The Dissemination of Culture — Axelrod (1997) Model — Now Available on Netlogo’s Community Models Page

Robert Axelrod’s 1997 Culture Model is a complex systems classic.  Several versions of the model are available including one in Repast J. Perhaps the most user friendly version has recently been posted to Netlogo’s “community models” page. Those interested in experimenting with this Netlogo version of the model can click on the image above (provided you have Java 4.1 or higher installed).

For those not previously familiar with the model … Figure 1 from the article is featured to the left and demonstrates a model run through 80,000 events.  Those results are generated in the following manner:

“Patches are assigned a list of num-features integers which can each take on one of num-traits values. Each tag is called a feature, while it’s value is called the trait. The links in the view represent walls between patches where solid black walls mean there is no cultural similarity, and white walls mean the neighbors have the same culture.

The order of actions is as follows:
1) At random, pick a site to be active, and pick one of it’s neighbors
2) With probability equal to their cultural similarity, these sites interact. The active site replaces one of the features on which they differ (if any) with the corresponding trait of the neighbor.”

Those looking for the original article … here is the both the citation and a link: Robert Axelrod, The Dissemination of Culture: A Model with Local Convergence and Global Polarization, J. Conflict Res, 41, 203 (1997).

In the years following its release, several important extensions or applications have been offered. These include contributions from scholars in a wide number of disciplines including applied math, political science, economics and physics. Indeed, while many more articles are available in outlets such as the arXiv … here is a subset for your consideration ….

Damon Centola, Juan Carlos González-Avella, Víctor M. Eguíluz & Maxi San Miguel, Homophily, Cultural Drift and the Co-Evolution of Cultural Groups, J. Conflict Res. 51, 905 (2007).

Konstantin Klemm, Victor M. Eguíluz, Raul Toral, Maxi San Miguel, Globalization, Polarization and Cultural Drift, J. Economic Dynamics & Control 29, 321 (2005).

Konstantin Klemm, Victor M. Eguíluz, Raul Toral & Maxi San Miguel, Role of Dimensionality in Axelrod’s Model for the Dissemination of Culture, Physica A 327, 1 (2003).

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