More copying

Posted by on Jun 5, 2007 in Uncategorized | One Comment


Hat tip to Jon for spotting this at Influx. Neat interview with Alex Bentley on the importance of copying in culture and mass behaviour and how little changes (drifts) can lead to big changes in a population’s behaviour.

Go here or here for more like this. Think this is important stuff.

By the way, does anyone know about the Transmission Lab?

1 Comment

  1. Mark Madsen
    June 6, 2007

    Hi – I’m the principal designer and maintainer of TransmissionLab, happy to discuss it. TransmissionLab is an agent-based simulation framework which facilitates experimentation with cultural transmission phenomena like those mentioned in the Bentley et al. articles.
    Essentially, TransmissionLab allows us to set up “experiments” to examine the behavior of simulated populations, as individuals imitate one another using various rules. The software framework allows us to “plug in” various rules, which often correspond to equations in more formal theories, and see how they behave in combination, or in more realistic conditions than one can solve purely analytically.
    Right now I’m working (albeit slowly) on adding a standard framework for structured populations (described as various types of graph theoretic objects, in order to link up with ongoing research on social networks and network dynamics), and I’m adding a very easy way to express different transmission rules, so that most experiments can be run without writing actual Java code.
    TransmissionLab is open-source software, free for you to use and distribute, although right now we have a small and closed set of developers. We plan to maintain and extend TransmissionLab at least for the next 2-3 years, since it forms the basis for several current and planned research projects.
    I may consider re-architecting TransmissionLab around Repast Simphony once that system has stabilized and once I fully understand its inner workings; at the moment and for the forseeable future, TransmissionLab is based on the current stable version of Repast Java (RepastJ).