These thirteen papers and accompanying commentaries are the first fruits of an ongoing research project that has concentrated on developing simulation models that incorporate the behavioral responses of individuals and businesses to alternative tax rules and rates and on expanding computational general equilibrium models that analyze the long-run effects of changes on the economy as a whole.
The principal focus of the project has been on the microsimulation of individual behavior. Thus, this volume includes studies of individual responses to an over reduction in tax rates and to changes in the highest tax rates; a study of alternative tax treatments of the family; and studies of such specific aspects of household behavior as tax treatment of home ownership, charitable contributions, and individual saving behavior. Microsimulation techniques are also used to estimate the effects of alternative policies on the long-run financial status of the social security program and to examine the effects of alternative tax rules on corporate investment and of foreign-source income on overseas investment.
The papers devoted to the development of general equilibrium simulation models to include an examination of the implications of international trade and capital flows, a study of the effects of capital taxation that uses a closed economy equilibrium model, and an examination of the effect of switching to an inflation-indexed tax system. In the volume's final paper, a life-cycle model in which individuals maximize lifetime utility subject to a lifetime budget constraint is used to simulate the effects of tax rules on personal savings.
The past five decades have witnessed a rapid growth of computer models for simulating ecosystem functions and dynamics. This has been fueled by the availability of remote sensing data, computation capability, and cross-disciplinary knowledge. These models contain many submodules for simulating different processes and forcing mechanisms, albeit it has become challenging to truly understand the details due to their complexity. Most ecosystem models, fortunately, are rooted in a few core biophysical foundations, such as the widely recognized Farquhar model, Ball-Berry-Leuning and Medlyn family models, Penman-Monteith equation, Priestley-Taylor model, and Michaelis-Menten kinetics. After an introduction of biophysical essentials, four chapters present the core algorithms and their behaviors in modeling ecosystem production, respiration, evapotranspiration, and global warming potentials. Each chapter is composed of a brief introduction of the literature, in which model algorithms, their assumptions, and performances are described in detail. Spreadsheet (or Python codes) templates are included in each chapter for modeling exercises with different input parameters as online materials, which include datasets, parameter estimation, and real-world applications (e.g., calculations of global warming potentials). Users can also apply their own datasets. The materials included in this volume serve as effective tools for users to understand model behaviors and uses with specified conditions and in situ applications.
Using an energy systems language that combines energetics, kinetics, information, cybernetics, and simulation, Ecological and General Systems compares models of many fields of science, helping to derive general systems principles.
First published as Systems Ecology in 1983, Ecological and General Systems proposes principles of self-organization and the designs that prevail by maximizing power and efficiency. Comparisons to fifty other systems languages are provided. Innovative presentations are given on earth homeostasis (Gaia); the inadequacy of presenting equations without network relationships and energy constraints; the alternative interpretation of high entropy complexity as adaptive structure; basic equations of ecological economics; and the energy basis of scientific hierarchy.
Part I introduces energetics, hierarchy, and systems modeling. Part II features design elements: intersections, autocatalytic modules, loops, series, parallel elements, and webs. Part III includes embodied energy, spectra of energy quality, temperature, complexity, spatial distribution, and diversity. Part IV discusses production, consumption, ecosystems, succession, economic systems, anthropological models, urban and regional models, global biogeochemistry, and the universe.
Mediated modeling is an innovative new approach that enhances the use of computer models as invaluable tools to guide policy and management decisions. Rather than having outside experts dispensing answers to local stakeholders, mediated modeling brings together diverse interests to raise the shared level of understanding and foster a broad and deep consensus. It provides a structured process based on system dynamics thinking in which community members, government officials, industry representatives, and other stakeholders can work together to produce a coherent, simple but elegant simulation model. Mediated Modeling by Marjan Van Den Belt is a practical guide to participatory modeling for both practitioners and students, one that is firmly theoretically grounded in the field of systems dynamics and environmental modeling. Five in-depth case studies describe the successful use of the technique in a variety of settings, and a final chapter synthesizes the lessons highlighted by the case studies. Mediated Modeling's step-by-step description of the techniques and practical advice regarding implementation offer a real-world solution for all those seeking to make sound decisions about the environment.
Modeling the Environment was the first textbook in an emerging field—the modeling techniques that allow managers and researchers to see in advance the consequences of actions and policies in environmental management. This new edition brings the book thoroughly up to date and reaffirms its status as the leading introductory text on the subject.
System dynamics is one of the most widely known and widely used methods of modeling. The fundamental principles of this approach are demonstrated here with a wide range of examples, including geo-hydrology, population biology, epidemiology and economics. The applications demonstrate the transferability of the systems approach across disciplines, across spatial scales, and across time scales. All of the models are implemented with stock and flow software programs such as Stella and Vensim. These programs are easy and fun to learn, and they allow students to develop realistic models within the first few weeks of a college course.
System dynamics has emerged as the most common approach in collaborative projects to address environmental problems. The stock and flow structures and the emphasis on feedback control provide a common language that is understood by scientists from many disciplines. Although the interdisciplinary approach described here is widely used in practice, there are few books to aid instruction. Modeling the Environment meets the urgent need for instructional materials in interdisciplinary modeling of environmental systems.
At an ecopark in Mexico, tourists pretend to be illegal migrants, braving inhospitable terrain and the U.S. Border Patrol as they attempt to cross the border. At a living history museum in Indiana, daytime visitors return after dark to play fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad. In the Mojave Desert, the U.S. Army simulates entire provinces of Iraq and Afghanistan, complete with bustling villages, insurgents, and Arabic-speaking townspeople, to train soldiers for deployment to the Middle East. At a nursing home, trainees put on fogged glasses and earplugs, thick bands around their finger joints, and sandbag harnesses to simulate the effects of aging and to gain empathy for their patients.
These immersive environments in which spectator-participants engage in simulations of various kinds—or “simming”—are the subject of Scott Magelssen’s book. His book lays out the ways in which simming can provide efficacy and promote social change through affective, embodied testimony. Using methodology from theater history and performance studies (particularly as these fields intersect with cultural studies, communication, history, popular culture, and American studies), Magelssen explores the ways these representational practices produce, reify, or contest cultural and societal perceptions of identity.
Ambitiously identifying fresh issues in the study of complex systems, Peter J. Taylor, in a model of interdisciplinary exploration, makes these concerns accessible to scholars in the fields of ecology, environmental science, and science studies. Unruly Complexity explores concepts used to deal with complexity in three realms: ecology and socio-environmental change; the collective constitution of knowledge; and the interpretations of science as they influence subsequent research.
For each realm Taylor shows that unruly complexity-situations that lack definite boundaries, where what goes on "outside" continually restructures what is "inside," and where diverse processes come together to produce change-should not be suppressed by partitioning complexity into well-bounded systems that can be studied or managed from an outside vantage point. Using case studies from Australia, North America, and Africa, he encourages readers to be troubled by conventional boundaries-especially between science and the interpretation of science-and to reflect more self-consciously on the conceptual and practical choices researchers make.
A comprehensive guide explaining how to create simulations of international relations for the purposes of both teaching and research.
Hemda Ben-Yehuda, Luba Levin-Banchik, and Chanan Naveh offer as a model their hallmark “World Politics Simulations Project,” which involves participants representing various states, nonstate actors, and media organizations embroiled in an international political crisis. Following the trajectory of a simulation, the authors describe theory, implementation, and analysis. Starting with a typology of simulations, they present a framework for selecting the most suitable one for a given teaching situation, based on academic setting, goals, costs, and other practical considerations. They then provide step-by-step instructions for creating simulations on cyber platforms, particularly Facebook, complete with schedules, guidelines, sample forms, teaching tips, and student exercises. Throughout the simulation, and especially during the final analysis, they explain how to reinforce learning and foster critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, and other essential skills. The authors conclude with suggestions for using data gathered during a simulation for scholarly research.
Instructors in both introductory and advanced courses in political science, international relations, media, history, and area studies—as well as leaders of professional training programs in the civil and military service and media organizations—will find this guide invaluable.