The Hawks and Doves Simulation



This page contains a description of how to use the Java simulation ofthe Hawks and Doves game. This game was explained in detail on a previous page; you will not get muchout of this simulation unless you already thoroughly understand the Hawksand Doves game.

Computer simulations are useful in that theyallow you:

However, it cannot be emphasized too strongly that simply playing withsimulation without understanding what it does and without relating the inputsand outputs to some biologically meaningful situation is largely, if notentirely, a fruitless exercise.

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What the Simulation Does:

The material below will give you an overview of the simulation. Pleasetake the time to read it so that you have some basic familiarity with whatit does and how it works.

When you launch the simulation a panel will appear like this one:

At the bottom of the panel are two buttons:

Note -- If you are using the Applet (web-based) version, this firstscreen must remain opened the entire time you use the simulation. Closingit will close the simulation

The set-up window will allow you to alter the payoffs by changingthe benefits and costs to the Hawk and Dove strategies. You will not beable to change the ways the payoffs to the strategies are calculated, youcan only change the parameters used to make these calculations.

Here's a brief outline of the set-up screen:

When you first run the simulation at any session, the text fields willcontain default values (shown above), which are the same numbers we usedwhen we considered the Hawks and Doves game. However, you can changeany of these values by simply dragging the mouse across themand then typing in the new value, or you can position the insertionpoint and use your delete key.

Notice that there are two graphs with two plots on each

 If you want to review the concepts of fitness and frequencyand especially if you want see an example of how the "evolve"graph is calculated, presshere.

Below the graphs, there is a text message that will tell you the numberof generations required to reach a new equilibrium, if at all. Please notethat biologically-speaking equilibrium would probably arrive at a different,earlier number of generations. The program does not assign equilibriumuntil the frequency of H remains constant to 38 places for two successivegenerations!

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Differences Between the Applicationand Simulation

There are few differences between the stand-alone application and theweb-based applet. Here they are:

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Questions to Address and Thingsto Try

 ! Try to answer all of the questions below. Discussion materialis provided for some of the questions (follow the link after the questionbut please try to answer the question first). If you have trouble answeringother questions, ask about them in class.


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Press here to run the Hawks and Doves Simulation

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 Copyright © 1999 by Kenneth N. Prestwich
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA USA 01610

About FairUse of these materials

Last modified 12 - 1 - 09