Current developments of the Model Core

The model core includes the simulation engine, demographic, education, health and basic labour force status modules. It consolidates the modules developed within a variety of completed projects, and constitutes the unified core of the JPI MYBL / Horizon Europe WellCARE and SustainWELL projects.

  • OpenM++ transition: OpenM++ is the platform-independent open-source successor of Modgen, the programming language used to implement microWELT and microDEMS. While openM++ is a re-implementation of the Modgen language, some code adaptations are required to meet modern (and stricter/safer) programming standards. OpenM++ supports a parallel installation with Modgen, which, following a set of standards of code organization and folder structure, allows to compile the same code both in openM++ and Modgen.

  • Code consolidation and integration: Alongside the openM++ transition, we have decided to re-implement the model core from scratch creating microWELT 2.0, which consolidates existing code and code versions and adapts to new requirements of the JPI MYBL / Horizon Europe WellCARE and SustainWELL projects.

  • Model Re-Basing: We re-based the model to more recent data. The starting year of microWELT was moved to 2018, and all parameters of the core were updated. This involved the review and adaptation of the analysis scripts for parameter generation. Analysis scripts are fully documented and allow to reproduce the generation of the starting population and of all model parameters of the base version.

  • Model porting to additional countries: microWELT 2.0 is now available for eight European countries and a Canadian version is planned.

  • Adaptations Family Links: microWELT distinguishes three types of linkages between family members: links between spouses, links between children and “biological” parents (both mother and - if known - father), and links between dependent children and “social parents”. For dependent children living at home, the latter can be both “biological” parents and step-parents. In previous versions, these links were dissolved reaching economic independence. In microWELT 2.0 we maintain these links (as they are useful for the modeling of care networks, inter-vivo transfers and bequests of wealth) and adapt the code in order to distinguish if children still live together with their social parents.

  • Partnership formation and dissolution: Improvements of the modelling of partnership status, especially at higher ages.

  • Distribution of family sizes: microWELT simultaneously reproduces official population projections (age-specific fertility) and accounts for differences in childlessness and the distribution of age at first birth by education. microWELT 2.0 expands on this approach, additionally accounting for differences in second births by education, leading to a realistic distribution of family sizes (no children, one child, two and more children) by cohort and education.