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Publisher: Journals Gateway
Artificial Life (2023) 29 (1): 3–20.
Published: 02 January 2023
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AbstractView article PDF
Most models of migration simply assume that migrants somehow make their way from their point of origin to their chosen destination. We know, however, that—especially in the case of asylum migration—the migrant journey often is a hazardous, difficult process where migrants make decisions based on limited information and under severe material constraints. Here we investigate the dynamics of the migration journey itself using a spatially explicit, agent-based model. In particular we are interested in the effects of limited information and information exchange. We find that under limited information, migration routes generally become suboptimal, their stochasticity increases, and migrants arrive much less frequently at their preferred destination. Under specific circumstances, self-organised consensus routes emerge that are largely unpredictable. Limited information also strongly reduces the migrants’ ability to react to changes in circumstances. We conclude, first, that information and information exchange is likely to have considerable effects on all aspects of migration and should thus be included in future modelling efforts and, second, that there are many questions in theoretical migration research that are likely to profit from the use of agent-based modelling techniques.