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Network effects in Schelling’s model of segregation: new evidence from agent-based simulation


  • Arnaud Banos


According to two recent studies, Thomas Schelling’s model of segregation is only weakly affected by the underlying spatial structure whatever its complexity. Such a conclusion is important from an urban planning perspective as it suggests that only a very restricted range of possible actions, if any, would be able to contribute to limiting social segregation, unless individual preferences are significantly modified. My own simulations show that, using appropriate graph-based spatial structures, one can reveal significant spatial effects and thus provide alternative planning insights. Cliques in networks indeed play a significant role, reinforcing segregation effects in Schelling’s model. Introducing a small amount of noise into the model permits us to reveal this effect more precisely, without modifying the global behavior of the initial model. Furthermore, I show how a logistic model describes in a concise but precise way this global behavior at an aggregated level. Keywords: agent-based modeling, cliques, networks, Schelling, segregation

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Banos, 2012. "Network effects in Schelling’s model of segregation: new evidence from agent-based simulation," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 39(2), pages 393-405, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:39:y:2012:i:2:p:393-405

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