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[Swarmfest2006] abstract submission: Paul Box

From: Paul Box
Subject: [Swarmfest2006] abstract submission: Paul Box
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 14:49:58 +0930


Please find my submission for swarmfest.  I am happy to give this presentation at whatever time is most convenient.

An agent-based representation of social networks, cooperative
behavior, and viability of remote desert communities in central

Paul Box and Yiheyis Maru
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization,
Sustainable Ecosystems Division, Alice Springs, Australia

Settlements in desert Austraila are defined by extreme: variable but
mostly dry climate, generally low primary productivity at landscape
scale, low population density, small numbers of people residing in
settlements and great distances to other settlemens or services.  Many
settlements require significant government resources to reamin viable,
spawning much debate about how much public money should go to
supporting the relatively small number of people who live there.
Viability is defined in terms of a combination of infrastructure, and
financial, natural, human and social capital.  Social capital, the
measure of social cohesiveness, is difficult to measure, as it is
defined by quantity and quality of interactions between people, rather
than tangible assets.  An agent-based framework is presented that
demonstrates the nature of social capital, and the role of cooperative
behavior and social networks in community viability.  Preliminary
findings of the model suggest that communities with intact social
networks are viable even when other forms of capital are scarce, and
communities without functioning social networks are not viable even
when money or other assets are plentiful.

// Paul Box
//  Alice Springs, Australia

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