Force versus Majority: A comparison in convention emergence efficiency

Paulo Urbano, João Balsa, Luis Antunes, Luis Moniz

In open societies such as multi-agent systems, it is important that coordination among the several actors is achieved efficiently. One economical way of capturing that aspiration is consensus: social conventions and lexicons are good examples of coordinating systems, where uniformity promotes shared expectations of behavior and shared meanings. We are particularly interested in consensus that is achieved without any central control or ruling, through decentralized mechanisms that prove to be effective, efficient, and robust. The nature of interactions and also the nature of society configurations may promote or inhibit consensual emergence. Traditionally, preference to adopt the most seen choices (the majority option) has dominated the emergence convention research in multi-agents, being analyzed along different social topologies. Recently, we have introduced a different type of interaction, based on force, where force is not defined a priori but evolves dynamically. We compare the Majority class of choice update against Force based interactions, along three dimensions: types of encounters, rules of interaction and network topologies. The experiments we have made show that interactions based on Force are significantly more efficient for group decision making.

Subjects: 7.1 Multi-Agent Systems; 7. Distributed AI

Submitted: May 5, 2008

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