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  • Writer's pictureWoi Sok Oh

New article in JASSS

Glad to have my work published in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS)! This work is a part of my Ph.D. dissertation. I explored how substitutability, complementarity, and adaptability between multiple factors differentiate migration decisions in a proof-of-concept ABM. I have another companion paper in progress with the model used in this study. Hope to finish another one soon, too:) Thanks so much to my collaborators, Alvaro, Rafa, and Chot.


Many researchers have addressed what factors should be included in their models of coupled natural-human systems (CNHSs). However, few studies have explored how these factors should be incorporated (factor configuration). Theoretical underpinning of the factor configuration may lead to a better understanding of systematic patterns and sustainable CNHS management. In particular, we ask: (1) can factor configuration explain CNHS behaviors based on its theoretical implications? and (2) when disturbed by shocks, do CNHSs respond differently under varying factor configurations? A proof-of-concept migration agent-based model (ABM) was developed and used as a platform to investigate the effects of factor configuration on system dynamics and outcomes. Here, two factors, social ties and water availability, were assumed to have alternative substitutable, complementary, or adaptable relationships in influencing migration decisions. We analyzed how populations are distributed over different regions along a water availability gradient and how regions are culturally mixed under different factor configurations. We also subjected the system to a shock scenario of dropping 50% of water availability in one region. We found that substitutability acted as a bu er against the effect of water deficiency and prevented cultural mixing of the population by keeping residents in their home regions and slowing down residential responses against the shock. Complementarity led to the sensitive migration behavior of residents, accelerating regional migration and cultural mixing. Adaptability caused residents to stay longer in new regions, which gradually led to a well-mixed cultural condition. All together, substitutability, complementarity, and adaptability gave rise to different emergent patterns. Our findings highlight the importance of how, not just what, factors are included in a CNHS ABM, a lesson that is particularly applicable to models of interdisciplinary problems where factors of diverse nature must be incorporated.

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