Evolutionary Game Theory at Time Zero

Computer and social scientists in Europe are building an entirely virtual world from the group up to examine the development of society and culture. The programs will operate agents (independent of human control) in a massive system that features the development of language, building structures, eating, and mating.

The experiment will see about 1000 agents live together in a simulated world hosted on a network of 50 computers based at the various institutions involved. Each agent will be capable of various simple tasks, like moving around and building simple structures, but will also have the ability to communicate and cooperate with its cohabitants. Though simple interaction, the researchers hope to watch these characters create their very own society from scratch. Every character in the simulated world will need to eat to survive, and will be able to learn from their environment through trial and error - learning, for example, how to cultivate edible plants with water and sunlight. In addition, characters will be able to reproduce by mating with members the opposite sex and their offspring will inherited a random collection of their parents "genetic" traits.
Read more here at the NEW-TIES home page. It doesn't appear to have any economists listed among the "consortium", though I imagine them all to be diligent data gatherers. The biggest question, to me, however, isn't answered in either the article or on the website: do the agents have the ability to trade?

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This page contains a single entry by published on July 15, 2005 1:50 PM.

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