Department of Computational Social Science Seminar-HATNA

Friday, October 18, 3:00 p.m.
Center for Social Complexity Suite
Research Hall, Third Floor

The Schelling model of segregation: the case of heterogeneous population of agents

Erez Hatna, PhD
Center for Advanced Modeling in the
Social, Behavioral and Health Sciences (CAM)
Department of Emergency Medicine
Johns Hopkins University

ABSTRACT: The Schelling model of segregation is an agent-based model that illustrates how individual tendencies regarding neighbors can lead to segregation. The model is especially useful for the study of residential segregation of ethnic groups where agents represent householders who relocate in the city. In the model, each agent belongs to one of two groups and aims to reside within a neighborhood where the fraction of 'friends' is sufficiently high: above a predefined tolerance threshold value F. It is known that depending on F, for groups of equal size, Schelling's residential pattern converges to either complete integration (a random-like pattern) or segregation. The study of high-resolution ethnic residential patterns of American and Israeli cities reveals that reality is more complicated than this simple integration-segregation dichotomy: some neighborhoods are ethnically homogeneous while others are populated by different groups in varying ratios. In this study, we explore whether the Schelling model can reproduce such patterns. We investigate the model's dynamics in terms of dependence on the distribution of agents’ tolerance and on the ratio of the size of the two groups.

BIO: Erez Hatna is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Advanced Modeling. He is also honorary researcher at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) of University College London. He obtained his PhD from the Department of Geography and Human Environment of Tel Aviv University in 2007 and then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Wageningen University and research associate at University College London. He is active in the fields of spatial analysis, urban dynamics and agent based modeling.