A Simple Model of Increasing Access

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Increasing Access Without a Rationality Bound

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.

We now undertake the question of what happens to a society as communication costs fall, and access increases. To begin with, we place no limits on how many connections each agent can form. Agents will simply attempt to connect to all agents that are close enough geographically to be available.

In order to model the idea of a geographical bound, we need a more precise measure of access. Here, access is represented by an integer. This integer will be the average number of partners that each agent can reach through communications technology. As access increases, agents can connect to partners that are farther and farther away geographically. If access is set to the entire population size, we say access is universal, and there is no geographical bound at all. Thus, agents can choose to connect to any other agent in the society.

It is important to note that our model of access clearly introduces many simplifications. In practice, access in an entire society may be difficult to represent by a single number. There are certainly some isolated communities on earth in which one can communicate with only a few other familiar people. In other locations, individuals can effortlessly contact people thousands of miles away. Furthermore, the rates at which access increases in these various communities need not be uniform. For a more detailed discussion about modeling access please see the Info Elites tutorial.

To the left, we've created a society for demonstration. Below the society is a box containing the access parameter. You can enter a number for access in this box and then press "Go" to have society connect. Try connecting the society with an access of 2 or an access of 29, and see how the connections change.

Below, we've also included a display that contains the various Balkanization Measures. We continue to focus on the Index of Balkanized Affiliation. Notice how this index changes as access increases.

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