Mortality, Fertility, and the OY Ratio in a Model Hunter-Gatherer System (2014, American Journal of Physical Anthropology)
This paper in AJPA is, as far as I know, the first formal attempt to use an agent-based model as a tool for paleodemography. Here is the abstract:
I became interested in the OY ratio when I read the debate about what the metric might actually be telling us about human evolution. The appeal of the OY ratio was its simplicity: it seemed to neatly sidestep some of the issues associated with estimating the precise ages of individual fossils/skeletons. But because the age distributions of living and dead populations can be so different, what could it really tell us?
My AJPA paper uses an ABM to understand the relationship between mortality and fertility in living populations (i.e., living model populations) and the OY ratio of assemblages of dead individuals drawn from those same populations. It leaves aside questions about estimating ages for the fossils themselves and focuses on understanding what the OY ratio means in terms of population-level conditions.
I was happy with this paper. It came together relatively quickly, and the results from the model were pretty clear. The first draft I submitted used the first version of the ForagerNet3_Demography model. One of the anonymous reviewers had issues with some of the simplifications I used in the representations of reproduction and mortality in that model. I was well into finishing up the second version of the ForagerNet3_Demography model when I got the reviews back, however, and I was more than happy to redo the entire analysis with the updated version of the model. The results were largely the same as the first time around.
I was really impressed by Wiley's turnaround time on publication of the manuscript: having a paper be available for distribution and citation less than two weeks after submitting revisions is like academic crack for those of who are used to waiting months or even years to see something in print. Bravo! The paper (still in "Early View" as of March 2014) is available here. I am prohibited from posting a copy of the paper, but my understanding is that I can email out individual copies. The model code and model dataset I used for the analysis are available as supplemental material along with the paper.