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


I thought of a train station:
Who/what are the agents? the people and the trains
What is the environment? the station
What are the interactions between agents and/or between agents and the environment? The trains interact with the tracks and the people interact with other people and the train.


the agents would be the molecules, environment would be ocean, interactions would gaining or losing energy


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

  • Effects of greenhouse gases on the environment

•Who/what are the agents?

  • Sources of gases
  • The gases (themselves)
  • “Objects” that lower the amount of gases

•What is the environment?

  • The Earth

•What are the interactions between agents and/or between agents and the environment?

  • The changes in global temperature


My complex system involves the introduction of an invasive species to an ecosystem. The invasive species is the brown widow spider. The ecosystem is Southern California and the agents will include black widows and any other species in the food web. The interaction I will focus on will be predator/prey relationships.


I think weather is a great example of a complex interactive system You could work on local weather and use models to predict what might happen certain factors change. Or you could focus on extreme weather which is fascinating for kids. How much would conditions have to change to bring on hurricanes or tornados in southern california?


That’s a really cool idea!


CAS idea: suburban sprawl and the cost to the biotic and abiotic facotrs of the local ecosystem
Who/what are the agents? trees, shrubs, grasses, birds, small mammals, larger mammals
What is the environment? several acres at the intersection of Robious and Cranbeck which is very close to the school where I currently teach - all students will be familiar with how it has changed dramatically over the past few years (historical satellite images available from GoogleEarth)
What are the interactions between agents and/or between agents and the environment? What had been forest and a farm is now a Costco, an apartment complex, a strip mall, and a nursing home… good for people, but bad for everything else - or is it? If it is, can we quantify? (I’m not sure how this all would work, but hey, I’m a noob here in CAS-land.)


I like this idea - and I liked your format so much that I copied it for my post (-:


The complex adaptive system I chose was disease transmission. The agents would be the human population. The environment could be a school campus, city, country or the planet. The interactions between agents could include family members within a household, citizens as they interact with each other in public (ex. bus, movie theater, etc.), workplace interactions, etc.


In our 7th grade curriculum in particular, we do a lot of predator-prey relationships, so agent based modeling would work great with this grade. I’m wondering if this would work for our 8th grade unit on motion. The agents could be different forces (applied force vs friction), the environment could be as small as a mousetrap car, or as big as a race track. The interactions would be what happens to the motion of the car if different amounts of each force are applied.


I thought about the bird flocking behaviors. The birds are the agents, The environment is the air they fly in. Birds interact with other birds or agents. Birds/agents also interact with the environment/air. The agents seem to follow the same basic rule - stay so close to the same other bird/agent. Stay close to the same two additional birds, thus forming a triangle. I don’t know if this is true but it could be modeled.


I’ve often thought about how when several lanes of traffic have to merge into one is like how when you hang a bottle upside down and the liquid quickly escapes out of the opening. I’ve wanted to test to find which behaviors allow cars to merge and exit most quickly. CS would allow this to be tested. How cool is that?


Environment is type of matter and volume. Agents are particles of matter, energy, reacting matter, catalysts, etc


Good idea. Mine was similar but focused on matter reacting.


I would model evolution. The agents would be the individual organisms. The environment would have things like a food source, predators, and hopefully a mechanism or random genetic mutation. The interactions would be the organisms getting food, evading predators, and reproducing. In this you could model how different factors (rate of reproduction, rate of mutation, predation, etc) affect the evolution of a species.


I am thinking similarly of organisms in an ecosystem, in particular how they adjust to changes in that ecosystem.


I was trying to think outside of my initial evolution or ecosystem idea, so I thought about 8th grade: Forces. The agents would be the type of force: Gravity, Friction, Applied Force, etc. Let’s say you are building a car… The interactions would be the amount of force needed to propel the car. The environment for the car would probably be the types of track it is on, but really for forces it could be anything.


I would like to model the complex adaptive system presented in the video and how the predator/prey relationships affect the population size of both agents. The agents are the predators and prey. The environment is the ecosystem they live in. As the predator interacts with the prey its population would increase while the prey’s population decreases.


I would let the students choose an environment or a biome. The agents would be the organisms and food sources. The interactions would be between the organisms and the food sources environment. Students can share with others in the classroom about what they observed in their environment/biome.


The system I would look at would be ecosystems. I would start with something simple like predator and prey relationships in a food web.The agents would be the plants and animals in the ecosystem. A real life problem could be the water shortage in California and how the limited availability of plant life affects the rest of the food web.