New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

Team: 146

School: School of Dreams Academy

Area of Science: Computer Science


Interim: Problem Definition: In using our RPSLS model, we found it to be most useful in the areas of political/social influence, contagious diseases, and biological/ecological systems. In developing a technique in which one species is dominant the outcome will be more directed. Our challenge is to develop a program that will determine the outcome of the impact the slash and burn technique has on a single species. We hope to educate the public about the damaging effects of this process by making it clearly visible and easily understandable to the user. We eventually hope to advance our model to produce the same results with a large population. “Slash and Burn” is a technique currently being used by farmers and manufacturers to clear out large forest ecosystems, such as the Amazon rain-forest. This agricultural method entails the falling or burning of large areas of forest for the purpose of planting crops and in turn using the lumber to produce various products. This system is having a negative impact not only on both plants and animal living in the area but the world as a whole. Problem Solution: Our solution consisted mainly of the addition of variables within the NetLogo program. First we started with three variables (Rock, Paper, and Scissors) and it seemed almost impossible to come up with a single color as the victor. But, with the three variables in a smaller scale a single color prevailed rather quickly. Then we added two more variables (Lizard and Spock) and within a large scale it is almost impossible for a single-species to dominate, in a small scale it will dominate in less than 200 ticks. The more variables we added the faster a single-species dominated. Progress to Date: At this time, we have constructed a program in NetLogo that works by following a number of steps in which all selections are made at random. The first step is to generate five different random colored dots on a field. One dot will then select another dot that is either directly up, down, left, or right of the original dot. If this new dot is a different color than the original the game will continue, but if the two dots are the same another dot will be selected. Next, these two dots will then randomly select one of the variables from the following list: rock, paper, scissors, lizard, or Spock. They will play against each other and whoever wins this game will "take over" the other space on the field. This process will continue until only one color is left. This demonstrates the pattern in which plants grow back and the possibility of one species will overgrow the entire ecosystem. Expected Results: Our expected results originally included a three variable system but it was almost impossible to end with one color as the victor with so many variables. We them decided to add an additional two variables to the equation so that a single dominant color will arise quicker. In examining the five-system model in the large scale we predicted a shorter tick average than with three variables. Cites Referenced: "CiteSeerX — Rock-scissors-paper and the Survival of the Weakest." CiteSeerX — Rock- scissors-paper and the Survival of the Weakest. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2013. . MacMartin, Robert D. "On a Spatial Rock-Paper-Scissors Game." N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2013. . "Probable Advantage in Rock, Paper, Scissors – David Elliott." N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2013. "Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournaments Explain Ecological Diversity." ScienceDaily.ScienceDaily, 21 Mar. 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. "Stochastic Rock-Paper-Scissors Population Dynamics." Demonstrations RSS.N.p., n.d.Web. 25 Nov. 2013.


Team Members:

  Paige Torres
  Taylor Torres
  Noah Gelinas

Sponsoring Teacher: Creighton Edington

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