Agents, Hierarchies and Sustainability

  • Andreas König
  • Michael Möhring
  • Klaus G. Troitzsch
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


Our paper describes asexually reproducing agents in a sugarscape-like world who move around and feed on resources. Agents have a number of possible actions: to move, gather food, breed offspring, subordinate and unsubordinate, start and end coordinating, and, last but not least, to rest. Some of the agents may act as coordinators for others. Coordinators and subordinates cooperate: coordinators give their subordinates hints at where resources can be found, subordinates share their information with coordinators and pay them a contribution for their coordinating work. Thus, the emergence of a(rather flat) hierarchy can be modelled. Resources grow and are eaten, and they can spread into neighboring fields. If all resources in a field are eaten, the growth of resources ceases until seed is spread from a neighboring field. An agent can eat all or part of the resources in the field it is living in, depending on the value of its attributes gatherAmount (the maximal amount it can consume) and gatherkest (the minimal amount it leaves on the field). Thus, sustainability can be modelled. User-accessible parameters of the JAVA simulation program facilitate user control over a wide variety of features of the model. One of the simulation results is that in an agent society with coordination and subordination, sustainability can more easily be achieved than in a society with isolated agents.


Food Supply Neighboring Cell Agent Society Living Agent Plant Mass 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas König
    • 1
  • Michael Möhring
    • 1
  • Klaus G. Troitzsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Wirtschafts- und VerwaltungsinformatikKoblenzGermany

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