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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Structure and Dynamics

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The Structure and Dynamics eJournal welcomes articles, book reviews, data, simulations, research material, and special issues that examine aspects of human evolution, social structure and behavior, culture, cognition, or related topics. Our goal is to advance the historic mission of anthropology in the broadest sense to describe and explain the range of variation in human biology, society, culture and civilization across time and space. Submissions of databases, software tutorials, programs, and teaching materials are welcomed, as are communications on research materials of interest to a wide variety of science and social science researchers, including networks, dynamical models, and complexity research and related genre.


Conservation of Information: Reverse engineering dark social systems

A broad appeal for a new theory of interdependence, 'iota', has been requested for the science of complexity in a special issue of Science, for social network analysis by the National Academy of Sciences, for effects-based operations by the US military, and for modernizing the fields of law and economics. We have proposed a new theory of 'iota' for organizations and systems that already appears to exhibit some validity. It is expressed in a physics of 'iota' (e.g., bistability) that includes Fourier pairs for social uncertainty and Lotka-Volterra-like equations for population effects in social systems. Unlike traditional social science, it assumes that despite the tension between self and collective organizational processes, perfect organizations and social systems become dark, but that purposively dark systems emit more light in the form of unique information (e.g., gangs, terrorists, high-security systems). To reverse engineer dark social systems (DSS), our theory replaces methodological individualism with a physics of social 'iota'. But the many challenges in applying 'iota' to control theory or to metrics for organizational performance make this high-risk research.

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Route Selection and Pedestrian Traffic: Applying an Integrated Modeling Approach to Understanding Movement

This paper presents an object-oriented approach that tightly integrates multiple modeling techniques and GIS in order to investigate route selections made by pedestrians in an ancient urban environment. Our applied method allows the integration of agent-based (ABM) and human metabolic models in order to enable different agent types, based on age and sex cohorts, to select street network routes that access different urban structures. The case study we apply our method to is a settlement in Turkey that has a known street network and building structures; however, data on social decisions affecting route selection by pedestrians are missing. Despite the lack of social data, the results provide researchers with a useful and reasonable assessment of past pedestrian traffic volume. Such results can then be used to determine areas of potential archaeological significance and direct further investigations through field excavations or other archaeological techniques. We provide initial fieldwork validation of our simulation results, demonstrating our technique’s utility for addressing realistic research goals.

  • 1 supplemental ZIP

Evolution of Cultural Groups and Persistent Parochialism

Discriminators who have limited tolerance for helping dissimilar others are necessary for the evolution of costly cooperation in a one-shot Prisoner’s Dilemma. Existing research reports that trust in societies decreases when agents copy markers and tolerance from more successful others. Global cooperation is possible only in highly homogenized societies. Emergent cooperative societies are not robust against mutant defectors with tolerably similar markers. Our simulation experiments compare one society where each agent has immutable binary tags at the same dimension (‘caste society’) to the other where such markers are distributed across different dimensions (‘modern society’). In both societies, the majority of population display strong parochialism. However, cooperation is significantly stable in modern societies although members are more tolerant than those in caste societies. Modern societies are characterized by loosely coupled small-sized groups with different cultural markers. In terms of efficiency, they achieve higher levels of cooperation than do societies where agents change markers rapidly before defectors attack cooperative clusters.