This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Situated Socio-Cognitive and Ecological Simulation of the Triple-Helix Theory of Regional Innovation Dynamics




Morris-King, James R.

Type of Degree



Computer Science


This dissertation focuses on applying the concept of agent-based ecological simulation to the problem of developing and maintaining regional innovation economies. A simulation model based on a popular model of innovation, the Triple-Helix theory of public-private partnership, is presented. This theory guides the alignment of the three principle sectors of regional and national systems of innovation; academic research, industrial development, and government control. The development and maintenance of systems of innovation has been recognized to be a key driver of economic growth, but the underlying mechanisms which govern these systems have proven difficult for pure statistical analysis to capture. We introduce an agent-based modeling and simulation approach, which leverages eco- logical concepts better suited for describing the behavioral mechanisms of multi-agent, environmentally-situated complex adaptive systems. This model extends the basic formu- lation of the triple-helix to include a new environmentally situated actor, the researcher, which uses indirect signaling to discover and exploit grant-funding. This extension uses principles from classical Predator-Prey interaction and a variant of ant colony optimization, a non-deterministic search algorithm. The work presents a didactic framework for understanding the role government policy has on innovation-driven productivity and the configuration of resources around centers of innovation. We find that innovation is principally driven by concentrations of mature acedemic research institutions and is mediated by consistent government support and highly active industrial partners. We also present a unified innovation reilience metric for future cross-model comparison.