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


I thought of modeling forces as a CAS. The agents could be various objects that can be moved and things moving the objects. The environments could be those representing varying degrees of friction, and/or different levels of gravity. The interactions would include interactions between agents and the environment.


I like this idea, and you could change the planet/moon that the pendulum is on to get the gravitational effect to get some environmental change.


The phenomenon that I thought of was the atomic structure and theory.
The agents are the subatomic particles: protons, electrons, and neutron. The environment is space or matter. The interactions are attraction, repulsion, and gravity.


So, I referenced the behavior of the infamous ants of Brazil from which Leiningen must protect his plantation. It would be fun to study some real-life insects to determine if they could grow so multitudinous or fierce as to overrun “civilized” spaces. Cicadas could be a fun local example this year, and mercifully less gory!
Who/what are the agents? Ants, plant life, human beings
What is the environment? Lush forest plantation
What are the interactions between agents and/or between agents and the environment? When an ant interacts with anything edible, it consumes it and gains energy. Upon reaching a given rate of energy, ants reproduce. If a human intersects with an any, the ant is dead and disappears.
Studying- how long will it take for Leiningen to be overrun? Should he have been? Did he have good data to fight instead of run away? What would you have advised that he do if you’d had your computer model to show him?


This would be great! My father in law tried to explain to me that gravitational forces pushing UP are what actually make planes fly. Seeing those forces in more tangible ways would definitely be exciting!


The phenomenon I think would be interesting to model as a Complex Adaptive System would be the outbreak of the zika virus.
The agents would be the virus, the mosquitos, people traveling, people not traveling
The environment would be countries with cases of the virus and countries without cases of the virus
The interaction between agents and other agents would be people traveling to countries with cases of the virus and interacting with the mosquitoes
The interaction between agents would be the people who had contracted the virus coming back to the countries without cases of the virus
The other interaction between agents would be the people who had traveled and contracted the virus interacting with people who had not traveled


Like several others, I think the best example for me, in my classroom, would be to use this model to help explain nature - specifically, earthquakes. I think it would be a great way to get kids interested in the topic.


I wish hurricanes were in my curriculum - this would be great for that!


I had thought of a Natural Selection example after watching the complex adaptive systems video. For an example I use in class and could have the kids use computer science to create an agent based model the agents would be the Rock Pocket mouse population of the southwest US. Specifically there would be two colors of mice, dark and light. Also agents would have to include predators of the mice such as birds of prey, snakes, etc. The environments is a desert with light rock and a lava flow area within the desert with dark rock. Interactions between agents would be predator/prey, reproduction rates, and the color of mouse on a given color environment and a higher or lower risk of death.


In an ecosystem, the agents would be the predator and prey populations.The environment would consist of the living and nonliving things in the ecosystem. Initially, adding predators to the environment would cause the prey to decrease. Overtime an adapting ecosystem will return to a state of equilibrium. I usually use Gizmo (a computer simulation) to let my students explore and discover this concept.


What is the phenomenon you thought was a complex adaptive system? Acid Rain

Who/what are the agents? The atmosphere, pollution and moisture
What is the environment? The Atmosphere
What are the interactions between agents and/or between agents and the environment? The pollution from factories rise into the atmosphere and mixes with the water cycle before the rain falls back to Earth.


Phenomenon = temperature
Environment = gas or liquid in container
Agent = molecules of the substance
interactions = mass, intermolecular forces, pressure


Initially I would chose an ecosystem to model - agent would be the prey/predators and the ecosystem specific area would be the environment. I really like all the possibilities I read about, so many areas to model. I think I would also like to model a convection cycle as it applies to plate tectonics.


CAS - chemical reaction. The agents are the individual atoms and molecules that make up the reactants. The environment can be a test tube with solution. The interactions are the breaking down and forming of bonds as atoms and molecules collide.


I would use this to simulate an invasive species in an ecology unit I teach. There is one scenario that we talk about involving zebra mussels and clams. This would be great one to use CS with!


I have many modeling ideas - complex causes and effects of different types of weather and earthquakes. These would show students the various agents involved.


Thank you for the link.


I love this idea! This would be one I would want to learn more about and apply in my classroom as well.


The phenomenon I would like to apply this to is the human brain. The agents are nerve cells. The environment is consciousness, which comes from the interaction of the brain cells.


I think a complex adaptive system could be the Zika virus. The agents would be mosquitoes with Zika, and without Zika, and humans. The environment would be North America maybe focusing on the United States… The interactions would be of human being bitten by a mosquito with or with out Zika and see how it spreads. How long it would/could take. I wouldn’t add factors of blood donation or other forms of transmission.