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A multivalued agent-based model for the study of noncommunicable diseases.

Abstract

This paper aims to test and illustrate the utility and extensibility of an existing model, SimNCD (Simulation of NonCommunicable Diseases). It also proposes a way to include questionnaires - widely used in epidemiology - in the individual's reasoning mechanism in order to identify his/her attitude and personal choices. SimNCD is a formal agent-based model. It helps researchers and health practitioners study and simulate the complex dynamics of noncommunicable diseases. It models individuals that evolve within a social network, and behave while engaging in activities offered by their physical environment. The literature strongly supports the influence of the individual's behavioral choices on their health, particularly, the acquirement and maintainability of noncommunicable diseases. Therefore, we propose to extend SimNCD in order to acquire the agents with a reasoning process that allows them to choose the activities to practice. Thus, we model their attitude via preferences that are modeled based on the available literature and expressed with the linguistic 2-tuple method. Our solution also employs a multi-attribute decision-making method. We specify the proposed solution in the study of childhood obesity and use it to predict children's corpulence variations in different scenarios.

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