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Artificial Culture - Winter 2006 - Sample Applications

We left-click to choose the positions of the towns. Then we right-click to choose the position of the first camp. Pressing "Run" carries out this algorithm for 100,000 days (274 years). "Reset" clears the screen and enables us to choose a fresh set of towns. Notice that you can add a town after you have pressed "Run." You can choose the positions for up to 100 towns. How can you enhance this simulation? Slow it down? Change the colors? Alter the scenario?

Some variations on this theme are here.

Challenge 1 - Half Way There
The goal of this challenge is to introduce you to the complete process of writing and documenting a program quickly. Yes, the story is simple and silly, but the results are hardly intuitive. Even a simple process repeated endlessly can produce counterintuitive results.

The story: A wandering family can't make up its mind about which town they should visit. So every morning they break camp and set out for a town they picked at random. As they approach the town, feelings of avoidance set in, and once they are exactly half way to their destination they have second thoughts and decide to camp for the night. The next morning they pick another town to go to, again at random, and set out. Again, they camp half way to their destination. Being indecisive and compulsive they repeat this routine seemingly endlessly.

The question is this: Given such a seemingly random process, can you predict what the spatial pattern of places they camped looks like? Wouldn't you intuitively predict that it should be random?