Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A.8 Mapper in Use

Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents are also available

A.8 Mapper in Use

The following is a screenshot showing in use from May 26, 2004. The image shows the page output from Mapper in the Firefox web browser. The screenshot was taken and cropped with the GIMP. The map (green and red lines) was generated by MapMaker, a helper application for this thesis. The algorithm for determining the shape of the places is courtesy David Norman

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Appendix D. Objective Tests

Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents are also available

Appendix D. Objective Tests

D.1 Objective Test Descriptions

The simulation was checked against three objective tests. They measured the nation displacement, state displacement, and internal validity. Nation displacement is a measure of the degree to which the predominant nation in different places changed. State displacement is a measure of the degree to which the predominant state in different places changed. Internal validity demonstrates the difference between runs, and with that how consistent the output is.

Four nations were considered for every test. These included the British, German, Italian, and Polish nations. These nations were predetermined before the simulation code was written.

The displacement tests were considered successful if the simulation results matched known history. The results for all tests are interesting. Three of the national displacement tests were successful. In matrix form:

  Nation Displacement TestState Displacement Test
BritishPassPass
GermanPassFail
ItalianPassFail
PolishMarginally PassFail

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Appendix C. Subjective Tests

Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents are also available

Appendix C. Subjective Tests

C.1 Subjective Test Descriptions

The two subjective tests described in the thesis were given to three experts for evaluation. Two of the experts arrived at informed criticisms, while one believed that the precise nature of the task was outside his area of expertise. Both experts that were able to review the material found it to be reasonable, and both gave areas for further improvement.

Each expert was given instructions, a 44 page report, and then a questionnaire. These are attached in this appendix. Finally, an interesting subjective finding is discussed.

Lastly, the author analyzes the output for one other nation. This nation behaves differently from others in the model, and the author speculates as to reasons and gives paths to future research.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Chapter VII. Future Research

Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents are also available

Chapter VII. Future Research


As mentioned previously, there is a lack of other models that examine nations. The use, in this simulation, of genetic algorithms and fuzzy logic also set this simulation apart. Therefore, there are many areas where future research and modification would be fruitful. Analysis of different theaters, distributed computing, genocide and holocaust studies, genetic programming, and the world census are discussed as possible areas of future research.

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Chapter VI. Conclusions

Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents are also available

Chapter VI. Conclusions


Full test results are available in Appendix C and Appendix D. A brief summary of the results is given.

The first objective test measured the displacement of nations. It was completely successful. Every nation evaluated was within the limits determined in the thesis proposal. Additionally, all but one matched real-world results for the 1960s perfectly.
The second objective test measured state displacement. It was less successful, as state displacement was greater than expected. Every nation except one failed the state displacement test. Additionally, these failures occurred within only a few years. The full cause and implications of this are described within Appendix D.

Internal validity with respect to density and health was also tracked. The health test was more successful, with an average standard deviation of .08. The density test was somewhat less accurate, with an average standard deviation of .12. Both of these tests are considered successes. A more complete discussion of the internal validity tests is found in Appendix D.

The two subjective tests asked expert reviewers to view traces and animations of nations. Three expert reviewers were involved, each had a recognized doctorate in a specialty relating to the nature of this simulation. One was in political science, one in psychology, and one in social anthropology. After the presentation of the trace and animation (available in Appendix C) the social anthropologist indicated that he did not believe he was equipped to properly judge the results. However, both the political scientist and the psychologist believed almost all delineated issues were reasonable. For more information on the subjective tests, see Appendix C.

Overall the objective and subjective tests support the proposition that the simulation model accurately reflects reality. Every expert who gave an analysis was positive in his comments. Additionally, the central objective tests, whether this simulation of nations accurately simulates nations, were completely successful. The general failure of the secondary objective test is distressing. However, the cause of this aberrant behavior has been isolated.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Chapter V. Verification and Validation

Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents are also available

Chapter V. Verification and Validation

5.1 Verification and Validation

In order for the simulation to be a useful explanation of the behavior of nations, users need to feel confident in the model. The model should either work and be proven correct, or it must be shown that it is inadequate so future corrections can be made. Verification and validation techniques are the tools used to achieve this goal, and they are explained below.

In 2000, Sargent defined three basic tests for determining the accuracy of a simulation model, which may be approached in two ways. The three tests are judgments by the designers, independent verification and validation (IVV), and scoring. Designer judgment is the most popular test, though it relies on iterative design and having experts work closely with the rest of the team. IVV is also heavily expert based. It relies on judges who are “independent of both the model development team and the model sponsor/user(s).” Scoring uses subjectively determined weights to give objective solutions. Throughout this section, “objective” or “objectively” will be defined as “using some type of statistical test of procedure,” a definition Sargent pioneered in 1994. “Subjective” or “subjectively” will mean not objective or not objectively.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

C.2.1 Simulation Reporting Document Tutorial

Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents are also available

C.2.1 Simulation Reporting Document Tutorial

This is a short introduction for the simulation reports. It also explains the concepts behind the simulation. The information is organized the same way in both formats. The model runs from 1959 to 1970. The 1959 data is historical data while every year after that is calculated by the simulation according to certain rules and assumptions.

There is a data reporting page for every year. It will look something like this:

french_gauge_1960_md

There is a lot of data on this screen, but it is organized logically. The following pages explain the details.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A.3 Open Source and Free Software

Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents are also available

A.3 Open Source and Free Software

According to the Open Source Initiative, the license for open source software,

“...shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.”


The proliferation of open source software means a wide collection of powerful software applications are freely available. This has allowed the author to develop the software for this thesis with high quality tools. Without these programs, the cost of development would have been much higher, and much of what has been accomplished would have been cost prohibitive.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

4.3.5 States

Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents are also available

4.3.5 States

The last entity type to consider is states. States emerge from the behavior of nations over places. Like places they are just entities without any methods of their own. Nonetheless, the output of the model should be intelligible and should follow historical patterns if only states and no nation information is displayed. This is because the central thesis of this model is that the behavior of states is actually a side-effect of the behavior of nations.

Nonetheless, the behavior of states is very important. The state level is a great test to see if a nation-based model can predict not just the evolution of nations, but also other activities by other entities. If it does not the argument that other behavior merely emerges out of national behavior is severely undermined.

The structure of the state entity type is kept purposefully simple. The objective in designing it is to ensure that a meaningful and important problem in political science, why states behave in the way they do, can be solved by this model. However, this model is not an all-inclusive attempt to see how parliamentary styles, entrenched bureaucracies, and other details. Though an extended version of this model should be able to explain these behaviors, it is simply out of the scope of this project.

Entity 4 (States)

  • UID
  • Name
  • Power

Figure 10. States Entity

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Monday, July 04, 2005

4.3.4 Nations-in-Places (NPs)

Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents are also available

4.3.4 Nations-in-Places (NPs)

NPs are considered next. An NP is not a true entity type because it is really the relation between a nation and a place. However, it has its own attributes and because of the important role it plays in the model, it typically is viewed as if it is an entity. Like the other entities it has a UID, but because it is a relation it has foreign keys that correspond to its nation UID and place UID. Similar to the nation UID and the parents of nations is national history. This list tracks the nations of which this nation in place has been part. National history like parents does not affect the simulation, but it makes the model more useful by letting the system rapidly determine the history of a NP, and where it fits in the great march of nations.

The rest of the NP attributes are subjective. They are the familiar foursome of assertiveness, aggressiveness, health, and magnitude, plus density. Because NPs can be thought of as inheriting from both nations and places, care should be taken to ensure that the precise purpose of these attributes is not confused and that every attribute adds something valuable to the system.

Specifically both magnitude and density are needed, in spite of similar definitions. The common thread of both nation magnitude and place magnitude is that it indicates the importance, with a value of zero making that thing irrelevant. The differences are pretty clear after explanations, however. The problem is a result of the originality of this thesis, meaning there is little established jargon to fall back on.

Density is a measure of a NP's existence, or put another way a nation's existence in that particular place. It is analogous to the density of an electron in a region of space. A density of one shows that the nation completely and definitely exists in a place, while a density of zero shows that a nation in no way exists in that place. The NP will struggle for more density if it has any will to live. The density index affects calculations for the nation, because it serves as a weight in the weighted average.

Magnitude shows the importance of a place for a nation. This can be seen as the emotional bond between a nation and a particular place. An example of this is Split, Croatia, which early in this century was very important to Italian politicians while being little cared for by anyone else, including Croatia. Magnitude is set to an appropriate value at the beginning of a run, and factors such as the effort a nation has put into securing a place and its length of occupancy there may affect this variable.

The final three attributes, assertiveness, aggressiveness, and health, operate just as they did with nations. Assertiveness and aggressiveness directly affect competition, while health tells if the NP is in decline in the given place. The striving between NPs occur entirely within a place, so a NP in one place cannot affect a NP in another. So while a NP may be super aggressive, it is only super-aggressive to other NPs in its same place.
It has been mentioned, but the other purpose of these attributes is to affect the weighted averages of the nation to which the NPs belong. Assertiveness is the weighted average of assertiveness, magnitude is the weighted average of magnitude and density, etc. So another reason why so many attributes have to be analogs of those in nations is that they are need to keep the model coherent.

Visually, the NPs entity type can be visualized as follows

Entity 3 (Nations-in-Places)

  • UID
  • Place ID
  • Nation ID
  • National History
  • Density
  • Name
  • Parents
  • Assertiveness
  • Aggressiveness
  • Health
  • Magnitude

Figure 9. Nations-in-Places Relation

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