Klaus F. Steiner's scientific ventures

Welcome to the homepage for my scientific interests and contributions!

Why this website? Well, I'm passionate about science. Around 1990 I studied biology and a bit of mathematics and philosophy here in Graz, Austria. For my diploma thesis, I modeled and simulated the song interactions of bushcrickets. Instead of doing a dissertation, however, I ended up in software development and I am still employed today. For several years now, I have also been running a small puzzle company together with my wife Karin. We have thus turned our shared enthusiasm for puzzles and brain games into a sideline.
My inordinate fondness for biology has remained, even though my approach is playful rather than scientific. I keep insects, build formicariums, microscope, watch and photograph what crawls and flies. However, my most intense and serious approach to biology is of theoretical nature and with the help of my favorite tool to gain knowledge, the computer. I have created numerous computer models, mainly from evolutionary biology, and experimented with them. Now I came across a few things that seem remarkable to me and that I would like to report on. This page is the guide for that.

Preprints and supplemental material

Just one so far ...

The Good, the Bad and the Stochastic: How Living in Groups Innately Supports Cooperation

bioRxiv 2021.02.21.431661; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.21.431661

Abstract: Based on theoretical considerations and computer simulations, I show that living in groups brings advantages for cooperative traits through purely stochastic effects that result from the division of a population into groups. These advantages can be sufficient to compensate individual selection pressures that may be associated with the cooperative traits. In more complex agent-based simulation models, this effect combined with some migration between the groups leads to stable dynamic equilibria between cooperative and defective replicators in the population.

Computer simulations: As supplement, you can download my simulation programs for Netlogo. NetLogo is a multi-agent programmable modeling environment, which you can download at https://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/. I also created HTML versions of the two multi-agent simulations used for the paper. They open in a separate tab or window and can be run direclty in the browser. Depending on your hardware, the HTML simulations can be relatively slow or appear to be inactive for a few seconds, but they usually run correctly. With regard to performance and usability I recommend running the simulations in NetLogo.
payoff_CD_deviation: download NetLogo simulation or open HTML simulation in browser
Simulation of trait payoffs for different variances of the groups consisting of cooperators (C) and defectors (D). It was used for the data in figure 4. See "Model Info" (below the model) for details.
groupingSimCD: download NetLogo simulation or open HTML simulation in browser
Multi-agent simulation of trait evolution in groups of cooperators (C) and defectors (D) as used for figures 5-9. At the first time click "Setup" and then "Go", and a simulation starts. To stop click "Go" again. See "Model Info" (below the model) for details.

Last modified: May 23, 2021


Klaus F. Steiner
Krottendorfer Stra├če 70, 8052 Graz, Austria
E-Mail: ksteiner@vinckensteiner.com

I also maintain the website Vinckensteiner Rätsel und Denkspiele with puzzles and brain teasers (mainly in German, but with portions in English and Spanish) and the evolution page for kids Evolution in Aktion (in German).