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Christopher Symonds

Hello, I'm TV's Christopher Symonds. You might know me from such classics as “2 and a Half Threads”, “Special Victims Unit Testing”, and the mind-bending movie “Exception”.


26-Oct-2014 09:30:47PM-0600

I've been working sporadically over the week, so I'm just going to compile everything into one update for the week:

Graphing: I've installed gnuplot on my usb-untu and wrote a bash script that will convert my data files into nice graphs that do a great job of telling the tale of a simulation at a glance.

The bad news is, this has exposed all the horrible things wrong with my Element_Sytizen. After doing several runs of of a single team only and seeing a predominance of one kind of classification, I concluded something must be wrong in the implementation. After going through the code, there were not only issues with genetic behavior, but with breeding and movement as well. After some refactoring of the broken stuff, I tried to take Professor Ackley's advice and simplify the genetic behavior as much as possible. The following behavior algorithms are now in effect:

Parochial Altruists: Attack outgroup with 0.5 chance of success, no longer get energy for this, but opponent still dies. On failure, 0.5 chance of dying from the attempt.

Parochial Non-Altruists: 0.5 chance of stealing 1 RES worth of energy from outgroup. The PNA does not get to keep this energy if successful. On failure: 0.5 chance of losing 1 RES worth of energy.

NP-A: If NPA energy is over a threshold and a friendly has less energy than the energy surplus over that threshold, the NPA will give the friendly 1 RES worth of energy.

NPNA: Still just dancing.

This, along with some adjustments to global parameters (Increased breeding range to 4, RES pickup range to 2, Strike range to 2, Mutation odds to 1 in 250) the simulation runs now resemble something closer to sanity. Instead of looking like fish and sharks with swarms of colors chasing each other around the map, it now looks something more like Frobworld, with diffused dots chasing RES around the map and occassionally getting into scuffles with an outgroup. Runs with a single team now show more balance in categories (with the exception of NP-As which still tank fairly quickly, but at least appear on the board now.)

Here's an example run with 1 team only, RES produced at 1 in 200

And here's one with 2 teams, RES produced at 1 in 200.

I think I'm in good shape, and so am now cautiously transitioning to my science hat.

22-Oct-2014 08:54:16PM-0600

Finished reading Maley's paper in preparation for my defense next class. Having never defended a paper in this manner before, I'm not sure what to expect. My brother's recommendation is to put my back to the corner, drop the paper at my feet, and swing my arms around wildly, all while making extremely loud bird calls to confuse would-be attackers. So between that and carefully studying the paper, I should hopefully be able to put up a good defense.

16-Oct-2014 09:56:31PM-0600

Yesterday, I stopped by Professor Ackley's office, who provided me with some code to output statistical data from our atoms. I created a walkthrough page on the wiki to provide the code to others who might also need the same capabilities. Now to get some preliminary data from my Sytizens.

04-Oct-2014 09:26:47PM-0600

Ok one more post. I adjusted the settings of the parochial non-altruists so that I'm no longer getting lock-up, or if I do, it doesn't last, and will eventually erode and things continue to move. After playing around with this configuration in a 4-up match, it's clear that Parochial Altruists are the hands-down dominant category, followed by PNAs, then NPAs, and the NPNAs dead last. Not sure there's anything terribly exciting about that, but…

I just adjusted the resources down a bit and set off a 1v1 match and it has been the hands-down most exciting run I've watched yet. 8 kAEPS in and it's still going. I'm getting lock-ups that eventually get eroded away and these two guys are slugging it out hard. I wish I had recorded it. I also really wish I had statistical output so that I knew what the heck was going on. Hopefully that feature will come soon.

**edit: Ah, blue finally won at 9.1 kAEPS. Bravo, blue.

News Archive...


Profile on Dr. Thomas Ray

I've selected researcher Tom Ray as my subject for the researcher profile section of the course.

Project Idea(s)

Altruism I am interested in studying the effects of altruism in the form of resource sharing between individuals in a population living in a given state of scarcity. Is there a 'sweet spot' of this kind of altruism that benefits the species as a whole that arises as a function of a given level of scarcity? How does one measure that kind of thing? Is it possible to model an environment of scarcity in a quantifiable way that is useful? Possible paper title might be “Optimal Altruism in Scarcity Systems' or 'Hey brother, can you spare an artificial dime?'
FrobWorld+ Other possible topics include FrobWorld+, wherein we take peaceful frobs and put weapons in their hands, give them a sense of tribalism, maybe even allow them to specialize as gatherers, warriors, etc. Other wishlist capabilities include hoarding and resource management, communication, breeding and genetic crossover as opposed to spontaneous mitosis wherein the genetic propagation relies solely on mutation for evolution. Pack them with as much human-like capabilities we can give them within time constraints and see how their evolutionary paths unfold, and if we converge on any particular genetic pattern as dominantly successful. This is a bit weaker as I'm not sure what specific questions we might ask of this, rather it's a “This sounds like it would be fun, let's do it and see if something interesting falls out of it” kind of thing.

Third Idea

The previous two ideas are, as you can see, both inside the box. This idea space is reserved for an idea that is outside the box. And when I've thought of one, I will put it here.


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people/chris_symonds.1415391316.txt.gz · Last modified: 2014/11/07 13:15 by csymonds