TJHSST Senior Research Project
Exploring Artificial Societies Through
November 20, 2007
The intent of this project is to apply a computer based approach
to the modeling of an artificial society of a sugarscape. Much pre-
vious research has been done on this topic, and many programmers
are working toward reliable models of actual societies of today and
the past. Using Netlogo and MASON to simulate these societies, I
hope to develop a complex system in the sugarscape that involves the
dynamics of distinct groups in the form of social networks or neigh-
borhoods or separate races to discover what factors influence these
Keywords: genetic algorithms, algorithmic composition
1 Introduction - Problem Statement and Pur-
1.1 What is research
Agent based modeling is an important field in computer science. One of
its numerous applications, artificial societies, can help researchers to better
understand the complexities of numerous social situations. This sugarscape
is intended to show the movement of individuals toward a source of food.
These individuals are limited in their vision, though it varies. With this
limited vision, they search for and move to the best possible area of sugar.
This movement is relatively predictable and is largely influenced by the to-
pography of the sugarscape. This society can be expanded to include more
complex behavior, such as migration and combat.
This sort of modeling can be used to attempt to understand a variety of
societal behaviors. It can be applied to neighborhoods and poverty traps,
to the modeling of ancient societies, to migration. These models may pro-
vide a better understanding of patterns in a society, and will be of value to
1.2 Why is research done?
Two basic purposes of research are to learn something and/or to gather
evidence. Research also advances existing knowledge in a discipline, subject
area or field. It fills significant gaps in such knowledge and is used to devise