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How do social structures and group behaviors arise from the interaction of individuals? Growing Artificial Societies approaches this question with cutting-edge computer simulation techniques. Fundamental collective behaviors such as group formation, cultural transmission, combat, and trade are seen to "emerge" from the interaction of individual agents following a few simple rules.
In their program, named
Sugarscape, Epstein and Axtell begin the development of a "bottom up" social science that is capturing the attention of researchers and commentators alike.
The study is part of the 2050 Project, a joint venture of the Santa Fe Institute, the World Resources Institute, and the Brookings Institution. The project is an international effort to identify conditions for a sustainable global system in the next century and to design policies to help achieve such a system.
Copublished with the Brookings Institution
The MIT Press
Growing Artificial Societies is a milestone in social science research. It vividly demonstrates the potential of agent-based computer simulation to break disciplinary boundaries. It does this by analyzing, in a unified framework, the dynamic interactions of such diverse activities as trade, combat, mating, culture, and disease. It is an impressive achievement.
|II||Life and Death on the Sugarscape||21|
|III||Sex, Culture, and Conflict: The Emergence of History||54|
|IV||Sugar and Spice: Trade Comes to the Sugarscape||94|
|App. A||Software Engineering Aspects of Artificial Societies||179|
|App. B||Summary of Rule Notation||182|
|App. C||State-Dependence of the Welfare Function||186|