Conceptualizing and implementing an agent-based model of information flow and decision making during hurricane threats

Joshua Watts, Rebecca E. Morss, C. Michael Barton, Julie L. Demuth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This article introduces an agent-based modeling laboratory for investigating how evolving hazard information, propagated through forecaster, media, public official, and peer information networks, affects patterns of public protective-action decisions during hurricane threats. The model, called CHIME ABM, provides a platform for integrating atmospheric science, social science, and computer and information science knowledge and data to explore the complex socio-ecological dynamics of modern hazard information and decision systems from a new perspective. First, the model's interdisciplinary conceptualization and implementation is described. Results are then presented from experiments demonstrating the model's behaviors and comparing patterns of evacuation decisions when key agent parameters and the geographical population distribution, forecast skill, and storm are varied. The article illustrates how this type of theoretically and empirically informed digital laboratory can be used to develop new insights into the interactions among environmental hazards, information flow, protective decisions, and societal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104524
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Agent-based modeling
  • Evacuation decisions
  • Hurricanes
  • Information networks
  • Natural hazards
  • Risk communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ecological Modeling


Dive into the research topics of 'Conceptualizing and implementing an agent-based model of information flow and decision making during hurricane threats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this