Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up

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Brookings Institution Press, 1996 - 208 páginas
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""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."
-- Robert Axelrod, University of Michigan 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.

"Growing Artificial Societies" is also available on CD-ROM, which includes about 50 animations that develop the scenarios described in the text.

"Copublished with the Brookings Institution"

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Robert L. Axtell was formerly research associate in the Brookings Foreign Policy Studies program.

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