Title: Sensitive dependence of complex systems: an agent-based modelling demonstration

Authors: Mahmoud T. Khasawneh; Jun Zhang

Addresses: School of Engineering, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, TX 78043, USA ' Enterprise Analytics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA

Abstract: The objective of this paper is to provide insights about the phenomenon of sensitive dependence of complex systems on initial conditions (i.e., the butterfly effect). An agent-directed simulation of a case study is presented to demonstrate and investigate this phenomenon. The case study used is exploring the impact of one person on a population's genome. A population growth simulation was created as a baseline. Every agent in the population was given a unique ten-digit identifier to represent their DNA coding. Other simulations were run with small perturbation factors introduced to the initial conditions. Results show that mild perturbations introduced to a population growth model can significantly alter the genetic structure of a population in the long term. Furthermore, the simulation revealed a positive relationship between the complexity of the system and the speed at which the butterfly effect emerges.

Keywords: sensitive dependence; butterfly effect; agent-based modelling; complex systems; nonlinear systems; multi-agent systems; MAS; agent-based modelling; simulation; case study; population growth; population genetics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAT.2016.079863

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2016 Vol.54 No.3, pp.201 - 210

Received: 31 Mar 2015
Accepted: 16 Oct 2015

Published online: 19 Oct 2016 *

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