Grey Thumb


I’m a member of the Grey Thumb, an organization of people interested in artificial life and artificial intelligence. Many of our members are hobbyists who work on various non-academic ALife software projects. I wonder if it might be useful to open up a dialog between academic and hobbyist artificial society developers to share ideas and perhaps lead to collaboration.

Grey Thumb website:

I personally work on an open source project called the Mars Simulation Project, which is a simulation of future human settlement on Mars. It’s an agent based artificial society.

Mars Simulation Project:

I haven’t really been in contact with any academic artificial society projects and I wonder how much our project has “reinvented the wheel” on social simulation modeling and user interface concepts. Perhaps there’s something we’ve come up with that would be useful to other developers as well.


Scott Davis
Mars Simulation Project
[email protected]


OpenABM intially was conceived of as an exchange for scientists and students involved in agent-based modeling for complex systems research. However, this technology is so new that the line between serious “hobbyist” and academic “experimenting” with ABM is very fine…and fuzzy. I took a peek at the Grey Thumb organization and your Mars Sim site. I am happy to have contributions from people like you are serious about advancing the study of social-ecological systems through agent-based/individual-based simulation. Our site is still very young and developing. Please don’t hesitate to participate in the forums.

Michael Barton, Co-Director
Open ABM Consortium