Behavioral and Social Sciences
Our project will simulate an ecological system where invented organisms live and evolve. This system will be represented as a large matrix. Each element of the matrix can be in several dynamic states at any given time. In addition, each element can be occupied by a maximum of one organism. Interactions between the organisms will take place from adjacent elements in the matrix. The behavior of an organism will be genetically inherited from its predecessors and determined by the states of the elements around it. These behaviors will accomplish the primary goals of survival and reproduction. Through time, these organisms will evolve more complicated objectives. Group behaviors may also emerge to accomplish more complex tasks. These behaviors will be created through the operation of the program, not hardcoded. Our program will be built through a series of stages. We will start with a simple program containing two organisms in a small area. Gradualy we will add more levels of complexity, such as two sexes, and varying characteristics in the same species. The environment around the species will change as well, through numerous types of weather, such as drought, and extreme changes in temperature. We believe that this program will help us learn more about social behavior and natural selection. Because the world in which this organism will live must be so huge, we require a supercomputer for its ability to process the state of the matrix quickly as well as the enormous amount of RAM needed to contain the environment.