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Métadynamiques en Cognition Sociale
Quelle définition de meilleur est la meilleure ?

Abstract : What are the principles behind the self-organization of human societies? Studying the self-organization in human societies calls for models that are fundamentally different from those models used in studying other animal societies because cultural evolution occurs faster than biological evolution and is in fact a driving force of biological evolution.

Modelers in the social sciences generally represent agents as a hierarchy of rules, where rules at each level evolve under the dynamics defined by their meta-rules. Depending on the level, these rules can be interpreted as behavioural rules, decision rules, rules for cultural or genetic transmission.

The emergence of patterns at the collective level can, thus, be understood as the selection of a particular distribution on the set of possible rules and meta-rules. The question of self-organization within socio-economic systems can, therefore, be reduced to the following question: “Is it possible to endogenise the distribution of meta-rules of behavior such that this distribution becomes the outcome of the dynamics it defines?”

I try to show that, by taking into account in formal models the specificity of human mimetism, it is possible to answer this question positively. One of the crucial points is that a rule for imitation can be its own metarule. What I propose is, thus, a formal framework for the study of self-organized societies of mimetic agents: metamimetic games, with a corresponding equilibrium concept of counterfactually stable state. In a counterfactually stable state no agent can imagine itself better than it already is when it counterfactually imagine itself in the place of one of its neighbors. I study the properties of these games, with an application to the problem of the emergence of cooperation in a spatial prisoner's dilemma. I also show that this approach enables the agents to escape the dilemma.

More generally, I reason within the framework of stochastic game theory and clarify the structuring role of the perturbations that take place in these dynamical systems, and the emergent space-time structures resulting from the coupling between the endogenous metamimetic dynamics and the internal structure of perturbations. Departing from the traditional approach, this leads us to interpret the heterogeneity in self-organized human social systems in terms of a differentiation resulting from a co-evolutionary process with a multiplicity of criteria, rather than in terms of a global optimisation process based on a single criterion.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 5, 2006 - 2:45:34 PM
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David Chavalarias. Métadynamiques en Cognition Sociale
Quelle définition de meilleur est la meilleure ?. Modélisation et simulation. Ecole Polytechnique X, 2004. Français. ⟨tel-00012087⟩

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