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Subject:

Re: Algorithms for Simulated Populations with Biographies

From:

"F.J. WILLEKENS" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

F.J. WILLEKENS

Date:

Thu, 3 May 2001 18:09:53 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (107 lines)

Edmund,

You may consider the simulation model developed by Zeng Yi, who
is now at Duke Univ. in US. His model was first published as: Family
dynamics in China. A life table analysis. The University of
Wisconsin Press, 1991. Later, he developed the model further.
Although his model does not deal directly with the intergenerational
transmission of attributes, it is a family-status model that may
provide ideas. For instance, it does not have the limitation that the
status of the father determines the status of the child; it considers a
'marker' which can be any older person in the household.

Zeng Yi's model belong the the class of models developed in the field
of "multistate demography". The model you seem to be looking for is
a multistate model, that classifies persons on the basis of attributes
(discrete variables). Markov models are a class of multistate models.
Multistate models are used to model biographies and to study the
impact of early experiences (or conditions) on the life course.
'Status dependence' means that an attribute at an early age (e.g.
age 0) influences attributes later in life.

If you are particularly interested in the life course of children, as
determined by the type of parents, you may be interested in
Hofferth, S.L. (1987) Recent trends in the living arrangements of
children: a cohort life table analysis. J.Bongaarts, T. Burch and K.
Wachter eds. Family demography: methods and their applications.
Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 168-188.

For more references on multistate demography, see
www.frw.rug.nl/prc/prc.htm and look for teaching/MSc/core
programme/multistate demography (and the literature of the course
"Life history data analysis" )

With best regards,

Frans Willekens



Date sent:              Thu, 3 May 2001 14:13:31 +0100
Send reply to:          Alan Penn <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Alan Penn <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Re: Algorithms for Simulated Populations with Biographies
To:                     [log in to unmask]

> Edmund,
>
> would I be right that this sort of simulation would then pass on the class
> of the child to that of its children (according to some probability
> function) and so on ad infinitum? If so then is this not a Markov chain and
> you would expect it to converge to a stable distibution regardless of the
> initial distribution? If so what you need is some way of measuring the
> convergence. But first you need to decide that it is Markov and has no
> meaningful feedback....
>
> Alan
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: News and discussion about computer simulation in the social
> > sciences [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Edmund Chattoe
> > Sent: 03 May 2001 12:42
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Algorithms for Simulated Populations with Biographies
> >
> >
> > Dear All,
> >
> > I am trying to generate a simulated population with a particular
> > distribution attributes. The snag is that some of these attributes
> > have a "biographical" or historical dimension ie the social class of
> > a child is the social class of its father - I know, sexist, but the
> > research norm _when the child is born_. This involves some "children"
> > with "fictional" parents at t=0 but these fictional parents also need
> > to have sensible values of the biographical attributes. It is quite
> > tricky to "match" initial attribute distributions with those that
> > then emerge in the evolution of the population. Either it takes
> > forever for any initial distortion to "work out" or it never does and
> > the population is unstable.
> >
> > Has anyone done something like this? Is there an algorithmic "trick"
> > I'm missing? I'd like to be able to use biggish populations (1000+)
> > so any solution can't be too computationally lazy.
> >
> > ATB,
> >
> > Edmund
> > --
> > =========================================================================
> > Edmund Chattoe:  Department of Sociology,  University of Oxford, 3 George
> > Street Mews, Oxford, Oxon, OX1 2AA, tel: 01865-278833, fax: 01865-278831,
> > http://www.sociology.ox.ac.uk, Review Editor, J. Artificial Societies
> > and  Social Simulation (JASSS) http://www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/JASSS/,
> > "So act as
> > to treat humanity, whether in your own person or in another, always as an
> > end, and never as only a means."  (Immanuel Kant, Fundamental Principles)
> > ==========================================================================
> >


-----------------------------------------------------------
Frans J. Willekens                      tel. +31-50-3633895
Population Research Centre              fax  +31-50-3633901
University of Groningen
Box 800
9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
-----------------------------------------------------------

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