Agent-based modeling of ancient societies and their organization structure


Some of the most interesting questions one can ask about early societies, are about people and their relations, and the nature and scale of their organization. In this work, we attempt to answer such questions with approaches introduced by multiagent systems. Specifically, we developed a generic agent-based model (ABM) for simulating ancient societies. Unlike most existing ABMs used in archaeology, our model includes agents that are autonomous and utility-based. Our model can (and does) also incorporate different social organization paradigms and technologies used in ancient societies. Equipped with such paradigms, our model allows us to explore the transition from a simple to a more complex society by focusing on the historical social dynamics—i.e., the flexibility and evolution of power relationships depending on social context and time. As a case study, we employ our model to evaluate the impact of the implemented social and technological paradigms on an artificial Early Bronze Age “Minoan” society located at a particular region of the island of Crete. Model parameter choices are based on archaeological evidence and studies, but are not biased towards any specific assumption. Results over a number of different simulation scenarios demonstrate an impressive sustainability for settlements consisting of and adopting a socio-economic organization model based on self-organization, and which was inspired by a recent framework for modern self-organizing agent organizations. This is the first time a self-organization approach is incorporated in an archaeology ABM system.

DOI: 10.1007/s10458-016-9325-9

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@article{Chliaoutakis2016AgentbasedMO, title={Agent-based modeling of ancient societies and their organization structure}, author={Angelos Chliaoutakis and Georgios Chalkiadakis}, journal={Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems}, year={2016}, volume={30}, pages={1072-1116} }