Spatial Behavior in Groups: an Agent-Based Approach
We present an agent-based model with the aim of studying how macro-level dynamics of spatial distances among interacting individuals in a closed space emerge from micro-level dyadic and local interactions. Our agents moved on a lattice (referred to as a room) using a model implemented in a computer program called P-Space in order to minimize their dissatisfaction, defined as a function of the discrepancy between the real distance and the ideal, or desired, distance between agents. Ideal distances evolved in accordance with the agent's personal and social space, which changed throughout the dynamics of the interactions among the agents. In the first set of simulations we studied the effects of the parameters of the function that generated ideal distances, and in a second set we explored how group macro-level behavior depended on model parameters and other variables. We learned that certain parameter values yielded consistent patterns in the agents' personal and social spaces, which in turn led to avoidance and approaching behaviors in the agents. We also found that the spatial behavior of the group of agents as a whole was influenced by the values of the model parameters, as well as by other variables such as the number of agents. Our work demonstrates that the bottom-up approach is a useful way of explaining macro-level spatial behavior. The proposed model is also shown to be a powerful tool for simulating the spatial behavior of groups of interacting individuals.
Volume (Year): 9 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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