Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up
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.
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