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WSU Access

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Computer Science

First Advisor

Robert G. Reynolds


Recent surveys of a stretch of terrain underneath Lake Huron have indicated the presence of a land bridge which would have existed 10,000 years ago, during the recession of ice during the last Ice Age, connecting Canada and the United States. This terrain, dubbed the Alpena-Amberley land bridge, was host to a full tundra environment, including migratory caribou herds. Analysis of the herds, their potential behavior and the likely areas of their movement would lead researchers to the locations Paleo-Indians would pick for hunting and driving the animals .

The application was designed around these concepts used Microsoft's .Net platform and XNA Framework in order to visually model this behavior and to allow the entities in the application to learn the behavior through successive generations. By utilizing influence maps to manage tactical information, and cultural algorithms to learn from the maps to produce path planning and flocking behavior, paths were discovered and areas of local concentration were isolated. In particular, paths emerged that focused on efficient migratory behavior at the expense of food consumption, which caused some deaths. On the other hand paths emerged that focused on food consumption with only gradual migration process. Then here were also strategies that emerged that blended both goals together; making effective progress towards the goal without excessive losses to starvation.

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