Joshua Palicka


Hi! I'm a Computer Science professional with an M.S. in Computer Science from Seattle University with Data Science Proficiency. My skillset includes multiple programming languages, machine learning, AI, software design, data structures, and algorithms.

I'm currently seeking a data science career opportunity after I graduate in June and am eager to join a dynamic team and contribute my skills and passion. If you know of any open positions, please feel free to reach out. I look forward to making a meaningful impact in the data science community!

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Graduate Research Project: Sugarscape-Utilicalc

Project description

The main goal for this project was to use our comprehensive Python implementation of Sugarscape, described here, as a framework for implementing Utilitarian ethics using Jeremy Bentham’s formula for Felicific Calculus, programmatically. For this, we created Utilicalc, linked here, an implementation of Bentham’s formula, which is a framework of classes for which to input the outcomes of potential actions an agent can make, and get an output of the moral value of those actions, which we use to decide agent moves in the Sugarscape.


Felicific Calculus quantifies the moral value of an action based on the consequences for all actors involved. The algorithm considers various factors, such as intensity, duration, certainty, nearness in time, and others, to determine the overall positive or negative impact of an action.

Background on the Sugarscape, as well as our implementation, is given here.


We find that some heuristics of a healthy Sugarscape society, such as carrying capacity of the environment, are increased when using Utilitarian Calculus for decision-making, rather than the default greedy algorithm that Sugarscape uses. We are currently writing an academic paper on this work, and expect to publish it by the end of 2023. Through this project, we successfully transformed a theoretical algorithm into functional code, showcasing our ability to adapt and apply theoretical concepts into practical programming solutions.

Snapshot of Basic Sugarscape run with optional location stats and mean trade volume graph
Snapshot of a basic Sugarscape run including optional stats and a graph.

Standard Sugar and Spice Sugarscape run with optional location stats and mean trade volume graph
Snapshot of a Sugarscape run with sugar and spice, including optional stats and a graph