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Collective Cognition: Exploring the Dynamics of Belief Propagation and Collective Problem Solving in Multi-Agent Systems

Collective Cognition: Exploring the Dynamics of Belief Propagation and Collective Problem Solving in Multi-Agent Systems
Collective Cognition: Exploring the Dynamics of Belief Propagation and Collective Problem Solving in Multi-Agent Systems
We tend to think of cognition as something that takes place inside the heads of individual human agents; however, it is clear that many of our cognitive accomplishments depend just as much on our ability to exploit the elements of our social and technological environments as they do on the information processing dynamics of the biological brain. Our social networks constitute a particularly potent source of bio-external scaffolding: one that shapes, constrains and influences the profile of much of our daily cognitive activity. However, the precise way in which networks enable a group of agents to coordinate their thoughts and actions in cognitively-productive ways is still something of which we have, as yet, very little understanding. This paper is an attempt to review the status of our current understanding of network-enabled collective cognition and to explore ways in which our current understanding might be improved. The primary targets for discussion are the dynamics of belief propagation and collective problem-solving in multi-agent systems. These phenomena, we suggest, provide potent examples of collective cognition in terms of both cognitive state fluctuations (belief propagation) and cognitive processing (collective problem solving). In addition to reviewing the literature in these areas, we also present a number of ideas to help guide future research efforts.
collective cognition, belief propagation, distributed cognition, cognitive extension, social networks, cultural models, cognitive change, cognitive dissonance, network science, dynamic networks, collective problem solving, shared interpretation, shared understanding, trust, social influence, communication networks, nk model, cognitive models, nash equilibria, epistasis, group dynamics, collaborative problem solving, extended mind, social cognition
Smart, Paul
cd8a3dbf-d963-4009-80fb-76ecc93579df
Huynh, Trung
ddea6cf3-5a82-4c99-8883-7c31cf22dd36
Braines, Dave
09e96745-c478-4a3d-9a3b-46e0f0e3ac18
Sycara, Katia
df200c43-d34d-4093-bb4e-493fea2d0732
Shadbolt, Nigel
5c5acdf4-ad42-49b6-81fe-e9db58c2caf7
Smart, Paul
cd8a3dbf-d963-4009-80fb-76ecc93579df
Huynh, Trung
ddea6cf3-5a82-4c99-8883-7c31cf22dd36
Braines, Dave
09e96745-c478-4a3d-9a3b-46e0f0e3ac18
Sycara, Katia
df200c43-d34d-4093-bb4e-493fea2d0732
Shadbolt, Nigel
5c5acdf4-ad42-49b6-81fe-e9db58c2caf7

(2010) Collective Cognition: Exploring the Dynamics of Belief Propagation and Collective Problem Solving in Multi-Agent Systems. 1st ITA Workshop on Network-Enabled Cognition: The Contribution of Social and Technological Networks to Human Cognition, United States. (In Press)

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

We tend to think of cognition as something that takes place inside the heads of individual human agents; however, it is clear that many of our cognitive accomplishments depend just as much on our ability to exploit the elements of our social and technological environments as they do on the information processing dynamics of the biological brain. Our social networks constitute a particularly potent source of bio-external scaffolding: one that shapes, constrains and influences the profile of much of our daily cognitive activity. However, the precise way in which networks enable a group of agents to coordinate their thoughts and actions in cognitively-productive ways is still something of which we have, as yet, very little understanding. This paper is an attempt to review the status of our current understanding of network-enabled collective cognition and to explore ways in which our current understanding might be improved. The primary targets for discussion are the dynamics of belief propagation and collective problem-solving in multi-agent systems. These phenomena, we suggest, provide potent examples of collective cognition in terms of both cognitive state fluctuations (belief propagation) and cognitive processing (collective problem solving). In addition to reviewing the literature in these areas, we also present a number of ideas to help guide future research efforts.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 10 July 2010
Additional Information: Event Dates: 22nd September 2009
Venue - Dates: 1st ITA Workshop on Network-Enabled Cognition: The Contribution of Social and Technological Networks to Human Cognition, United States, 2009-09-22
Keywords: collective cognition, belief propagation, distributed cognition, cognitive extension, social networks, cultural models, cognitive change, cognitive dissonance, network science, dynamic networks, collective problem solving, shared interpretation, shared understanding, trust, social influence, communication networks, nk model, cognitive models, nash equilibria, epistasis, group dynamics, collaborative problem solving, extended mind, social cognition
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 267743
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/267743
PURE UUID: 78c1c3ed-46c4-4560-87e0-6c62521b5b25
ORCID for Paul Smart: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9989-5307
ORCID for Trung Huynh: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4937-2473

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Date deposited: 11 Jul 2010 12:38
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:46

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Contributors

Author: Paul Smart ORCID iD
Author: Trung Huynh ORCID iD
Author: Dave Braines
Author: Katia Sycara
Author: Nigel Shadbolt

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