Faculty fellow's research published in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation


Fargo, N.D., April 23 — An article by James Caton, a faculty fellow at the Center for Public Choice and Private Enterprise, and coauthors is being published in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation.         

The article, titled “Countries as Agents in a Global-Scale Computational Model,” is available in the journal’s June 2018 issue. Caton and his coauthors – Harold Walbert, George Mason University, and Julia Norgaard, Pepperdine University – explore the relationship between the rate at which an imperializing country extracts wealth from its neighbor and the well-being of all countries. They find that high rates of wealth extraction lead to more war and tend to impoverish all actors in such a system.


Our agent-based model examines the ramifications of formal defense agreements between countries. Our model builds on previous work and creates an empirically based version of a tribute model in which actors within existing real-world networks demand tribute from one another. If the threatened actor does not pay the tribute, the aggressing actor will engage in a decision to start a war. Tribute and war payments are based on a measure of the country's wealth. We utilize the Correlates of War dataset to provide us with worldwide historical defense alliance information. Using these networks as our initial conditions, we run the model forward from four prominent historical years and simulate the interactions that take place as well as the changes in overall wealth. Agents in the model employ a cost benefit analysis in their decision of whether or not to go to war. This model provides results that are in qualitative agreement with historical emergent macro outcomes seen over time.

The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation is an acclaimed interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal. It focuses on the exploration and understanding of social processes by means of computer simulation.  


Kali Christianson, Outreach Specialist
701.231.7790  /  kali.l.christianson@ndsu.edu 



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