Agent-based models and discrete choice modeling

Hi, I am interested in modeling farmer decision making in agricultural landscapes. I am currently considering the use of discrete choice models and incorporate farmer land use preference in an agent-based model. Has anyone come across any literature that combines these methods? I will be grateful if you could refer these resources to me. Many thanks!

We addressed this in our model of people in East Africa and discussed validation at the previous (2010) World Congress and now published by Springer. Here’s the citation, but I can send you a copy, if you like.


Bill Kennedy

[email protected]

Kennedy, W.G., Cotla, C.R., Gulden, T., Coletti, M, and Cioffi-Revilla, C. (2014) Towards Validating a Model of Households and Societies of East Africa. Advances in Computational Social Science: The Fourth World Congress, Chapter 20, pp 315-328, S.H. Chen, I. Terano, H. Yamamoto, C.C. Tai (Eds.) Springer.

To janish

I am afraid that I, personally, can not offer a lot, but I have taken an interest in some aspects of this recently. My ABM called ModEco has some peculiar characteristics with respect to land usage that emerge somewhat unexpectedly. In ModEco, farmers and workers participate in a combined biophysical/economic system in which they live and procreate for many generations in an agricultural setting. There is a spatial restriction on who a farmer can hire, or to whom they can sell their inventory, or where a newborn agent can locate (within a commuting area of 25 adjacent squares). So, after a few generations the agents tend to form farming communities that have one of two shapes. Farming communities may be globular in shape, huddling with farmers and workers in a small bubble. Or, they may be soap-film-like, stretching across the terrain in a strip with unused land on either side. Because of my background in physics, I see this as analogous to the effects of surface tension of water with a little soap. On reflecting on the real world, I see that development around towns is generally globular, and along roads and rivers soap-film-like. I hypothesize that there are two opposing social forces that affect a farmer’s ability to succeed: the need to be near enough to civilizing crowds, and the need to be far enough away from civilizing crowds. The interaction of these two forces lead to these dominant patterns of agricultural development, at least here in Canada.

ModEco is available in two different forms from two library sites:

  • OpenABM (this site) in a version written in C++.
  • NetLogo Modelling Commons in a much more simple version written in NetLogo.

The strength of the cluster-forming force is slightly less in the NetLogo version, and I have not yet figured out why.

I regret but that is the extent of my insight drawn from ModEco on this topic. However, it has led me to briefly look into other land-use models to see if similar effects were noted. In my brief excursion I have found none.

Nevertheless, there are some interesting sites:

and many more.

I hope this helps.

Garvin H Boyle