Computer Science in Science PD: Agent Based Modeling of Complex Adaptive Systems - Discussion


great idea. would love to borrow it. do demonstrate the example through simulation please


The phenomenon I chose was an avalanche. The agents of consideration are weight, wind direction, wind speed, erosion, deforestation, vibration, and tremors.


The system originally posted was of was a food web. The agents would be various producers, primary, secondary, and tertiary consumers. The environment could be a prairie or forest ecosystem. The interactions would be between the many predator and prey interactions within that ecosystem.


Great idea, especially considering colony collapse disorder.


So I was thinking hurricanes.

The agents could be the hurricane, homes and buildings in a community, and native vegetation

The environment is an area that can be impacted by hurricanes

The hurricane can change travel direction, size, and wind speed. The buildings and/or native vegetation can “survive” or be damaged by the hurricane


Neat idea. I like the local connection. Have there been any issues with the coyotes and small pets?


I would use the CAS to model a hurricane. The agents and the environment are the warm ocean waters, cool air, wind, energy and air pressure.


The phenomena that I choose is the Greenhouse Effect. The
agents are the carbon dioxide emissions, the amount of plants and trees there
are on the planet to absorb the carbon dioxide emissions, and the atmosphere.
The environment is the earth and its inhabitants. The interactions are how much
carbon dioxide humans put into the atmosphere which should be absorbed by the
plants and trees. However, the excess carbon dioxide degrades the atmosphere
which causes negative effects.


I would like to study the lion fish as an invasive species. How does it affect the environment around it and are there any positive benefits or all they all negative?


I think that would be an interesting study. Sounds like something that may be beneficial.


The complex adaptive system I thought of was the spread of the Zika virus.

  1. Agents: Zika virus, humans, and mosquitos
  2. Environment: area where the outbreak starts and where it spreads
  3. Interactions: close interaction between the vector and host also close interaction between a healthy human and an infected human


This model would help students understand the immune system especially if they created the model. They often have difficulty with the workings of the agents you listed.


The phenomenon of invasive species in a meadow in a riparian ecosystem. Students could use a model of this system to design a solution, using a biological control agent (a fungus to infect the invasive species). The agents are the weed (Dyer’s Woad) and the fungus. The environment is the riverside meadow.

Agents interact with each other and the environment. The fungus interacts with the Dyer’s Woad by killing it. The fungus spreads by ?. The Dyer’s Woad reproduces quickly in the foreign environment (not as quickly in its native environment due to the presence of predators/disease).

Perhaps students could create two environments (foreign and native) to explain why plants in the wrong place (weeds) reproduce more quickly.


I like this idea. Maybe students could test different models representing different materials to compare how heat transfers more quickly through a metal spoon than a wooden spoon (for example) due to differences in density.


PIggy backing off of other ideas we could model the increase in raccoons or skunks. HAving just seen a mother and seven baby skunks in my back yard I would like a model that predicts this increase in population and how it affects the population of their predator.


In modeling the interaction of Earth’s Spheres, we could examine the impact of the cryosphere on the hydrosphere and geosphere. The cryosphere could be programmed to reduce in size over time with a proportional increase in the hydrosphere’s ocean. Increasing the level of oceans would reduce the surface area of the geosphere. If a time component could be added, this model would be a great way for students to model and observe the effects of melting glaciers on the availability of land in coastal areas.


Tropospheric ozone and metropolitan inversions could be modeled as a complex adaptive system. The environment would be time and temperature. The agents would be the various components of the atmosphere, including pollutants.


I can see this being used in hurricane watches and warnings. Agents would be air pressure, wind speed, barometric pressure, and speed (mph).

I think that all of these factors together would help to produce models showing intensity, speed, and probability of the storm affecting land masses.


An example of an adaptive system in 6th grade Earth and Space science would include weather patterns.


What is the phenomenon you thought was a complex adaptive system? The spread of a new virus at school
Who/what are the agents? people and virus molecules.
What is the environment? A school setting with classrooms and students.
What are the interactions between agents and/or between agents and the environment? spread of virus through the school.