Agent-based simulation of urban infrastructure asset management activities

Osman H.

This paper presents a case for adopting agent-based modeling (ABM) as a framework for representing the complex interactions that occur within the context of urban infrastructure management. A generic ABM is proposed with four key agents namely; assets, users, operators and politicians. For each agent a set of generic attributes, actions and behaviors are defined. A detailed behavioral model is adapted from the service quality domain to represent customer perceptions and actions related to infrastructure level of service. An illustrative example of 20 assets and 50 user agents is simulated to demonstrate emergent agent behavior. The simulation highlights how varying user social and psychological behavior influences their response to consuming municipal infrastructure services. The model is evaluated by contrasting with a tradition Markov Decision Process framework. Results demonstrate how socio-technical aspects can be included within the complex decision making process of urban infrastructure management. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.