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Multi Agent Modelling: Evolution and Skull Thickness in Hominids

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Document pages: 51 pages

Abstract: Within human evolution, the period of Homo Erectus is particularly interesting since in this period,our ancestors have carried thicker skulls than the species both before and after them. There arecompeting theories as to the reasons of this enlargement and its reversal. One of these is the theorythat Homo Erectus males fought for females by clubbing each other on the head. The other one saysthat due to the fact that Homo Erectus’ did not cook their food at all, they had to have strong jawmuscles attached to ridges on either side of the skull which prohibited brain and skull growth butrequired the skull to be thick.The re-thinning of the skull on the other hand might be due to the fact that a thick skull providedpoor cooling for the brain or that as hominids started using tools to cut their food and using fire tocook it, they did not require the strong jaw muscles anymore and this trait was actually selectedagainst since the brain had a tendency to grow and the ridges and a thick skull were preventing this.In this paper we simulated both the fighting and the diet as ways in which the hominid skull grewthicker. We also added other properties such as cooperation, selfishness and vision to our agents andanalyzed their changes over generations.Keywords: Evolution, Skull Thickness, Hominids, Multi-Agent Modeling, Genetic Algorithms

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