Our Inhabited Space

a SNSF NRP 54 Project



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octobre 2005
to january 2009


Module 3: A Multi-Actor Model of Residential Mobility

How to model the human acting with the city? The basic idea is to open up the 'black box' of actors' strategic perspectives in order to model urban dynamics. The hypothesis is that of a small number of consistent ideal-types of individual strategic schemes whose concrete choices in terms of location and mobility will modify urban areas. This means that economic and political factors that compose the context of individual decisions must be taken into account, but precisely as a context. The theoretical basis is that of an actor-centered perspective, in which the various alternatives explored by the model should distinctly encompass, on the one hand, the different possible configurations of this societal context and, on the other hand, the diversity of individual attitudes and responses. Indeed, context changes affect the inputs of the actors' decisions but not directly. These external inputs are always filtered and interpreted inside one of the actors' ideal-typical strategic schemes.

Model journal (PDF, french)

Latest Model Versions

The latest version of the OIS Residential Mobility Model use the Repast 3 Java library and has, like the NetLogo propeudeutic versions, been programmed by André Ourednik, EPFL, Chôros.

Model Download:

Download the latest version of the model for Windows and Linux here.

Download the latest version of the model for Mac OS/X here.

Model Installation:

Windows Installation:

You need Java 1.3+ to run this model on your system.
Uncompress OIS_model.zip on your hard-drive.
Launch the model by double-clicking on start.bat.

Mac OS/X Installation.:

You need Mac OS/X 10.3 at least to run this verion of the model.
Uncompress OIS_model.dmg on your hard drive.
Move OIS_model_OSX to your Applications folder.
Launch the model by double-clicking on ModelOSX.

Linux Installation:

Same procedure as on Windows but use start.sh for model start. You might need to give this file execution rights by:
sudo chmod x+ start.sh
Alternatively use the command line. If you have uncompressed OIS_model into your/folder use:
java -Xmx512M -jar your/folder/OIS_model/model.jar

Using the Model:

Initial Parameters

First, upon the loading of the model's interface, and before trying to initialize the model, it is necessary to define all initial parameters: This means choosing a dominant attitude (attitude dominante) of the individuals. The degree of domination (degré de domination) of the chosen attitude can be defined with the thus named slider. The same should be done with the proportion of residence-owners (proportion des propriétaires) and the statistical modus of children (mode du nombre d’enfants).


Once the initial parameters have been defined, the simulation can be launched with the following sequence of buttons:


Initialize the model parameters and the graphs

Run the model

Run the model

Pause the model

Pause the model to analyse a model state in the map window.

Stop the model

Stop the model. The use of the "run" button will not be possible after that.

Reset the model for new simulation

Reset all parameters in order to make a new initialization possible.

Show/Hide the parameters pane

Show/hide the paremater pane.



During the execution of the model, it is possible to simulate the political interventions in the urban system. These options can be found in the live interventions (interventions en live) tab. The subvention - sliders on this tab reduce the price of places of the indicated type by 0% to 100%. The densification - sliders densify public transport of places of the indicated type, which is simulated by a rise in allophile-attrcativity of these places. The attractivity can be up to doubled.

Legend of the Graphics Interface

The total size of the circle represents the total population (residents + non-residents). The grey part represents the non-residents (its color is grey, as the present non-residents can come from any other urban type). The colored inside-part represents the residents and its color indicates the urban type.

Legend model map interface

Model Drafts in NetLogo

In the first development stages of our model, we have used the NetLogo interface for model conception. This modelling environment, which largely simplifies modelling by providing a model-specific scripting interface, allowed us to concentrate on the conceptual aspects of the model.

Simulation choice

space and perceived heterogeneity | version 4

See part 5 (p.21) of the model journal

Program Notes:

The applet requires Java 1.4.1 or higher to run. It will not run on Windows 95 or Mac OS 8 or 9. Mac users must have OS X 10.2.6 or higher and use a browser that supports Java 1.4 applets (Safari works, IE does not). On other operating systems, you may obtain the latest Java plugin from Sun's Java site.

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