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  1. We study evacuation dynamics in a major urban region (Miami, FL) using a combination of a realistic population and social contact network, and an agent-based model of evacuation behavior that takes into account peer influence and concerns of looting. These factors have been shown to be important in prior work, and have been modeled as a threshold-based network dynamical systems model (2mode-threshold), which involves two threshold parameters|for a family's decision to evacuate and to remain in place for looting and crime concerns|based on the fraction of neighbors who have evacuated. The dynamics of such models are not well understood, and we observe that the threshold parameters have a significant impact on the evacuation dynamics. We also observe counter-intuitive effects of increasing the evacuation threshold on the evacuated fraction in some regimes of the model parameter space, which suggests that the details of realistic networks matter in designing policies.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  2. Data from surveys administered after Hurricane Sandy provide a wealth of information that can be used to develop models of evacuation decision-making. We use a model based on survey data for predicting whether or not a family will evacuate. The model uses 26 features for each household including its neighborhood characteristics. We augment a 1.7 million node household-level synthetic social network of Miami, Florida with public data for the requisite model features so that our population is consistent with the survey-based model. Results show that household features that drive hurricane evacuations dominate the effects of specifying large numbers of families as \early evacuators" in a contagion process, and also dominate effects of peer influence to evacuate. There is a strong network-based evacuation suppression effect from the fear of looting. We also study spatial factors affecting evacuation rates as well as policy interventions to encourage evacuation.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  3. The study of epidemics is useful for not only understanding outbreaks and trying to limit their adverse effects, but also because epidemics are related to social phenomena such as government instability, crime, poverty, and inequality. One approach for studying epidemics is to simulate their spread through populations. In this work, we describe an integrated multi-dimensional approach to epidemic simulation, which encompasses: (i) a theoretical framework for simulation and analysis; (ii) synthetic population (digital twin) generation; (iii) (social contact) network construction methods from synthetic populations, (iv) stylized network construction methods; and (v) simulation of the evolution of a virus or disease through a social network. We describe these aspects and end with a short discussion on simulation results that inform public policy.
  4. Web-based interactions enable agents to coordinate and generate collective action. Coordination can facilitate the spread of contagion to large groups within networked populations. In game theoretic contexts, coordination requires that agents share common knowledge about each other. Common knowledge emerges within a group when each member knows the states and the thresholds (preferences) of the other members, and critically, each member knows that everyone else has this information. Hence, these models of common knowledge and coordination on communication networks are fundamentally different from influence-based unilateral contagion models, such as those devised by Granovetter and Centola. Moreover, these models utilize different mechanisms for driving contagion. We evaluate three mechanisms of a common knowledge model that can represent web-based communication among groups of people on Facebook, using nine social (media) networks. We provide theoretical results indicating the intractability in identifying all node-maximal bicliques in a network, which is the characterizing network structure that produces common knowledge. Bicliques are required for model execution. We also show that one of the mechanisms (named PD2) dominates another mechanism (named ND2). Using simulations, we compute the spread of contagion on these networks in the Facebook model and demonstrate that different mechanisms can produce widely varying behaviorsmore »in terms of the extent of the spread and the speed of contagion transmission. We also quantify, through the fraction of nodes acquiring contagion, differences in the effects of the ND2 and PD2 mechanisms, which depend on network structure and other simulation inputs.« less
  5. Networks are pervasive in society: infrastructures (e.g., telephone), commercial sectors (e.g., banking), and biological and genomic systems can be represented as networks. Consequently, there are software libraries that analyze networks. Containers (e.g., Docker, Singularity), which hold both runnable codes and their execution environments, are increasingly utilized by analysts to run codes in a platform-independent fashion. Portability is further enhanced by not only providing software library methods, but also the driver code (i.e., main() method) for each library method. In this way, a user only has to know the invocation for the main() method that is in the container. In this work, we describe an automated approach for generating a main() method for each software library method. A single intermediate representation (IR) format is used for all library methods, and one IR instance is populated for one library method by parsing its comments and method signature. An IR for the main() method is generated from that for the library method. A source code generator uses the main() method IR and a set of small, hand-generated source code templates|with variables in the templates that are automatically customized for a particular library method|to produce the source code main() method. We apply our approachmore »to two widely used software libraries, SNAP and NetworkX, as exemplars, which combined have over 400 library methods.« less
  6. Many contagion processes evolving on populations do so simultaneously, interacting over time. Examples are co-evolution of human social processes and diseases, such as the uptake of mask wearing and disease spreading. Commensurately, multi-contagion agent-based simulations (ABSs) that represent populations as networks in order to capture interactions between pairs of nodes are becoming more popular. In this work, we present a new ABS system that simulates any number of contagions co-evolving on any number of networked populations. Individual (interacting) contagion models and individual networks are specified, and the system computes multi-contagion dynamics over time. This is a significant improvement over simulation frameworks that require union graphs to handle multiple networks, and/or additional code to orchestrate the computations of multiple contagions. We provide a formal model for the simulation system, an overview of the software, and case studies that illustrate applications of interacting contagions.
  7. In a networked anagram game, each team member is given a set of letters and members collectively form as many words as possible. They can share letters through a communication network in assisting their neighbors in forming words. There is variability in behaviors of players, e.g., there can be large differences in numbers of letter requests, of replies to letter requests, and of words formed among players. Therefore, it is of great importance to understand uncertainty and variability in player behaviors. In this work, we propose versatile uncertainty quantification (VUQ) of behaviors for modeling the networked anagram game. Specifically, the proposed methods focus on building contrastive models of game player behaviors that quantify player actions in terms of worst, average, and best performance. Moreover, we construct agent-based models and perform agent-based simulations using these VUQ methods to evaluate the model building methodology and understand the impact of uncertainty. We believe that this approach is applicable to other networked games.
  8. We describe a software system called ExecutionManager (abbreviated EM) that controls the execution of third-party software (TPS) for analyzing networks. Based on a configuration file that contains a specification for the execution of each TPS, the system launches any number of stand-alone TPS codes, if the projected execution time and the graph size are within user-imposed limits. A system capability is to estimate the running time of a TPS code on a given network through regression analysis, to support execution decision-making by EM. We demonstrate the usefulness of EM in generating network structure parameters and distributions, and in extracting meta-data information from these results. We evaluate its performance on directed and undirected, simple and multi-edge graphs that range in size over seven orders of magnitude in numbers of edges, up to 1.5 billion edges. The software system is part of a cyberinfrastructure called for network science.
  9. In a group anagram game, players are provided letters to form as many words as possible. They can also request letters from their neighbors and reply to letter requests. Currently, a single agent-based model is produced from all experimental data, with dependence only on number of neighbors. In this work, we build, exercise, and evaluate enhanced agent behavior models for networked group anagram games under an uncertainty quantification framework. Specifically, we cluster game data for players based on their skill levels (forming words, requesting letters, and replying to requests), perform multinomial logistic regression for transition probabilities, and quantify uncertainty within each cluster. The result of this process is a model where players are assigned different numbers of neighbors and different skill levels in the game. We conduct simulations of ego agents with neighbors to demonstrate the efficacy of our proposed methods.
  10. Contagion dynamics on networks are used to study many problems, including disease and virus epidemics, incarceration, obesity, protests and rebellions, needle sharing in drug use, and hurricane and other natural disaster events. Simulators to study these problems range from smaller-scale serial codes to large-scale distributed systems. In recent years, Python based simulation systems have been built. In this work, we describe a new Python-based agent-based simulator called CSonNet. It differs from codes such as Epidemics on Networks in that it performs discrete time simulations based on the graph dynamical systems formalism. CSonNet is a parallel code; it implements concurrency through an embarrassingly parallel approach of running multiple simulation instances on a user-specified number of forked processes. It has a modeling framework whereby agent models are composed using a set of pre-defined state transition rules. We provide strong-scaling performance results and case studies to illustrate its features.