The University of Sussex

How not to murder your neighbor: using synthetic behavioral ecology to study aggressive signaling

Michael Wheeler, Peter de Bourcier

The scientific account of intra-specific aggressive signaling is incomplete. In part, this is due to the fact it is hard to identify the consequences (for the nature of signaling systems) of the different ecological contexts in which signaling has developed. The goal of our investigation is to complement the ongoing work in the biological sciences on this issue. Using a theoretical framework that we call synthetic behavioral ecology, we perform a series of experiments involving populations of simulated animals (animats), whose simulated world is such that there is competition for food.

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