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Agent-based modeling of China's rural–urban migration and social network structure

TitleAgent-based modeling of China's rural–urban migration and social network structure
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsFu, Z, Hao, L
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number03784371 (ISSN)
KeywordsAcceleration pattern, Agent-based model, Autonomous agents, China, Computational methods, Decomposition methods, k-core, K-cores, Latin hypercube sampling methods, Local connections, Population statistics, Rural–urban migration, Social network structures, Software agents, Surveys

We analyze China's rural–urban migration and endogenous social network structures using agent-based modeling. The agents from census micro data are located in their rural origin with an empirical-estimated prior propensity to move. The population-scale social network is a hybrid one, combining observed family ties and locations of the origin with a parameter space calibrated from census, survey and aggregate data and sampled using a stepwise Latin Hypercube Sampling method. At monthly intervals, some agents migrate and these migratory acts change the social network by turning within-nonmigrant connections to between-migrant-nonmigrant connections, turning local connections to nonlocal connections, and adding among-migrant connections. In turn, the changing social network structure updates migratory propensities of those well-connected nonmigrants who become more likely to move. These two processes iterate over time. Using a core–periphery method developed from the k-core decomposition method, we identify and quantify the network structural changes and map these changes with the migration acceleration patterns. We conclude that network structural changes are essential for explaining migration acceleration observed in China during the 1995–2000 period. © 2017