Minority Integration in a Western City: An Agent-Based Modelling Approach

  • Ivan Puga-GonzalezEmail author
  • David Voas
  • Wesley J. Wildman
  • Saikou Y. Diallo
  • F. LeRon Shults
Part of the New Approaches to the Scientific Study of Religion book series (NASR, volume 7)


This chapter describes the design and construction of an agent-based model we refer to as the ‘Simulation of Extended Time Integration’ (SETI) model. This model was designed with the goal of obtaining a better understanding of the conditions and mechanisms leading to the structural, social, and cultural integration of minorities into large Western societies. SETI is a virtual society with structural (employment, income, education) and demographic (marriage, reproduction, life expectancy) variables typical of Westerns countries. Initialization occurs after a hypothesized immigration event in which a single minority population settles into the majority population, bracketing the first decade after the event. The model then runs for three generations during which agents hold weekly social interactions and ‘experience’ processes related to education and employment. These interactions and processes affect agents’ variables representing their degrees of structural, social, and cultural integration. Through this simulation exercise, we hope to gain better insights into the role that particular starting conditions and general mechanisms play in integration; to test potential policies that may aid integration of minority populations; and to show how computer simulations may complement other forms of empirical research in contributing a better understanding of the dynamics of human societies.


Integration Minority-population Majority-population Western societies Policy making Immigration Social interactions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Global Development and PlanningUniversity of AgderKristiansandNorway
  2. 2.University College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Center for Mind and CultureBostonUSA
  4. 4.Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation CenterOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA
  5. 5.Center for Modeling Social SystemsKristiansandNorway
  6. 6.Boston UniversityBostonUSA
  7. 7.Institute for Global Development and Social PlanningUniversity of AgderKristiansandNorway

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