Circumferentiality Rears its Ugly Head

Circumferentiality is my term to describe what Person A estimates Person B things about Person C. A good example of its dramatic significance migth be found in the statement: “You invited Charles and Carla to the same party?!?!?! Don’t you know they hate each other?” This might seem an overly rarified concept, but in fact it keeps popping up as I work on the design of Siboot.

Circumferentiality is requires a three-dimensional array. If we think in terms of honesty, then the first-dimension array of honesty values specifies how honest each actor is. The second-dimension (Honest[Fred][John]) specifies how much each actor trusts every other actor. The third dimension (Honest[Fred][John][Mary]) specifies how much the first actor believes that the second actor trusts the third actor.

I had earlier decided not to include circumferentiality because the actors in Siboot have lived together all their lives and they know each other intimately. Therefore, their estimates of each others relationships should be pretty close to the mark. However, I have realized that much of the action turns on circumferential matters. For example, if Skordokott is considering an alliance with Zubenelgenubi against Gaustusu, Skordokott must have a reliable estimate of Zubi’s feelings towards Gaustusu as well as her feelings towards him. If she likes Gaustusu more than she likes Skordokott, then she might well tattle on Skordokott. Therefore, it is critical that Skordokott have a good estimate of circumferential relationships.

This also means that actors must gossip with each other to share estimates of others. This brings us right back to Gossip. It means that I shall need a new verb along the lines of “Subject tells DirObject that 4Actor thinks that 5Actor has 6ActorTrait in magnitude 7Quantifier.” That’s going to be a big job getting that thing working properly, and because my quantifiers have a resolution of only 7 parts for the entire BNumber range, I will surely have some problems with round-off error. I have no idea how I shall handle that.