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Computer Games of Life

Kerlyne Jean

Marie Sager

For this lab we observed two different games in which randomness was observed.

1.) Ants: Social Organiztion

We first observed the Ant Colonies game where we played with the idea that ants may have a destiny. There were three destinies hypothesized foragers, patrollers, and midden workers. We first viewed a group of ants and noticed that a balance was kept among the ratio of different workers. This led us to believe that they may actually have a destiny. We then looked at one ant to see if it did stay within its "detined" job. The one random ant that we observed moved from all three jobs randomly. So, we then thought it may not be destiny.

We then found that ants use hydrocarbons to communicate with one another. By playing with the level of encounters one ant had with another we were able to see that the job of an ant is not totally random and based upon the amount of other ants doing the same job around it. For eaxample, one ant may be a forager and happen to wander closer to the midden workers. If more midden workers come into its vicinity (approximately 15) that ant then begins to do the job of a midden worker. This shows that ants communicate and through that communication have designated jobs which change as threshol number changes.

2.) Daisy World:

In Daisy World there were two types of daisies. The white daisy preferred colder temperatures and had a lower albedo level. In contrast, the black daisies preferred higher t emperatures and had a higher albedo levels. We toyed with three different factors within this world to come up with some conclusions.

Firstly, we set the population of both daisy groups to be equal. We hypothesized that they would balance the temperature and the populations would stay equal. While observing we saw that they were able to keep the temperature stable because one was competing for high temps while the other competed for low temps. The two populations increased and decreased and took turns being on top. At one point the white daisy population was higher while the black daisy pop. was lower and vice versa.

The second aspect we played with was albedo. We wanted to see whether the amount of energy taken in by one group was a major factor. We increased the black albedo and noticed that it had a threshold where they would all die one point. We also noted that since the black albedo is naturally higher than the white daisy it absorbed more energy and was able to get the desired higher temp and kill off the white daisies.

Lastly, we experimented with solar-luminosity. We lowered the level which decreased the temp killing all daisies then did higher level of luminosity which also killed all the daisies. The last test was changing solar-luminosity in intervals in which we observed that they were able to recover after a temperature increase if the temp. decreased within enough time.