Talking Nets: A Multi-Agent Connectionist Approach to Communication and Trust between Individuals

Van Overwalle, Frank and Heylighen, Francis (2006) Talking Nets: A Multi-Agent Connectionist Approach to Communication and Trust between Individuals. [Journal (Paginated)] (In Press)

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A multi-agent connectionist model is proposed that consists of a collection of individual recurrent networks that communicate with each other, and as such is a network of networks. The individual recurrent networks simulate the process of information uptake, integration and memorization within individual agents, while the communication of beliefs and opinions between agents is propagated along connections between the individual networks. A crucial aspect in belief updating based on information from other agents is the trust in the information provided. In the model, trust is determined by the consistency with the receiving agents’ existing beliefs, and results in changes of the connections between individual networks, called trust weights. Thus activation spreading and weight change between individual networks is analogous to standard connectionist processes, although trust weights take a specific function. Specifically, they lead to a selective propagation and thus filtering out of less reliable information, and they implement Grice’s (1975) maxims of quality and quantity in communication. The unique contribution of communicative mechanisms beyond intra-personal processing of individual networks was explored in simulations of key phenomena involving persuasive communication and polarization, lexical acquisition, spreading of stereotypes and rumors, and a lack of sharing unique information in group decisions.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:trust, connectionist simuiation, distributed cognition, collective intelligence, group decision-making, multi-agent simulation
Subjects:Psychology > Social Psychology > Social simulation
ID Code:4889
Deposited By: Heylighen, Francis
Deposited On:25 May 2006
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:56


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