Agent Based Models in the Humanities: a round up

There’s a lot of interesting Agent Modeling work being done in the humanities; I thought I’d round some of that work up for you. In no particular order:

Tobacco War

Multi-Agent Simulation Analysis: Bay of Biscay Case Study

The discovery of history using inverse simulation Abstract:

We analysed a particular family line, which had so many successful candidates, who passed the very tough examinations of Chinese government officials over 500 years. We investigate what would have happened in a Chinese historical family line. First, we studied the genealogical records Zokufu in China. Second, based on the study, we implemented an agent-based model with the family line network as an adjacency matrix, the personal profile data as an attribution matrix. Third, using ‘inverse simulation’ technique, we optimised the agent-based model in order to fit the simulation profiles to the real profile data. From the intensive experiments, we have found that both grandfather and mother have a profound impact within a family to transmit cultural capital to children and maintain the system of the norm, system of the family. We conclude that new agent-based models are able to contribute to discover knowledge in the fields of historical sciences.

Agent-Based Simulation on Women’s Role in a Family Line on Civil Service Examination in Chinese History

ABSTRACT: In this paper, following our previous work on civil service examinations in imperial China, we investigate women’s role in a Chinese historical family line using an agent-based simulation (ABS) model with a grid oriented genetic algorithm (GOGA) framework. We utilize a GOGA framework, because our ABS had such large parameter spaces with real values that it required much greater computational resources. First, we studied the genealogical records. Second, based on that study, we implemented an agent-based model with the family lines branched out into two clusters to compare different family norms. Third, using an “inverse simulation” technique, we optimized the agent-based model in order to fit the simulation profiles to real profile data with real-coded GA. From these intensive experiments, we have found that (1) The combined influence of the father, uncle, mother and the aunt has important significance in maintaining a successful family norm, and (2) a particular role of the aunt to pass it on as well.

The Hispanic Baroque Project at UWO has a significant ABM component. I spoke to the project participants recently; I intend to make my slides available shortly.

Interaction Maximization and the Observed Distribution of Urban Populations: An agent-based model of humanity’s metric condition

Utilizing Multi Agent Simulation to Explore Cities  link ; however see comments below; more appropriately, visit  CASA Working Paper 133
Constructing and Implementing an Agent-Based Model of Residential Segregation through Vector GIS

In this paper, we present a geographically explicit agent-based model, loosely coupled with vector GIS, which explicitly captures and uses geometrical data and socio economic attributes in the simulation process. The ability to represent the urban environment as a series of points, line and polygons not only allows one to represent a range of different sized features such as houses or larger areas portrayed as the urban environment but is a move away from many agent-based models utilising GIS which are rooted in grid-based structures. We apply this model to the study of residential segregation, specifically creating a Schelling (1971, 1978) type of model within a hypothetical cityscape, thus demonstrating how this approach can be used for linking vector-based GIS and agent-based modelling. A selection of simulation experiments are presented, highlighting the inner workings of the model and how aggregate patterns of segregation can emerge from the mild tastes and preferences of individual agents interacting locally over time. Furthermore, the paper suggests how this model could be extended and demonstrates the importance of explicit geographical space in the modelling process.

[SG: ok, so probably not humanities; but interesting nevertheless]

I’ll add more to this rather idiosyncratic list as I find ’em.

3 thoughts on “Agent Based Models in the Humanities: a round up

    1. Hi Andrew,

      I’m sorry I didn’t catch that myself. That’s not good at all! Thank you for the correction.


      At Tue, 5 Jan 2010 16:41:02 +0000,

      1. Ok, I’ve removed the abstract from that paper, and directed folks to your own; I’ve left the link up on the principle that daylight should be shone into dark corners…

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