Growing Artificial Societies

Social Science from the Bottom Up

How do social structures and group behaviors arise from the interaction of individuals? Growing Artificial Societies approaches this question with cutting-edge computer simulation techniques. Fundamental collective behaviors such as group formation, cultural transmission, combat, and trade are seen to "emerge" from the interaction of individual agents following a few simple rules.

In their program, named Sugarscape, Epstein and Axtell begin the development of a "bottom up" social science that is capturing the attention of researchers and commentators alike.

The study is part of the 2050 Project, a joint venture of the Santa Fe Institute, the World Resources Institute, and the Brookings Institution. The project is an international effort to identify conditions for a sustainable global system in the next century and to design policies to help achieve such a system.

Copublished with the Brookings Institution

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. 1. Introduction
  3. 2. Life and Death on the Sugarscape
  4. 3. Sex, Culture, and Conflict: The Emergence of History
  5. 4. Sugar and Spice: Trade Comes to the Sugarscape
  6. 5. Disease Processes
  7. 6. Conclusions
  8. Appendixes
  9. References
  10. Index