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Journal Article

Technological and social networks of a pastoralist artificial society: agent-based modeling of mobility patterns


Schickhoff ,  Meike
Climate-Biogeosphere Interaction, The Ocean in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Rodriguez Lopez, J. M., Schickhoff, M., Sengupta, S., & Scheffran, J. (2021). Technological and social networks of a pastoralist artificial society: agent-based modeling of mobility patterns. Journal of Computational Social Science, 4, 681-707. doi:10.1007/s42001-020-00100-w.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-F1A4-D
This paper explores the advantages of simulation to raise the question of how digital and social networks affect the mobility in a pastoralist artificial society in the context of environmental degradation. We aim to explore mechanisms and develop scenarios, which are going to be validated through further research. We use a model of a simple pastoralist society in a world without borders to migration by adding the possibility of experiencing the effects of social structures (such as family and friends) and technological networks (e.g., social media). It appears obvious that pastoralist mobility depends on other dimensions as land tenure and traditional knowledge; however, isolating these two effects and experimenting in a simple society allow us to filter the multidimensionality of mobility decisions and concentrate on comparing scenarios in several different social structures and technological network combinations. The results show an expected behavior of more connection and more mobility, and a non-linear emergent behavior where pastoralists wait for a longer amount of time to mobilize when they interact using powerful social and technological networks. This occurs until they decide to move, and then, they mobilize more quickly and strongly than they did when communication was non-existent between them. The literature on migration explains this emergent non-linear behavior.