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Self-organization in Communicating Groups: The Emergence of Coordination, Shared References and Collective Intelligence

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Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)

Abstract

Complex adaptive systems consist of a large number of interacting agents. Agents are goal-directed, cognitive individuals capable of perception, information processing and action. However, agents are intrinsically “bounded” in their rational understanding of the system they belong to, and its global organization tends to emerge from local interactions, resulting in a coordination of the agents and their actions. This coordination minimizes conflict or friction, while facilitating cooperation or synergy. The basic mechanism is the reinforcement of synergetic interactions and the suppression of conflictual ones. As a result, the system as a whole starts to behave like an integrated cognitive “superagent”. The author presents several examples of this process of spontaneous coordination that leads to distributed cognition, including the emergence of a shared vocabulary, the development of standard referential expressions, the evolution of transmitted ideas (memes) towards more stereotypical forms, and the aggregation of diverse experiences into collective decisions, in which the system as a whole is more intelligent than its individual components. These phenomena have been investigated by means of multi-agent computer simulations and social psychological experiments.

Keywords

  • Complex Adaptive System
  • Collective Intelligence
  • Naming Game
  • Intentional Stance
  • Linguistic Convention

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Heylighen, F. (2013). Self-organization in Communicating Groups: The Emergence of Coordination, Shared References and Collective Intelligence. In: Massip-Bonet, À., Bastardas-Boada, A. (eds) Complexity Perspectives on Language, Communication and Society. Understanding Complex Systems. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-32817-6_10

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