Glossary

CROWDSOURCED GLOSSARY (Originally created by participants in the New Mexico Computer Science for All project and modified for Project GUTS.)

AGENT: beings that can follow instructions. In StarLogo TNG here are two types of agents: turtles and patches.

Student friendly definition: The characters created for observation in the computer program, which you just wrote.

AGENT LIST :- is a set of agents. An agent set contains either turtles or patches, but not more than one type at once. In an agentset the agents are always in random order so every time you use it, the agent set is in a different random order.

Student friendly definition: - An agent list is a group of agents (I.e., turtles, patches) that you treat as a group. Each time you use it, you'll randomly call up a different (for example) turtle than the last time so that no one turtle gets to always go first.

AGGREGATE BEHAVIOR:- (scientific definition): "In economics, aggregate behavior refers to relationships between economic aggregates such as national income, government expenditure and aggregate demand"
(technical definition): like cumulative behavior, it is looking at the behavior of a model over time Aggregate behavior ++

Student friendly definition: when we program a model and run it several times, over a given period of time, the result of the whole of the behaviors we observe is the aggregate behavior

BERNOULLI TRIAL: is an experiment whose outcome is random and can be either of two possible outcomes, "success" and "failure."

Student friendly definition): any question or experiment that has two possible answers. (e.g. yes/no)

BOOLEAN VARIABLE:- a variable that has only two possible values: True or False

Student friendly definition: A variable that is either true or false

BREEDS:- specific types of turtles defined by the programmer.

Student friendly definition: Breeds are used when we need agents of more than one type, so want turtles of different flavors.

COMPACTNESS:- Closely and firmly united or packed together; dense. Occupying little space compared with other of this type.

Student friendly definition: I would relate the meaning of this word to compact car, compact mirror, and compactor. This will help the students that have unfamiliarity or misconceptions about this term.

COMPLEX ADAPTIVE SYSTEM: - a system composed of interconnected parts that as a whole exhibit one or more properties (behavior among the possible properties) not obvious from the properties of the individual parts and demonstrate adaptation over time.

Student friendly definition: A system in which agents interact and the system itself adapts and changes over time.

CONDITIONALS:- A conditional statement, symbolized by p q, is an if-then statement in which p is a hypothesis and q is a conclusion.

Student friendly definition: a conditional statement is one that explains what to do when a certain condition happens.The condition is usually tested to see if it is true. If it is, then the next part of the statement tells what will happen. If I touch the hot stove I will get burnt. In this conditional statement, the condition is touching the stove. , If I am touching a hot stove, then it is true (Boolean t/f). The rest of the statement tells what will happen if it is true. If I am not touching the hot stove which would make the answer to the condition as false, then I do nothing. **

CORRIDOR:- A habitat corridor is a strip of land that aids in the movement of species between disconnected areas of their natural habitat.

Student friendly definition: The path that a group of animals takes during dispersal is referred to as a corridor.

DISPERSAL: - Biological dispersal refers to species movement away from an existing population or away from the parent organism.

Student friendly definition: Dispersal is when animals leave their home and move long distances for purposes such as mating

EMERGENCE: - is the way that patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.

Student friendly definition: Emergent behavior is unanticipated behavior shown by a group of things. When individual things are grouped together and they behave in unpredictable ways they are showing emergent behavior.

GLOBAL VARIABLE: - a variable that can be used throughout the program (per Wikipedia, "in every scope" of the program)

Student friendly definition: Global variables are variables that can be used throughout the program. "Local variables" can only be used in certain places you define. Global variables can be used all over in a program.

HILL CLIMBING: Moving the turtle to the neighboring patch with the highest value for patch-variable. If no neighboring patch has a higher value than the current patch, the turtle stays put. If there are multiple patches with the same highest value, the turtle picks one randomly. Non-numeric values are ignored.

Student friendly definition: an agent will find the highest patch-variable value of all surrounding 8 patches and move to the patch with the highest value. If there are several surrounding patches that have the highest patch-variable value, then one will randomly chose for the agent to move to. If the current patch-variable value is the highest in comparison to the surrounding 8 patches it will remain on its current patch.

ITERATIONS:-, (Merriam Webster) - is the action or a process of repeating. It is the repetition of a sequence of computer instructions a specified number of times or until a condition is met.

LAW OF LARGE NUMBERS:- The average of the results obtained from a large number of trials should be close to the expected value, and will tend to become closer as more trials are performed.

Student friendly definition: The more times you perform a particular experiment, the more likely your data will arrive at the expected value.

LOCAL VARIABLE: –A variable that can only be used in one particular procedure or part of the model code.

PAIR PROGRAMMING: - a programming technique in which two programmers work side-by-side and program together in a synthetic fashion. I also like the terms listed in Wikipedia: the driver (Holmes) and the observer (Watson).

Student friendly definition: working in partners to program. Both are programming at the same time, together. One is the "driver", whose job it is to actually type the code. The "observer" guides the overall "big picture." It is important that no one person be assigned just one job, and both switch up their jobs periodically.

PARAMETER:- In computer programming, a parameter is a special kind of variable, used in a subroutine to refer to one of the pieces of data provided as input to the subroutine. These pieces of data are called arguments.

Student friendly definition: A parameter is information given to a procedure
For example, say your method calculates 1 + x. the parameter would be x.

PATCHES:- the points that make up the landscape in the StarLogo TNG world

Student friendly definition: a patch is a small part of the unseen graph of the world.

PESSIMAL: - maximally bad, the opposite of "optimal".

Student friendly definition: "the worst ever." I think "optimal" is a frequent enough word that students may know it, so defining pessimal in terms of the opposite of optimal may be good enough.

PRIMITIVE: – In the context of StarLogo TNG and computer programming in general, a primitive is a data type. These data types were defined by the programming language or programming environment. A variable can be declared or defined to be of a primitive type. For example, a variable can be an integer, double, or character. You can do math with variables that are integer, and double types. You can’t do math with characters unless they represent other variables, functions or procedures. Double is a primitive that enables numbers with decimal places to be used in variables.

QUANTIFY:- Express or measure the quantity of.

Student friendly definition: Give a numeric value--back it up with numeric data.

STEGANOGRAPHY: - is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way
that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient...a cousin of cryptography. Hiding files in plain
sight, like maybe in an image.

STOCHASTIC:- synonymous with "random." The word is of Greek origin and means "pertaining to chance" (Parzen 1962, p. 7).

STOCHASTIC PROCESS: -
(scientific definition): "a statistical process involving a number of random variables depending on a variable parameter, which is usually time" (technical definition): probabilistic process used to produce random actions from an agent set +

Student friendly definition: this is what we are using when we are implementing a Random Walk. We have an agent that is given a set of random instructions and we are watching their actions/movements in order to form conclusions

TICKS: In StarLogo TNG models, time passes in discrete steps, called "ticks". StarLogo TNG includes a built-in tick counter so you can keep track of how many ticks have passed.

Student friendly definition: Ticks are a measure of time in the StarLogo TNG world. If you compare them to minutes, or seconds then you can see them as units of time. The Tick Counter is the StarLogo TNG world clock. *

TORUS: - is a donut-shaped object such as an O-ring.

TURTLE:- an agent in the StarLogo TNG world.

Student friendly definition: a turtle is the part of the world that can move around and interact with its own type and the environment.

VARIABLE: -is a storage location and an associated symbolic name which contains some known or unknown quantity or information, a value.

Student friendly definition: Names a location where data is stored.

+http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=stochastic%20process
++http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggregate_behavior
* http://bridges.brooklyn.cuny.edu/collegenow/modules/P9_NetLogo/Labs/NetL...
** www.mathgoodies.com/lessons/vol9/conditional.html
***(Netlogo 5.03 User Manual)