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4 Computational Models

There are two compelling reasons to use a computational model (i.e. simulation) to study the mutational meltdown process. First, the analytical models are based on making several simplifying assumptions that hold only for large values of K or other parameters, and we are most interested in the predicted extinction of endangered species where K is small. Second, the analytical models developed so far are accurate only for the middle, or ``buildup'', phase of mutation accumulation.

In this section we will describe two computational models for mutational meltdown. The simulator for asexual reproduction is fairly simple and can be designed and implemented with about a week's work. Extending the simulator for sexual reproduction requires another two to three works effort.