Lesson 4 Activity 1 - Dice & Data

In this activity, students will learn about probability, how it is implemented in StarLogo Nova, and learn to use probability to implement chance behavior in agent movement. 
  • Read the description of Dice and Data below
  • Play "Chances Are" using the activity sheet
  • Play "Wiggle Walk" using the activity sheet
  • Answer the self-test

Dice and Data Activity

Probability plays a large role in models of complex adaptive systems.  We’ll be programming our agents to mimic the movement of creatures in the real world.  There are also chance events that occur upon when agents interact such as the passing of a contagion from one person to the other.

Print out this activity sheet ,
get a pen or pencil, and two dice, then play both activities.
  • PART 1: “ Chances Are”
  • PART 2:  Wiggle Walk
Work through the discussion sections then read the description below.

How do we use probability to implement chance behavior in agent movement?
In StarLogo Nova, we use the random command to simulate the roll of a die.   Random 6 would give me the result of rolling a 6-sided die with numbers 1 through 6 on the sides.  Random functions can also be used within other commands to implement random behavior.

Now consider rolling two dice Now, consider rolling two dice where one represents the degrees to turn to the left and the other die represents the degrees to turn to the right. That’s similar to using a left turn random 6 followed by a right turn random 6, then taking a step forward.

What is actually going on?


If you had difficulty with this self-test, one way to build your understanding and intuition about turtle movement is to make a model with turtles following the commands in answers a, b, c, and d above.