Abstract: A spatially explicit agent-based vehicle consumer choice model is developed to explore sensitivities and nonlinear interactions between various potential influences on plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) market penetration. The model accounts for spatial and social effects (including threshold effects, homophily, and conformity) and media influences. Preliminary simulations demonstrate how such a model could be used to identify nonlinear interactions among potential leverage points, inform policies affecting PHEV market penetration, and help identify future data collection necessary to more accurately model the system. We examine sensitivity of the model to gasoline prices, to accuracy in estimation of fuel costs, to agent willingness to adopt the PHEV technology, to PHEV purchase price and rebates, to PHEV battery range, and to heuristic values related to gasoline usage. Our simulations indicate that PHEV market penetration could be enhanced significantly by providing consumers with ready estimates of expected lifetime fuel costs associated with different vehicles (e.g., on vehicle stickers), and that increases in gasoline prices could nonlinearly magnify the impact on fleet efficiency. We also infer that a potential synergy from a gasoline tax with proceeds is used to fund research into longer-range, lower-cost PHEV batteries.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).