Ian Lustick (2002)
PS-I: A User-Friendly Agent-Based Modeling Platform for Testing Theories of Political Identity and Political Stability
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation
vol. 5, no. 3
To cite articles published in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, please reference the above information and include paragraph numbers if necessary
To cite articles published in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, please reference the above information and include paragraph numbers if necessary
Received: 26-May-2002 Accepted: 14-Jun-2002 Published: 30-Jun-2002
Figure 3. Guide to Salient Identities|
Notes on Abbreviations: reprt = repertoire Agnt = agent Rep = repertoire Trad = traditional Rgm = Regime NA = Not enough in category to warrant the measurement
|A note on questions of time: To relate findings from these experiments to the real world it is necessary to make some sort of judgment regarding the time frame involved. How long should one time step be imagined to be in the life of Middle East polity and of the agents within it? To what periods of real time should we imagine t=1000 or t=2000 correspond? There is no easy or firm answer to these questions, but some reasonable estimates can be made. One way to do so is to monitor the extremes of rapid change within the landscape and then match the number of time steps required for those changes to the number of months or years very unusually rapid change occurs in the real Middle East. Such estimates can be corroborated by considering how often people and groups usually adjust their identity commitments and then comparing that observation to the probabilities present in the landscape under standard or stable volatitlity settings. Using these techniques, a preliminary judgment can be made that 1000 time steps of MEP is equivalent to somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen years; with every time step therefore estimated to represent approximately five and a half days.|
2 See the Appendix for a step-by-step illustration of how constructivist identity theory is operationalized for an exemplar agent through two time steps.
3 That is, if all other conditions are met, an agent is eligible for transforming into a border agent if and only if no more than 20% of the agents activated on its activated identity have the dominant identity in their repertoire of identities.
4 Each run of the simulation can be seen as a "future" by looking forward from the point of view of the polity at time zero (t=0) or as a history by looking backward from the point of view of any time step after t=0.
5 In the experiments reported here with MEP, biases assigned to identities all start out at 0. Although it depends on chance and the volatility setting in use for any particular run, few if any biases change from 0 within the first five time steps. But adjustments of agents to one another locally take place even in the absence of any external signals about the advantages or disadvantages of activating on different identities. These adjustments are very similar in every run of the template and most of them have occurred by t=5. So a snapshot of MEP at t=5 is actually a more accurate representation of its effective starting point than a snapshot at t=0.
6 The screenshot appears somewhat different from previous screenshots, and displays much more information about the landscape, because a customized version of PS-I, rather than the ABIR program itself, was used to prepare it. As noted above, PS-I is a tool-kit or platform for the production of an unlimited number of variants of the original ABIR model. PS-I 3.0 in its advanced but still "pre-release" form is available for downloading at http://ps-i.sourceforge.net/. Concerning ABIR and PS-I see http://www.psych.upenn.edu/sacsec/abir/.
7 Moving the cursor over any particular agent in an ABIR landscape reveals the identities in its repertoire and its influence level, along with, of course, its activated identity.
8 NA means that the number was too small to make the measurement meaningful. For details on how constructivist principles were used to guide production of a landscape in which identities would emerge as relational properties of interactions among agents, rather than as hard-coded "primordial" traits, see http://www.duke.edu/web/licep/4/lustick/pp. 4-7.
9 There is one "leader" (occupying the square at coordinates 34,56) with an identity weight of 6.
10 The small shape bordered with black squares in the upper left hand corner of the landscape is a primitive rendition of Israel. The bright shade of blue (14) represents a Jewish/Israeli identity. The gray (19) represents a Palestinian identity, concentrated in the occupied territories and a part of Israel itself. This portion of the landscape has little if any discernible effect on MEP but its presence acts as one indicator of bizarre behavior in the model suggestive of something being seriously awry (e.g. takeover of MEP by the Israeli Jewish identity; or takeover of Israel by a patriarchal Islamic identity).
11 Because MEP is larger and contains many more different identities (20) than landscapes used in other experiments the standard or stable settings for range fluctuations is wider: -3,+3.
12 Data described by this and other Figures in this paper are available in Excel format from the author firstname.lastname@example.org. The "salient" identities are the identities that together comprise an overwhelming majority of all activated identities in the landscape though they are only a subset of the twenty activatable identities present in MEP and its environment.
13 Statistical significance tests were done separately on the data at t=1000 and t=2000, but, for technical reasons, not on the averages between them-the data displayed in the Figures. Most of these relationships regarding the impact of riskiness on prevalence and dominance were significant at both t=1000 and t=2000 at the .01 or .05 level (2-tailed).
14 The effect of a proportionately larger reduction of upper regime bureaucratic efficacy was not tested, though the expectation must be of an even greater reduction in the rate of regime dominance.
15 Absent the addition of USA/globalizing identity to the repertoires of agents activated on the two target ethnic groups, that identity achieved a plurality not once out of 100 histories (t=2000, standard conditions). In the presence of this intervention, a USA/globalizing plurality was achieved once, but only once, out of 100 histories.
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