WHAT IS IT? ----------- This program models a cocktail party. The party is made up of groups of both men and women. The partygoers have a TOLERANCE that defines how many people of the opposite sex they are comfortable with. If they are in a group that has a higher percentage of people of the opposite sex than their TOLERANCE allows, then they are considered "uncomfortable", and they leave that group to find another group. This action continues until everyone at the party is "comfortable" within their group. This model is based on the work of the pioneering economist Thomas Schelling. It is also described in: Resnick, M. & Wilensky, U. (1998). Diving into Complexity: Developing Probabilistic Decentralized Thinking through Role-Playing Activities. Journal of Learning Sciences, Vol. 7, No. 2. http://www.ccl.tufts.edu/cm/papers/starpeople/ HOW TO USE IT ------------- To set the inital number of people, use the NUMBER slider. To set the tolerance of the people, use the TOLERANCE slider. If the TOLERANCE slider is set to 75, then each person can be in a group with less than or equal to 75% people of the opposite sex. If there are more than this, the person is uncomfortable, and he/she leaves the group and finds another. The SETUP button sets up all the people into random groups. The SPREAD-PEOPLE button shows the initial composition of each group by spreading them along the vertical dimension. GROUP-PEOPLE puts the groups back together. The GO button sets the party in motion, and the STEP-ONCE button makes all uncomfortable partygoers move once. The SPEED slider can speed up or slow down the simulation. The units are in tenths of a second. The NUMBER-HAPPY monitor shows how many people are content. The SINGLE-SEX-GROUPS monitor shows the number of single-sex groups. These "single-sex" groups are flagged with a yellow patch. When the simulation ends (everyone is happy), the SPREAD-PEOPLE button shows the ending composition of each group. RUNNING the MODEL ----------------- THINGS TO NOTICE ---------------- At the end of the simulation (when everyone is happy), notice the number of single-sex groups. Is there an increase from their initial compositions? Is there a critical tolerance at which each group ends up being a single-sex group? Notice the difference in time it takes for all groups to be comfortable depending upon the tolerance. THINGS TO TRY ------------- See how many mixed groups (not a single-sex group) you can get. Use the STEP-ONCE button, and experiment with different tolerances. Watch how one unhappy person can disrupt the stability of other groups. Is it possible to have an initial grouping such that the party is never completely content? (i.e. the model never terminates) Observe real parties. Is this model descriptive of real social settings? What tolerances would model the people in the real party? EXTENDING THE MODEL ------------------- Add another dimension to the model. Instead of male/female, try a trait that has more than two types, like race or religion. You can use BREEDS to implement that. Allow each BREED of person to have their own tolerance. Complicate the tolerance rules: For example, the tolerance could go up as long as there are at least 2 of one BREED. Allow groups to subdivide, instead of finding new groups. Set a maximum group size, so that if there are too many people in the group, they become unhappy. STARLOGOT FEATURES ----------------- Notice the use of the "mod" function with a portion of the "screen-size" to space out the groups evenly. Setting up the groups in this manner allows for easy movement from group to group. RELATED MODELS --------------- Pond - segregation patterns RELATED WRITINGS ---------------- Schelling, T. (1978). Micro-motives and Macro-Behavior. New York: Norton. Resnick, M. & Wilensky, U. (1998). Diving into Complexity: Developing Probabilistic Decentralized Thinking through Role-Playing Activities. Journal of Learning Sciences, Vol. 7, No. 2.