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one robot offers a flower to another

A computer simulation developed by Dan Conroy-Beam at the University of California, Santa Barbara aims to understand how people choose a mate, testing models of mate selection against the attributes and priorities of a sample of real-life couples.

Simulated copies of each person, known as "avatar agents," are single in the simulated world. "We break them up and throw all these little agents into the market," Conroy-Beam says. TThen we run various algorithms and see which ones do the best job at putting them back together with the agent representing their real-world partner."

The new Resource Allocation Model—which allows for gradients of attraction and factors in reciprocity — was shown to be the most accurate of the models studied, correctly matching about 45% of the couples in the simulated market.

Conroy-Beam describes his work in "Couple Simulation: A Novel Approach for Evaluating Models of Human Mate Choice," published in Personality and Social Psychology Review.

From University of California, Santa Barbara
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