Modelling the Impact of Role Specialisation on Cooperative Behaviour in Historic Trader Scenarios

  • Christopher K. FrantzEmail author
  • Martin K. Purvis
  • Bastin Tony Roy Savarimuthu
  • Mariusz Nowostawski
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9372)


We analyse two well-established historic trader scenarios from the area of comparative economics known as the Maghribi Traders Coalition and the contemporary Genoese traders, which contrast the otherwise comparable individualistic Genoese and collectivistic North-African trader societies by the institutions they used to sustain cooperative behaviour. We employ agent-based modelling to test a previously unexplored aspect, namely whether a unified role structure (unifying the contrasting investor and merchant perspectives – something that could have characterised one of the two communities in question, the Maghribis) could have been a contributing factor to sustain cooperation for the collective group of Maghribi Traders. To model the emerging institutions, we utilise a continuous notion of deontics that supports the adoption of norms from an experiential perspective. Our simulation results support the idea that experiencing economic transactions from different perspectives increases the convergence performance towards stable behaviour, and supports the enforcement of cooperation by informal means, such as norms, based on their stronger normative alignment.


Institutions Role specialisation Maghribi Traders Coalition Genoese traders Norms Rules Dynamic Deontics Social simulation Multi-agent systems 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher K. Frantz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martin K. Purvis
    • 1
  • Bastin Tony Roy Savarimuthu
    • 1
  • Mariusz Nowostawski
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Information ScienceUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Faculty of Computer Science and Media TechnologyGjøvik University CollegeGjøvikNorway

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