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Gaming and Simulating EthnoPolitical Conflicts
Departmental Papers (ESE)
  • Barry G Silverman, University of Pennsylvania
  • Gnana Bharathy, University of Pennsylvania
  • Benjamin Nye, University of Pennsylvania
This paper begins by describing a universally recurring socio-cultural 'game' of inter-group competition for control of resources. It next describes efforts to author software agents able to play the game as real humans would – which suggests the ability to study alternative ways to influence them, observe PMESII effects, and potentially understand how best to alter the outcomes of potential conflict situations. These agents are unscripted, but use their decision making to react to events as they unfold and to plan out responses. For each agent, a software called PMFserv operates its perception and runs its physiology and personality/value system to determine fatigue and hunger, injuries and related stressors, grievances, tension buildup, impact of rumors and speech acts, emotions, and various collective and individual action decisions. The paper wraps up with a correspondence test from a SE Asian ethnic conflict, the results of which indicate significant correlation between real and agent-based outcomes.
Document Type
Conference Paper
Date of this Version
Postprint version. Presented at Descartes Conference on Mathematical Models in Counterterrorism, September 2006, 19 pages.
  • leaders and followers,
  • spread of ideas,
  • strategy games,
  • personality and culture,
  • agent-based simulation
Citation Information
Barry G Silverman, Gnana Bharathy and Benjamin Nye. "Gaming and Simulating EthnoPolitical Conflicts" (2006)
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