Demeter, Persephone, and the Search for Emergence in Agent-Based Models

Michael J. North, T. R. Howe, N. T. Collier, and J. R. Vos

In Greek mythology, the earth goddess Demeter was unable to find her daughter Persephone after Persephone was abducted by Hades, the god of the underworld. Demeter is said to have embarked on a long and frustrating, but ultimately successful, search to find her daughter. Unfortunately, long and frustrating searches are not confined to Greek mythology. In modern times, agent-based modelers often face similar troubles when searching for agents that are to be to be connected to one another and when seeking appropriate target agents while defining agent behaviors. The result is a “search for emergence” in that many emergent or potentially emergent behaviors in agent-based models of complex adaptive systems either implicitly or explicitly require search functions. This paper considers a new nested querying approach to simplifying such agent-based modeling and multi-agent simulation search problems.

Subjects: 7.1 Multi-Agent Systems; 15.8 Simulation

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