The Emergence of Symbiotic Groups Resulting From Skill-Differentiation and Tags

By: Bruce Edmonds
Date: 31th October 2004
CPM Report No.: CPM-04-140

Presented at the AISB 2005 Symposium on Emerging Artificial Societies.

Published asEdmonds, B. (2006) The Emergence of Symbiotic Groups Resulting From Skill-Differentiation and Tags. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 9(1). ( 


The paper presents a evolutionary simulation where the presence of ‘tags’ and an inbuilt specialisa-tion in terms of skills result in the development of ‘symbiotic’ sharing within groups of individuals with similar tags.  It is shown that the greater the number of possible sharing occasions there are the higher the population that is able to be sustained using the same level of resources.  The ‘life-cycle’ of a particular cluster of tag-groups is illustrated showing: the establishment of sharing; a focusing-in of the cluster; the exploitation of the group by a particular skill-group and the waning of the group.  This simulation differs from other tag-based models in that is does not rely on either the forced donation of resources to individuals with the same tag and where the tolerance mechanism plays a significant part.  These ‘symbiotic’ groups could provide the structure necessary for the true emergence of artificial societies, supporting the division of labour found in human societies.

Paper accessible as:

Local version:

Presentation included:
The Netlogo version of the program (as an applet or as a downloadable as seperate program) is accessible here.

The Java version of the code (requiring Java Repast and the Colt random libraries):