The Generative Power of Signs: The Importance of the Autonomous Perception of Tags to the Strong Emergence of Institutions

The Generative Power of Signs: The Importance of the Autonomous Perception of Tags to the Strong Emergence of Institutions

Deborah V. Duong (OSD/PAE Simulation Analysis Center, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-236-7.ch012
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Abstract

The first intelligent agent social model, in 1991, used tags with emergent meaning to simulate the emergence of institutions based on the principles of interpretive social science. This symbolic interactionist simulation program existed before Holland’s Echo, however, Echo and subsequent programs with tags failed to preserve the autonomy of perception of the agents that displayed and read tags. The only exception is Axtell, Epstein, and Young’s program on the emergence of social classes, which was influenced by the symbolic interactionist simulation program. Axtell, Epstein, and Young’s program has since been credited for strong emergence. This chapter explains that autonomy of perception is the essential difference in the symbolic interactionist implementation of tags that enables this strong emergence.
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Introduction

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:1-5, KJV)

Holland saw the creative power of the word as important in the formation of living systems when he included the tag as one of the three basic mechanisms of complex adaptive systems. A “tag” is simply a sign, such as a name or a physical trait, which is used to classify an agent. In the social world, a tag may be a social marker, such as skin color, or simply the name of a social group. A tag goes hand in hand with the other two mechanisms Holland thought important to complex adaptive systems, an internal model (whether tacit or explicit) to give meaning to tags, and building blocks to accumulate and recombine the structures that result from those meanings into hierarchical aggregates (Holland 1995).

Holland is commonly thought to be the first to use tags to simulate social phenomena. However, there is another variation on tags, the symbolic interactionist simulation technique, that was developed before Holland’s complex adaptive system research program, the Echo project (Duong 1991, Holland 1992). Like Echo, symbolic interactionist simulation recognizes the primacy of signs in the formation of living systems, but differs from Echo in that its agents have autonomous perception of the meaning of signs. The difference is understandable, because the principle of autonomy of perception is more prominent from the social sciences standpoint than from the biological standpoint, even if it exists in biology as well (Maturana, Lettvin, Mcculloch and Pitts. 1960). Many of the ideas in microsociology are inherited from phenomenology and hermeneutics, philosophies that contemplate the mysteries of autonomy, such as the paradox that human beings can only interpret meanings through their individual experiences with their senses, and yet they still come to share meaning (Winograd and Flores 1987). This hermeneutic paradox is core issue of micro-macro integration in sociology from the angle of perception: to solve the hermeneutic paradox is to solve the mystery of the “invisible hand” by which autonomous, selfish agents synchronize their actions into institutions for the good of the whole. Since emergence in agent-based social simulation is fundamentally about solving the micro macro link, symbolic interactionist simulation seeks to solve the hermeneutic paradox. It is by virtue of the preservation of autonomy that symbolic interactionist simulations exhibit strong emergence and constitute minimal social engines.

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Georgi Stojanov
Chapter 1
R. Keith Sawyer
Sociology should be the foundational science of social emergence. But to date, sociologists have neglected emergence, and studies of emergence are... Sample PDF
The Science of Social Emergence
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Chapter 2
Christopher Goldspink, Robert Kay
This chapter critically examines our theoretical understanding of the dialectical relationship between emergent social structures and agent... Sample PDF
Agent Cognitive Capabilities and Orders of Social Emergence
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Chapter 3
Joseph C. Bullington
Social interaction represents a powerful new locus of research in the quest to build more truly human-like artificial agents. The work in this area... Sample PDF
Agents and Social Interaction: Insights from Social Psychology
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Chapter 4
M. Afzal Upal
This chapter will critically review existing approaches to the modeling transmission of cultural information and advocate a new approach based on a... Sample PDF
Predictive Models of Cultural Information Transmission
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Chapter 5
Jorge A. Romero
Despite the popularity of agents for the information technology infrastructure, questions remain because it is not clear what do e-business agents... Sample PDF
Interaction of Agent in E-Business: A Look at Different Sources
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Chapter 6
Adam J. Conover
This chapter presents a description of ongoing experimental research into the emergent properties of multi-agent communication in “temporally... Sample PDF
A Simulation of Temporally Variant Agent Interaction via Passive Inquiry
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Chapter 7
Richard Schilling
This chapter presents a generalized messaging infrastructure that can be used for distributed agent systems. The principle of agent feedback... Sample PDF
Agent Feedback Messaging: A Messaging Infrastructure for Distributed Message Delivery
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Chapter 8
Yu Zhang, Mark Lewis, Christine Drennon, Michael Pellon, Coleman
Multi-agent systems have been used to model complex social systems in many domains. The entire movement of multi-agent paradigm was spawned, at... Sample PDF
Modeling Cognitive Agents for Social Systems and a Simulation in Urban Dynamics
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Chapter 9
Scott Watson, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Wan Ching (Steve) Ho, Rafal Dawidowicz
This chapter discusses certain issues in the development of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) populated by autonomous social agents, with... Sample PDF
Developing Relationships Between Autonomous Agents: Promoting Pro-Social Behaviour Through Virtual Learning Environments Part I
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Chapter 10
Martin Takác
In this chapter, we focus on the issue of understanding in various types of agents. Our main goal is to build up notions of meanings and... Sample PDF
Construction of Meanings in Biological and Artificial Agents
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Chapter 11
Myriam Abramson
In heterogeneous multi-agent systems, where human and non-human agents coexist, intelligent proxy agents can help smooth out fundamental... Sample PDF
Training Coordination Proxy Agents Using Reinforcement Learning
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Chapter 12
Deborah V. Duong
The first intelligent agent social model, in 1991, used tags with emergent meaning to simulate the emergence of institutions based on the principles... Sample PDF
The Generative Power of Signs: The Importance of the Autonomous Perception of Tags to the Strong Emergence of Institutions
$37.50
Chapter 13
Josefina Sierra, Josefina Santibáñez
This chapter addresses the problem of the acquisition of the syntax of propositional logic. An approach based on general purpose cognitive... Sample PDF
Propositional Logic Syntax Acquisition Using Induction and Self-Organisation
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Chapter 14
Giovanni Vincenti, James Braman
Emotions influence our everyday lives, guiding and misguiding us. They lead us to happiness and love, but also to irrational acts. Artificial... Sample PDF
Hybrid Emotionally Aware Mediated Multiagency
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Chapter 15
Samuel G. Collins, Goran Trajkovski
In this chapter, we give an overview of the results of a Human-Robot Interaction experiment, in a near zerocontext environment. We stimulate the... Sample PDF
Mapping Hybrid Agencies Through Multiagent Systems
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Chapter 16
Scott Watson, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Wan Ching (Steve) Ho, Rafal Dawidowicz
This chapter is a continuation from Part I, which has described contemporary psychological descriptions of bullying in primary schools and two... Sample PDF
Developing Relationships Between Autonomous Agents: Promoting Pro-Social Behaviour Through Virtual Learning Environments Part II
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Chapter 17
Mario Paolucci, Rosaria Conte
This chapter is focused on social reputation as a fundamental mechanism in the diffusion and possibly evolution of socially desirable behaviour... Sample PDF
Reputation: Social Transmission for Partner Selection
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Chapter 18
Adam J. Conover
This chapter concludes a two part series which examines the emergent properties of multi-agent communication in “temporally asynchronous”... Sample PDF
A Simulation of Temporally Variant Agent Interaction via Belief Promulgation
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Chapter 19
David B. Newlin
Following the discovery in Rhesus monkeys of “mirror neurons” that fire during both execution and observation of motor behavior, human studies have... Sample PDF
The Human Mirror Neuron System
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Chapter 20
Eric Baumer, Bill Tomlinson
This chapter presents an argument that the process of emergence is the converse of the process of abstraction. Emergence involves complex behavior... Sample PDF
Relationships Between the Processes of Emergence and Abstraction in Societies
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Chapter 21
Vern R. Walker
In modern legal systems, a large number of autonomous agents can achieve reasonably fair and accurate decisions in tens of thousands of legal cases.... Sample PDF
Emergent Reasoning Structures in Law
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Chapter 22
Theodor Richardson
Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS) are designed to differentiate malicious traffic, from normal traf- fic, on a network system to detect the... Sample PDF
Agents in Security: A Look at the Use of Agents in Host-Based Monitoring and Protection and Network Intrusion Detection
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Chapter 23
Michael J. North, Thomas R. Howe, Nick Collier, Eric Tatara, Jonathan Ozik, Charles Macal
Search has been recognized as an important technology for a wide range of software applications. Agentbased modelers often face search challenges... Sample PDF
Search as a Tool for Emergence
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About the Contributors