The Society Model

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Interconnections Among Agents

Note: in order to run the simulation referred to in this slide, go here, to the Java Applet version. You will be directed to download the latest version of the Java plug-in.

The situation changes if we allow agents to connect to each other and interact. In the display to the left, blue lines represent connections between agents. If two agents interact, then the knowledge of each agent is available to both agents. Unlike in the Info-Elites simulation, here we do not care by what process this information is exchanged. As far as we are concerned, the actual exchange of information can be purely hypothetical. We simply wish to keep track of what types of knowledge are available to each agent.

To make this more clear, we can redraw all agents as if they had knowledge of their own type and each of their partners' types. Press "Go" now to see this happen.

Now, the colors in each agent represent all the types of knowledge available to that agent. We say that each agent has affiliations to these different types. When gathering information about a society throughout this tutorial, we shall not be concerned with redrawing the agents after they have gained access to their partners' information; however, this step is automatically performed (1).

Note that in this model we do not allow information of any type to flow farther than one connection away from its origin. In other words, an agent can only pass on the type of information that corresponds to her original type. She cannot gain an affiliation to a particular type and then pass that affiliation on to other agents.

1 In the main simulator this "time step" is not automatically performed. For more information please see the technical appendix.

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