Evolving greenhouses: An agent-based model of Universal Darwinism in greenhouse horticulture

J. Kasmire, Igor Nikolic, Gerard Dijkema

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    To explore the space between the theories of the Diffusion of Innovations and Universal Darwinism, we first examine a case study of the history of the greenhouse horticulture sector of the Netherlands, comparing and contrasting the narrow focus of Diffusion of Innovations and the wider focus of Universal Darwinism. We then build an agent-based model using elements of both in order to test how well the Diffusion of Innovations theory holds up when some of its simplifications are removed. Results show that the single, simple pattern prominent in Diffusions of Innovations theory does emerge, but that it is only one of several patterns and that it does not behave precisely as expected. Results also show agent properties, such as stubbornness or innovativeness, can be surprisingly complex, as when stubbornness shows an advantage in the long term, while innovativeness was beneficial to the network but not to the innovator. While the Diffusion of Innovations theory is simple and can easily guide policy decisions, this paper shows that adding complexity to place diffusions inside a larger evolutionary context results in more realistic analysis and can help policy-makers to achieve challenging goals amidst modern economic and political challenges.

    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Complex adaptive systems
    • Evolution
    • Greenhouse horticulture
    • Innovation
    • Universal Darwinism


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