson, Raphael Slade, Joana Portugal Pereira and Joeri Rogelj
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 24 (3) 9
Kyeywords: Food Choice, Milk Consumption, Consumer Behaviour, Agent-Based Modelling, Calibration Optimisation, Global Temporal Sensitivity Analysis
Abstract: Substitution of food products will be key to realising widespread adoption of sustainable diets. We present an agent-based model of decision-making and influences on food choice, and apply it to historically observed trends of British whole and skimmed (including semi) milk consumption from 1974 to 2005. We aim to give a plausible representation of milk choice substitution, and test different mechanisms of choice consideration. Agents are consumers that perceive information regarding the two milk choices, and hold values that inform their position on the health and environmental impact of those choices. Habit, social influence and post-decision evaluation are modelled. Representative survey data on human values and long-running public concerns empirically inform the model. An experiment was run to compare two model variants by how they perform in reproducing these trends. This was measured by recording mean weekly milk consumption per person. The variants differed in how agents became disposed to consider alternative milk choices. One followed a threshold approach, the other was probability based. All other model aspects remained unchanged. An optimisation exercise via an evolutionary algorithm was used to calibrate the model variants independently to observed data. Following calibration, uncertainty and global variance-based temporal sensitivity analysis were conducted. Both model variants were able to reproduce the general pattern of historical milk consumption, however, the probability-based approach gave a closer fit to the observed data, but over a wider range of uncertainty. This responds to, and further highlights, the need for research that looks at, and compares, different models of human decision-making in agent-based and simulation models. This study is the first to present an agent-based modelling of food choice substitution in the context of British milk consumption. It can serve as a valuable pre-curser to the modelling of dietary shift and sustainable product substitution to plant-based alternatives in Britain.
JoAnn Lee and Andrew Crooks
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 24 (4) 2
Kyeywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Antisocial Behaviors, Delinquency, Risk Factors, Youth, Social Work
Abstract: Risk assessments are designed to measure cumulative risk and promotive factors for delinquency and recidivism, and are used by criminal and juvenile justice systems to inform sanctions and interventions. Yet, these risk assessments tend to focus on individual risk and often fail to capture each individual’s environmental risk . This paper presents an agent-based model (ABM) which explores the interaction of individual and environmental risk on the youth. The ABM is based on an interactional theory of delinquency and moves beyond more traditional statistical approaches used to study delinquency that tend to rely on point-in-time measures, and to focus on exploring the dynamics and processes that evolve from interactions between agents (i.e., youths) and their environments. Our ABM simulates a youth’s day, where they spend time in schools, their neighborhoods, and families. The youth has proclivities for engaging in prosocial or antisocial behaviors , and their environments have likelihoods of presenting prosocial or antisocial opportunities. Results from systematically adjusting family, school, and neighborhood risk and promotive levels suggest that environmental risk and promotive factors play a role in shaping youth outcomes. As such the model shows promise for increasing our understanding of delinquency.
Ngan Nguyen, Hongfei Chen, Benjamin Jin, Walker Quinn, Conrad Tyler and Adam Landsberg
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 24 (4) 5
Kyeywords: Cultural Dissemination, Agent-Based Modeling, Cultural Evolution, Opinion Dynamics, Cultural Transmission, Bounded Confidence Models
Abstract: We study cultural dissemination in the context of an Axelrod-like agent-based model describing the spread of cultural traits across a society, with an added element of social influence. This modification produces absorbing states exhibiting greater variation in number and size of distinct cultural regions compared to the original Axelrod model, and we identify the mechanism responsible for this amplification in heterogeneity. We develop several new metrics to quantitatively characterize the heterogeneity and geometric qualities of these absorbing states. Additionally, we examine the dynamical approach to absorbing states in both our Social Influence Model as well as the Axelrod Model, which not only yields interesting insights into the differences in behavior of the two models over time, but also provides a more comprehensive view into the behavior of Axelrod's original model. The quantitative metrics introduced in this paper have broad potential applicability across a large variety of agent-based cultural dissemination models.