Friday, 21 September 2007
Tangled Webs: Network Structure in Cooperation, Communication, and Epistemology
Patrick Grim, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Department of Philosophy
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: Computational modeling offers an environment in which to explore a range of philosophical issues. How can altruism emerge from egoism? How does a sound take on a meaning? Can a scientific community learn more when individual scientists learn less? Suggestive hints, worthy of further philosophical scrutiny, arise in simulations focusing on local interaction in a range of network structures.
This paper builds on earlier work regarding (a) cooperation in the spatialized Prisoner's Dilemma and (b) the emergence of simple signaling in a spatialized environment of wandering food sources and predators by means of imitation, localized genetic algorithms, and simple neural net learning. Those earlier attempts are extended here in two ways: (1) to a wider consideration of spatial networks, and (2) to a range of intriguing questions in the general area of epistemology and philosophy of science.