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Dr. Gary Bogle presents at Friday’s seminar

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The Colloquium on Computational Social Science/Data Sciences Research speaker for Friday, May 03, 2019, will be Gary Bogle, who recently defended his CSS doctoral dissertation. Gary’s talk entitled “Polity Cycling in Great Zimbabwe via Agent-Based Modeling: The Effects of Timing and Magnitude of External Factors,” will begin at 3:00 in the Center for Social Complexity Suite located on the 3rd floor of Research Hall. The talk will be followed by a Q&A session along with light refreshments.

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NOTE: this is the last seminar for the spring semester; see you in the fall semester!

Abstract: This research explores polity cycling at the site of Great Zimbabwe. It rests on laying out the possibilities that may explain what is seen in the archaeological record in terms of modeling what external factors, operating at specific times and magnitudes. What can cause a rapid rise and decline in the polity? This is explored in terms of attachment that individuals feel towards the small groups of which they are a part of, and the change in this attachment in response to their own resources and the history of success that the group enjoys in conducting collective action. The model presented in this research is based on the Canonical Theory of politogenesis. It is implemented using an agent-based model as this type of model excels at generating macro-level behavior from micro-level decisions.

The input parameters to the model presented here are the collective action frequency (CAF) and environmental effect multiplier. The results show that a prehistoric polity can be modeled to demonstrate a sharp rise and fall in community groups and that the rise and fall emerges from the individual decision-making.