Abstract: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) offer the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, if vehicle consumers are willing to adopt this new technology. Consequently, there is much interest in exploring PHEV market penetration models. In prior work, we developed an agent-based model (ABM) of potential PHEV consumer adoption that incorporated several spatial, social, and media influences to identify nonlinear interactions among potential leverage points that may impact PHEV market penetration. In developing that model, the need for additional data to properly inform both the decision-making rules and agent initialization became apparent. To address these issues, we recently conducted and analyzed an extensive consumer survey; in this paper, we modify the ABM to reflect the survey findings. A unique aspect is a one-to-one correspondence between agents in the model and survey respondents, and thus yielding distributions and cross correlations in agent attributes that accurately reflect the survey population. We also implement a used-PHEV market, and allow agents to purchase new or used compact PHEVs or vehicles of their current type. Based on our prior survey response analysis, our modified model includes a PHEV-technology threshold component, a multinomial logistic prediction of willingness to consider a compact PHEV based on dynamically changing attitudes, and agent-specific delay discounting functions that predict the amount agents are willing to pay up front for greater fuel savings. We thus independently account for agents' discomfort with the new PHEV technology, their desire to drive a more environmentally friendly vehicle, and their willingness to pay a higher sticker price for a PHEV. Results of ten survey-based ABM scenarios are reported with implications for policy-makers and manufacturers. We believe close integration of the design of consumer surveys and the development of ABMs is a key step in developing useful decision-support models; this paper serves as an example of one way to achieve that.
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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).