Development of an Agent-Based Model of the Radicalization Process

Leandro Campos Hernáez. (2023). Development of an Agent-Based Model of the Radicalization Process. Final Career Project (TFG). Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, ETSI Telecomunicación.

errorism is a major concern in contemporary society due to its destructive nature and its ability to undermine the morale of the population. It is one of the main targets of today’s governments. Terrorism has manifested itself in various forms. The best-known case was the Twin Towers attack on September 11, 2001. To study and understand terrorism, it is necessary to know the causes that lead a person to commit a terrorist act, which is called the radicalisation process. The process by which people become radicalised is very complex. Therefore, a great deal of social and psychological research is necessary to draw useful conclusions and understand which factors have the greatest influence on the process. The purpose of this project is to create an agent-based simulation to investigate the radicalisation process. These simulations are useful for analysing processes and patterns in society. They allow modelling the different factors that influence people, to be able to observe the effects on each other. Researchers can study the development of a process in different scenarios without the need to occur, being able to get a first idea of the impact it will have and to take measures and prepare in case it happens. In the case of the radicalisation process, this simulation can help to understand how a person can end up committing a terrorist act, taking into account both his own characteristics and the environments with which he interacts. Regarding the design of the model, it is implemented with the Python programming language. The SOIL library is used for the agent part, which is used to develop agent-based simulations focused on Social Networks. The architecture is based on a state machine, similar to an infection process, in which the main actors are the People and the Environments where people spend their time. The output of the simulation consists of data and graphs from which conclusions can be drawn from the study.