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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Evolutionary Game Theory and Complex Networks Event

16:00 - 17:30
1 July 2015
The Nuffield Theatre (Building 6) Room 1128 University of Southampton Highfield SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this event, please email Seth Bullock at .

Event details

Two Talks: Information, Mobility & Social Dynamics - Evolutionary Game Theory and Complex Networks

1. "Global information and consensus formation: theory and simulation"

Francesca Lipari - Department of Economics, University of Tor Vergata (Italy) and School of Social Science, University of Pennsylvania (US).

As Hayek (1945, p. 2) proposed, even if knowledge in society exists in concentrated or integrated forms, the main concern is not its allocation but "It is rather a problem of how to secure the best use of resource known to any of the members, for ends whose relative importance only these individuals know." But how do the individuals define what is important and what is not, when the levels of the decision become more complex? In the The Sensory Order (1952) Hayek proposes a cognitive theory of the mind. In Hayek's description, the person learns from his environment.

This is a joint work with Alireza Goudarzi (University of New Mexico). We study how individuals learn about socially acceptable identity attributes using social learning. Social learning is a process in which individuals learn from each other. This shared knowledge creates the basis for descriptive norms about the acceptable identity attributes in a community. We model a collection of interacting agents. Each agent is endowed with an initial multi-attribute identity and initial dispositions over those attributes. The dispositions evolve over time in a social learning process. In the model agents learn the descriptive norms by communicating their dispositions to each other. Then, they calculate a weighted average of their own dispositions, their neighbors' dispositions, and an external source of information. The agents update their identity as a function of the new dispositions. This models allow us to study how fast descriptive norms emerge or change in a learning environment as a function of the strength of the external information and the divergence between agents' individual dispositions and the established norms.

2. "Global information and mobility support coordination among humans"

Dr. Alberto Antonioni - Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and Department of Applied Mathematics, Universidad Carlos III (Spain).

Coordination among different options is key for a functioning and efficient society. However, often coordination failures arise, resulting in serious problems both at the individual and the societal level. An additional factor intervening in the coordination process is individual mobility, which takes place at all scales in our world, and whose effect on coordination is not well known. In this experimental work we study the behavior of people who play a pure coordination game in a spatial environment in which they can move around and when changing convention is costly. We find that each convention forms homogeneous clusters and is adopted by approximately half of the individuals. When we provide them with global information, i.e., the number of subjects currently adopting one of the conventions, global consensus is reached in most, but not all, cases. Our results allow us to extract the heuristics used by the participants and to build a numerical simulation model that agrees very well with the experiments. Our findings have important implications for policymakers intending to promote specific, desired behaviors in a mobile population.

This event was possible thanks to financial support from the Doctoral Training Centre in Complex Systems Simulation and the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation (ICSS), ECS, University of Southampton.

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