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RUSSIAN MORBIDITY MODEL
Within the world constructed the observer (you) has the ability to create a population of agents that will be born, grow up, choose a lifestyle, reproduce, and eventually die. The major areas of concern are the expected and experienced mortality rates, the population breakdown of lifestyles chosen, and the growth/decay rate of the population in large.
Starting in the upper left-hand corner of the interface, you are presented with a the option to SETUP and GO/PAUSE. When you are ready to begin, you simply hit SETUP to populate the board and GO/PAUSE to initiate the simulation. The simulation may be paused (and subsequently restarted) at anytime by hitting GO/PAUSE.
Before you populate the board there are a series of sliders which are in fact parameters thate dictate setup and control the underlying reality of the model. All sliders are in turquoise.
The upper left sliders are all setup related (and are labeled accordingly). In the upper right are the sliders which control the coefficents of the agent objective function, and below them the sliders which control the probabilities that govern life and death in the model. Adjacent the the PROBABILITY_DEATH_HEALTHY slider is a switch which allows the user to control whether agents can choose a healthy lifestyle.
HOW THE SIMULATION IS PLAYED OUT
Agents are born and up until age 16 they simply move around. At age 16 they choose their lifestyle based on an expected utility comparison.
The keys to the equations are the user assigned coefficients for each lifestyle choice and the age at which he expects to die. These expectations are determined by the 8 neighboring patches that surround him. Each patch keeps a record of the average age of death of past occupants. In sum, the agent's neighborhood is his source of information in forming his expectations. This is the primary means by which agent rationality is bounded, coupled with agents' ignorance of the underlying probabilities.
When an agent is born he lives on the same patch as his parent agent. When the "kid" turns 16 he chooses a lifestyle and then tries to move to a neighboring patch. If all of the neighboring patches are full he then moves to a random available patch.
Agents may also move in their adult years, randomly chosen at a rate determined by the MOVEMENT slider.
N-REGIONS allows the user to break the board into 2, 3, or 4 sections. No matter the number of regions each agent carries a region_id tag that identifies where in the standard cartesian plane he exists at any moment. For example, even if there are only two regions, an agent in the lower left corner would have a region_id = 3.
SHOCKS are critical to running experiments on the model. Regional shocks and total population shocks can be applied, where the SHOCK_SIZE slider will control the absolute number of agents who will die, chosen randomly within the region indicated. Region numbers are assigned counter clockwise starting from the upper right. For example, if N-REGIONS = 3, then the large region on top is 1, the lower left is 2, and the lower right is region 3.
There exists along the bottom a variety of graphs and monitors that are self-explanatory.
You have been fully indoctrinated. Now go experiment with the model and write a bunch of papers.