Generation of Realistic Mega-City Populations and Social Networks for ABM
Agent-based modeling is a means for researchers to conduct large-scale computer experiments on synthetic human populations and study their behaviors under different conditions. These models have been applied to questions regarding disease spread in epidemiology, terrorist and criminal activity in sociology, and traffic and commuting patterns in urban studies. However, developing realistic control populations remains a key challenge for the research and experimentation. Modelers must balance the need for representative, heterogeneous populations with the computational costs of developing large population sets. Increasingly these models also need to include the social network relationships within populations that influence social interactions and behavioral patterns. To address this we used a mixed method of iterative proportional fitting and network generation to build a synthesized subset population of the New York megacity and region. Our approach demonstrates how a robust population and social network relevant to specific human behavior can be synthesized for agent-based models.
Keywords: Agent-based Models, Geographical Systems, Population Synthesis, Social Networks, Megacity.
Burger, A., Oz, T., Crooks, A.T. and Kennedy, W.G. (2017). Generation of Realistic Mega-City Populations and Social Networks for Agent-Based Modeling, The Computational Social Science Society of Americas Conference, Santa Fe, NM. (pdf)