ABM get-together summary November 2014

Here’s a quick reminder of the talks from the ABM get-together on the 14th November 2014. We were ~30 people this time – just about maximum for the room in the FHI, thanks for squeezing in!

Ridhi Kashyap described a model she is creating to help understand why in some parts of the world there is a 130:100 males to females ratio. Ridhi is drawing on the Schelling’s segregation model to show how relatively small preferences for males before birth (i.e. abortion) can lead to such gender imbalances. Andreas mentioned the similaries with his population and cemetery simulator for constructing living populations from graveyard records.

Matteo Richiardi described the problems modellers have in calibrating agents in ABMs and evaluating the usefulness of a model, especially when it generates data that doesn’t correlate with empirical oberservations. Matteo’s work is focused on labour markets and he is working on JAS, a new Java based ABM simulation environment for discrete event modelling to help with this research. Felix suggested the Scaling and criticality in a stochastic multi-agent model of a financial market paper. Slide: Presentation – Matteo Richiardi (slide contains transitions i.e. press forwards!) Matteo also has some course slides and literature on ABM in economics

With Uri Wilensky we discussed how ABM is part of most courses at Northwestern University although there are similar controversies about this system of representation in economics. Uri brought up the topic of restructuration (Wilensky, U., & Papert, S. (2010). Restructurations: Reformulations of Knowledge Disciplines through new representational forms. In J. Clayson & I. Kalas (Eds.), Proceedings of the Constructionism 2010 Conference. Paris, France, Aug 10-14. p. 97.) e.g. it being easy to add and subtract but not divide and multiply with Roman numerals. Uri also asked Wybo to send him a link to AgentBase because there are similarities with the forthcoming javascript implementation of NetLogo. Uri will publish a new book in March 2015: Wilensky; William Rand (in Press). An introduction to agent-based modeling: Modeling natural, social and engineered complex systems with NetLogo. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Wybo Wiersema showed us his new tool called AgentBase that can be used to create ABM entirely within the browser. Wybo intends to use Agent Base to model recent uprisings or political rebellions. Slides: AgentBase: Agent Based Modeling in the Browser

Gemma Poulter told us about a model she is building with colleagues at the Rutherford labs and Sheffield University that aims to support patient pathway planning in hospital A&E departments. The model is currently running on real live data using the FLAME software. Due to Eduroam issues Gemma wasn’t able to show us the system but she has kindly included some screen shows in the slides: Modelling patients’ pathways through A&E with FLAME

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