Genetic drift simulation

[This article was first published on R snippets, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers]. (You can report issue about the content on this page here)
Want to share your content on R-bloggers? click here if you have a blog, or here if you don't.

While preparing for the new teaching semester I have created an implementation of NetLogo GenDrift P local in GNU R.

The model works as follows. Initially a square grid having side size is randomly populated with n types of agents (denoted by colors).
Each agent randomly changes type (color) to one of its eight neighbors colors. In long run only one agent type remains due to random selection process (although it can take a long time if we set
side to a large value).

Here is the simulation code:
library(animation)# initialize simulation
# side - square grid size
# n    - number of agent types (from 2 to 6)
init <- function(side, n) {
    matrix(, side * side, TRUE), side)

# plot simulation state
# s - simulation state
# n - initial number of agent types
do.plot <- function(s, n) {
    print(levelplot(s, at = (0:n) + 0.5,
        col.regions = 1 + (1:n), 
        scales = list(draw = F), xlab = "", ylab = "",
        colorkey = list(tick.number = n)))
}# perform one step of simulation
# state  - simulation state
sim.step <- function(state) {
    updated <- FALSE
    side <- dim(state)[1]
    moves_x <- rep(-1:1, 3)[-5]
    moves_y <- rep(-1:1, each = 3)[-5]
    sequence <-
    for (i in sequence) {
        x <- 1 + (i - 1)%%side
        y <- 1 + (i - 1)%/%side
        ref <-, 1)
        ref.x <- 1 + (x + moves_x[ref] - 1)%%side
        ref.y <- 1 + (y + moves_y[ref] - 1)%%side
        if (state[x, y] != state[ref.x, ref.y]) {
            state[x, y] <- state[ref.x, ref.y]
            updated <- TRUE
    list(state, updated)

go <- function(size, n) {
    s <- init(size, n)
    updated <- TRUE
    for (i in 1:4) {
        do.plot(s, n)
    i <- 0
    while (updated) {
        i <- i + 1
        do.plot(s, n)
        out <- sim.step(s)
        s <- out[[1]]
        updated <- out[[2]]
        do.plot(s, n)
    for (i in 1:4) {
        do.plot(s, n)

animate <- FALSE  # do we want to save animation?
side <- 15        # simulation grid will be side x side
n <- 5            # initial number of agent types

if (animate) {
    ani.options(interval = 0.2)
    saveGIF(go(side, n))
} else {
    go(side, n)
We can select if we want to see the animation on the screen or save it to file via  animate option.
The animation the code generates is presented below:

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: R snippets. offers daily e-mail updates about R news and tutorials about learning R and many other topics. Click here if you're looking to post or find an R/data-science job.
Want to share your content on R-bloggers? click here if you have a blog, or here if you don't.

Never miss an update!
Subscribe to R-bloggers to receive
e-mails with the latest R posts.
(You will not see this message again.)

Click here to close (This popup will not appear again)