Chapter I. Introduction

Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents are also available

Chapter I. Introduction

This thesis seeks to use genetic algorithms and fuzzy logic to build an object-oriented model of national behavior. Nations will be shown to be autonomous actors that perform on the international stage in the
same way that individuals go about their daily lives. This model attempts to simulate observed history, especially the development of nations and states, according to simple rules. It assumes that the only agents are nations that can evolve, have descendants, and die. Everything else is viewed as a resource that cannot act on its own.

The following definitions are important. A place is a region of land that can border other regions of land. Depending on the scale, “Minnehaha County” or “Lower Saxony” are example places. A nation is collection of people that share a language, culture, and ethnicity. “French,” “German,” and “Occidental” are nations in western Europe. Finally, a state is political subdivision usually possessing sovereignty. The geographical borders of states can closely coincide with places and nations. States can sometimes be subdivisions of other states. Lower Saxony, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the European Union are all examples of states.

This thesis first covers research applicable to modeling this type ofpolitical behavior. Later, the specifics of these approaches areexplored, such as programming techniques like genetic algorithms andneural networks,
and the types of information to store. The thesis then identifies the specifics of the model as well as enumerating ways of verifying the model. Conclusions are researched and areas of future research are explored.

Lastly,this document contains four appendices. Appendix I gives an overviewof the Simulation Design, including the programming tools used,custom tools written by the author to assist in creating thesimulation. These range from data entry utilities to the automatedprocess by which objective and subjective reports were created. Appendix II discusses the subjective tests used and the expert reaction to them. Appendix III is concerned with the objective tests and their findings. Appendix IV contains the source code for the model and some tools.

Computer Science Thesis Index


Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents
are also available


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Computer Science Thesis Index

A Challenge for Aaron (and Mark, and Bill, and Larry, and C…)

Hola de Puerto Rico

One of Thomas P.M. Barnett’s main theme is that they “do know better” — that enemies are not stupid, but understand the world and see where the current trends are leading. That is why they are enemies — they do not like that future.

When I watched it, I thought one of the weaknesses of “The Power of Nightmares” was its cartoonish claim of a secret alliance between “Neoconservatives” and Evangelical Christians. A throw-away line in Niall Ferguson’s “Colossus” has made me re-evaluate that criticism. I need to think it through, but after that one sentence the naturalness of a “neocon” and “religious right” alliance is clear as it never was before.

I will blog on that (with diagrams!) when I get back. But in the meantime: what is the current relationship between “neoconservatives” and religious conservatives? Is there anything natural about that relationship?

-Dan (en San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Update: For answer see here