An agent-based approach to weighted decision making in the spatially and temporally variable South African Paleoscape

Colin D. Wren, Chloe Atwater, Kim Hil, Marco A. Jansen, Jan C. de Vynck, Curtis W. Marean

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Even a simple human foraging system has a large number of moving parts. Foragers require a complex decision making process to effectively exploit the spatially and temporally variable resources in an environment. Here we present an agent-based modelling framework, based in optimal foraging theory, for agent foragers to make mobility and foraging decisions by weighing expected caloric returns against geographic and social factors, and forecasted future return rates. We apply our Paleoscape model to a spatially explicit South African coastal landscape to better understand the human foraging system of the Middle Stone Age, when foragers began systematically exploiting a wide variety of flora and fauna in both terrestrial and inter-tidal environments. We also discuss the broader importance of agent-based models of foraging systems for a wide variety of archaeological research questions. .

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCAA2016
Subtitle of host publicationOceans of Data Proceedings of the 44th Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology
PublisherArchaeopress
Pages507-521
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781784917302
ISBN (Print)9781784917319
StatePublished - Dec 31 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agent-based modelling
  • Marine foraging
  • Middle stone age
  • Optimal-foraging theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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