Thursday, June 4, 2015 Presentation Information

TRACK ONE: Experienced Modelers

9:30-10:50 AM

Session 1: Agriculture, Food Systems, and Bio-Energy

Room TBA

Collaborative Geodesign for Multifunctional Landscapes

Carissa Schively Slotterback, Bryan Runck, David Pitt, Len Kne, Nicholas R. Jordan, and David Mulla
University of Minnesota

This presentation highlights the development and application of a collaborative geodesign system in the planning and design of multifunctional landscapes that optimize production of food and biofuel commodities with enhanced water quality and habitat performance. The geodesign system is informed by innovations in GIS and integrates underlying modeling related to soils, agricultural productivity, habitat, and water quality (e.g. SWAT, INVEST) into a stakeholder-friendly interface for landscape-scale planning and design. We describe the modeling capabilities and interface of the geodesign system and offer insights into the system’s contributions to collaborative stakeholder engagement, informing decision making, and enhancing landscape planning outcomes.

Holistic Decision Support Modeling to Convert Wastes to Energy

David Binkley
Michigan Public Service Commission

Steven Safferman, Michael Thomas, Jason Smith, and Younsuk Dong
Michigan State University

Anaerobic digesters (ADs) are becoming recognized as a way to achieve cost-efficient, base-load renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A two-step process established a decision support model to support the site-specific development of AD systems operating with blended feedstocks. The Michigan Waste Biomass Inventory (Inventory) and the Anaerobic Digestion Development Iterative Tool (ADDIT) were used. The Inventory locates feedstocks and ADDIT assesses technical and economic performance and includes the integration of science, engineering, policy, and economic considerations. The effectiveness was tested in 2014 with the successful Experimental Advanced Renewable Program, offered by the Consumers Energy Company.

Integrating Biogeochemical and Price Forecasting Models to Predict Bioenergy Crop Supply and Environmental Impacts

Scott Swinton
Michigan State University

Aklesso Egbendewe-Mondzozo
Université de Lomé

Shujiang Kang and Wilfred M. Post
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Wyatt Thompson and Julian C. Binfield
University of Missouri

To overcome information gaps on cellulosic biomass production for bioenergy purposes, we built a bio-economic model to simulate bioenergy crop production choices and outcomes by linking to parameters from a bio-geophysical crop growth and environmental fate model (EPIC) and a multi-market price forecasting model (FAPRI). Simulations using price forecasts that capture multi-market feedbacks showed less environmental benefits than similar models that failed to incorporate these feedbacks. Market feedbacks generate higher threshold prices for biomass to enter production, causing profit-maximizing farmers to opt for intensified fertilizer use on annual grain crops with cellulosic byproducts, rather than lower-input perennial bioenergy crops.

Understanding the Consequences of Biodiversity Loss for Ecosystem Functioning: Integration of Quantitative System Modeling of Trophic Networks and Experimental Long-Term Data

Oksana Y. Buzhdygan and Jana S. Petermann
Freie Universität Berlin

Traditional approaches to the study of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning linkages do not incorporate the analysis of trophic dynamics and therefore overlook the whole-system prospective on the current problem. It is mostly limitations in time, human resources, and collaborative cross-disciplinary team-building that prevent the collection and synthesis of long-term data sets on many ecosystem properties. Quantitative modeling is a powerful approach to fill data gaps in ecosystem parameters and to perform whole-system analysis. With the current study we integrate the quantitative modeling techniques of ecological network analysis (ENA) with the empirical large-scale data of the Jena Biodiversity Experiment, a large grassland biodiversity experiment in Germany.

Session 2: Participatory Modeling Approaches to Improving Nutrition and Health

Room TBA

A Participatory Approach to Modeling how Social, Behavioral, and Medical Factors Connect to Well-Being and Obesity

Philippe J. Giabbanelli
University of Cambridge

Andrew Tugwell and Lydia Drasic
Provincial Health Services Authority of British Columbia

Diane T. Finegood and Grace MacEwan
Simon Fraser University

Shifting focus from weight to well-being could improve the outcome of interventions targeting obesity. Examining the consequences of this paradigm shift requires an understanding of the differences between focusing on well-being and weight. We developed and analyzed a systems map centered on well-being and weight to understand these differences. Our approach combined participatory modeling with data analytics. Specifically, we took a systems approach to extract and combine maps from interviews. Our network analyses of the map and text analytics of the interviews showed that well-being and weight-centric perspectives trigger complementary parts of the system, suggesting that both are needed.

Bayesian Modeling

Jarrod Dalton
Cleveland Clinic

Darcy Freedman, Nicole Vaudrin, and Rho Olaisen
Case Western Reserve University

Patricia Bebo
Ohio State University

Ashley Davis

The purpose of this presentation is to describe a participatory modeling approach designed to inform the development of a diagnostic tool for use by nutrition and public health practitioners as they select, implement, and sustain food systems interventions targeting low-income consumers. Data informing the diagnostic tool include qualitative interviews with public health and nutrition practitioners and community stakeholders, which are then weighted using a participatory process. Weighted data are then translated into a diagnostic tool for community assessment using a probabilistic belief network model.

Session 3: Modeling Water Quality and Sustainability

Room TBA

Development of a System Dynamics Model to Assess the Impact of River Regulation on Groundwater Sustainability

John C. Tracy
University of Idaho

Jennifer Johnson
US Bureau of Reclamation, Pacific Northwest Region

There is growing concern about the sustainability of groundwater supplies, especially within arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Several studies have examined a range of factors that can affect groundwater sustainability. However, none of these studies have proposed indicators to directly address how the regulation of surface water resources affects the sustainability of hydraulically connected groundwater resources. To better understand how river regulation impacts groundwater conditions, a system dynamics model was developed to simulate the interaction between integrated surface-groundwater flow processes, water management infrastructure, and water management practices for watersheds typical of Western United States water conditions.

Integrated Asset Management: Dealing with Neglected Infrastructure and Vacant Properties in Legacy Cities

Mary Beth Graebert, Mohamed El-Gafy, and Mark Wyckoff
Michigan State University

We are testing an integrated urban infrastructure model and laying the framework for developing a policy tool to allow water system providers and local planning officials to make informed land use and infrastructure decisions based on what is happening on and below the ground. This is a pilot project that will create the foundation for additional analysis, tool development, and outreach to help cities address a variety of issues related to the legacy of unsustainable infrastructure systems. This approach is desperately needed in legacy cities, but it can also be beneficial in any city experiencing infrastructure and land use challenges.

Linking Ecological and Economic Models that Support Conservation Auctions to Reduce Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie

Leah Harris Palm-Forster, Scott M. Swinton, Frank Lupi, and Robert S. Shupp
Michigan State University

Todd Redder and Joseph V. DePinto
Limno Tech

Primarily fueled by agricultural phosphorus runoff from the Maumee Watershed, harmful algal blooms (Microcystis sp.) degrade water quality in the western basin of Lake Erie. Conservation procurement auctions are used to get the greatest impact from limited funds for conservation incentive payments by funding implementation of cost-effective agricultural best management practices (BMPs). We compare economic and ecological outcomes achieved in two real conservation auctions in which farmers bid to adopt target BMPs that reduce phosphorus loss. Low farmer participation limits nutrient reductions achieved within a given budget. Our research suggests ways to design conservation auctions to increase participation and cost effectiveness.

1:20 – 2:30 PM

Session 4: Mental Modeler (Demonstration)

Room TBA

Mental Modeler: A Fuzzy-Logic Cognitive Mapping (FCM) Software Tool for Collecting and Standardizing Stakeholder Knowledge for Collaborative Decision-Making

Steven Gray and Alex Metzger
University of Massachusetts

Steven Schyphers
Northeastern University

Fuzzy-logic cognitive mapping (FCM) is a parameterized form of concept mapping used to develop qualitative static models of complex systems that are translated into semi-quantitative dynamic models for scenario analysis. In this demonstration we present the architecture and various uses of an FCM-based software program called Mental Modeler and discuss the benefits and limitations of the tool to facilitate scenario planning and promote learning among stakeholders. Additionally, by providing workshop participants with sample data and web-based access to the software, we will create models, run scenarios, and identify additional software functionality.

Session 5: Computational Social Science (Demonstration)

Room TBA

Computational Social Science: A Tutorial

Péter Érdi
Kalamazoo College

Computational social science is an emerging discipline in the overlapping areas of computer science, complex systems theory, and social sciences to attack hard socioeconomic challenges. While the Internet, sensor networks, and government databases serve as rich mines of information, advanced statistical methods, network theory, dynamical systems models, and agent-based simulation methods could offer methods to predict, control, and manage social complexity.

Session 6: NOVA

Room TBA

NOVA: A New Tool for System dynamics, Agent-Based, and Spatial Modeling

Richard Salter and Nancy Darling
Oberlin College

Nova is a free cross-platform tool for system dynamics, spatial, and agent-based modeling. It is particularly useful for researchers working with longitudinal, multi-level data examining reciprocal, non-linear processes. Because Nova can incorporate sub-models it can simultaneously model processes at the individual, dyadic, and group levels. Nova allows full integration of R and Java functions and can be edited using a graphic, formulaic, or Javascript interface. This demonstration focuses on an example of social contagion of problem behavior, modeling dyadic interactions nested within a classroom that includes aggregated teacher effects and peer influence. System dynamics, spatial, and agent-based functionality are demonstrated.

2:50 – 4:10 PM

Session 7: Qualitative Systems Approaches for Achieving Sustainable Food Security

Room TBA

Evolution of a Research Community in Sustainable Production of Animal Protein

Brent Auvermann
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

In this paper and a supplementary poster, we present a preliminary causal-loop diagram (CLD) of the animal protein production system. We present the major substructures of the CLD and interpret it within the “triple-bottom-line” typology of social, economic, and ecological sustainability. Our goals are to (a) stimulate conversations and develop collaborations with disciplines beyond our traditional membership, (b) expand the base of funding sources for which this expanded team can realistically compete, and (c) identify a range of integrative modeling tools that will add professional-development value to our community’s activities over the next decade.

Applications of System-Dynamics Modeling to Sustainable Animal-Protein Production

Deanne Meyer
University of California, Davis

Brent Auvermann
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Wendy Powers
Michigan State University

John Classen
North Carolina State University

We present a range of real-world scenarios within the animal protein production system (APPS), drawn from our land-grant community’s collective experience, from such realms as manure-management regulations, air-pollution control technologies, and public incentive programs. We further identify (a) key areas of expertise currently under-represented in our research community; (b) gaps in our understanding of APPS and their social, environmental, and economic contexts; (c) research questions that would be best approached by diversifying our research community; and (d) conceptual frameworks that would nourish the development of competitive proposals to a wide range of institutions interested in food security and sustainability.

System Dynamics Perspectives on Strategies to Control Spread of Animal Diseases

Robert E. DeOtte Jr.
West Texas A&M University

We outline a hybrid conceptual/computational modeling approach to the design of a decision-support tool for mitigating the spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in cloven-hoofed animals. The feedbacks include short- and long-term cost, immediate and sustained effectiveness, and sensitivity to public perceptions, which must be considered because of market responses to animal disease. Using conceptual system-dynamics tools, we identify controls and feedbacks in the decision process for response to FMD. In the computational systems domain, we explore the cost/benefit effects of quarantines, controlled animal harvest, vaccination, and total vs. limited depopulation strategies followed by carcass disposal.

Session 8: Understanding Substance Use and Mental Health Through Systems Modeling

Room TBA

Examining the Systemic Complexity of Unipolar Depression

Andrea K. Wittenborn
Michigan State University

Jennifer Rick and Niyousha Hosseinichimeh
Virginia Tech

Hazhir Rahmandad
Virginia Tech and MIT

Depression is a pervasive illness with considerable variation in treatment response. With complex etiology spanning biology, genes, psychology, and the environment, interactions among these drivers and aspects of one’s health, relationships, and economics contribute to the complexity of the illness. These feedback processes, which we identify as the systemic complexity of depression, contribute to the persistence of illness. Using qualitative systems mapping, we developed the first individual-level model of depression dynamics. Our model of adult depression offers insights into the reinforcing loops and inertial factors that keep patients with different profiles entrenched in depression and signals potential targets of intervention.

Model, Dynamics, and Analysis of Drinking Groups

John Clapp, Felipe Giraldo, and Kevin M Passino
Ohio State University

Young adults often drink together, and individual motivations, social dynamics, and environmental variables interact to produce high-risk behavior. Here, we introduce an “individual-based” nonlinear difference equation model for each individual’s dynamical decision making, nonlinear interactions representing sociality, and environmental variables in a group drinking scenario. Our dynamical model construction is informed by large data sets that resulted from in situ studies of group drinking behavior. We perform a computational analysis to show how the parameters of the model affect individuals’ final choices. We also explore relations to role theory.

Students in High School Algebra Build Pharmacokinetic Models Using System Dynamics

Diana Fisher
Portland State University

The use of system dynamics (SD) allows students in high school algebra to build models to study how drugs work in the human body. A three-day sequence of SD model-building pharmacokinetic lessons, culminating with an alcohol model, has been used successfully in algebra classes for almost two decades. This paper focuses on the health related model-building lessons the students use. There are, however, ecological SD models the students build at other times during the year, in their algebra class. SD has proven to be an excellent analytical method (and tool) for bringing relevant, real-world applications into mathematics classes.

Session 9: Network Modeling: Integrating Social and Physical Systems

Room TBA

Modeling World Trade: Land and Sea

Chris Arney, Kate Coronges, and Amy Krakowka
United States Military Academy

We evaluate the effects of emerging and changing intercontinental trade routes—maritime and overland—by developing measures that quantify their impact on nations and society using networks that include geographic constraints, national policies, and flow processing. Infrastructure costs, maintenance, and trade policies constitute additional inputs. We consider potential impacts, such as national cohesion, political contagion, vulnerability and security, and analyze the 5,000-mile New Silk Road (NSR).

Network Modeling of Teams: Linking Many Layers of Cooperation

Kate Coronges
United States Military Academy

We present considerations for bringing the social realm into network models in the context of the science of teamwork. Comparisons between formal and informal network structural dynamics in military units representing responsibility, friendship, trust, and leadership are presented, along with results showing the spread of beliefs and behaviors.

Geographical Factors Driving Household Vulnerability in Four East African countries

Amy Krakowka
United States Military Academy

An innovative modeling methodology is used, which blends state of the art tools developed from a comprehensive literature review and face to face interviews from the field. Geographical measurements, along with interview and ethnographic data, have been collected from communities in Malawi, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. This research addresses geographic, social, historic, and legal aspects of environment-related instability. The methodology builds a comprehensive assessment by defining the study area in terms of its vulnerabilities, identifying factors that contribute to resource susceptibility, developing a causal model of vulnerability, and finding physical and social indicators that operationalize the model.

Session 10: Qualitative Systems Modeling Approaches

Room TBA

Collaborative Modeling in Urban Design: Parametric Design Games

Nastaran Tebyanian
Pennsylvania State University

We investigate the potentials of parametric design games for participatory urban design. We first study design games in the works of Hester (1990), Sanoff (1979), and Habarken (1987), and focus on relevant considerations in designing design games. Second, we discuss potentials and limitations of parametric tools for collaborative modeling of design games in different stages of design process. Using Grasshopper, a collaborative parametric model of a small plaza has been created as the baseline for the analysis. Lastly, we provide recommendations for designing a parametric design game as a platform for participation.

Evolutionary Multi-Criterion Optimization Techniques to Optimal Agro-Ecosystem Modeling and Solutions

Deb Kalyanmoy, Alvin Smucker, Andrey Guber, and Pouyan Nejadhashemi
Michigan State University

Since the early nineties, evolutionary multi-criterion optimization (EMO) methodologies have gained increasing popularity in many engineering, scientific, and commercial problems to find multiple trade-off solutions in multi-objective optimization problems. The MSU SWRT is a precision-based subsurface water retention technology that remediates unnecessary deep leaching and groundwater contamination. Recently, we made a first-ever, innovative application of EMO to precision irrigation systems to develop irrigation strategies for the most efficient use of water. The interdisciplinary application of a computational optimization algorithm to an SWRT-based precision irrigation system provides solutions for efficient use of water and energy across changing climates in a sustainable manner.

The Role of Social Influence Processes and Diverse Collaborative Networks on Systemic Change

Pennie Foster-Fishman and I-Chen Chien
Michigan State University

The past 10 years have witnessed a burgeoning effort in systems building within the early childhood field. These efforts aim to create an integrated and quality system designed to support the child and family. They typically involve the development of local collaboratives designed to increase access to care, build a continuum of quality programming, promote service integration, and promote family voice. Most often, this system building work requires significant change at the organizational and network level. At the organization level, local nonprofits and public sector organizations need to shift their policies and practices and adopt new innovations to support these efforts. Using a longitudinal data base that includes social network data on 54 early childhood collaboratives in one state, this presentation describes the role of social influence and network diversity on promoting the adoption and implementation of policy and practice change within participating organizations.