Pedro Sequeira, Samuel Mascarenhas, Francisco S. Melo and Ana Paiva
In Proceedings of the 5th Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EpiRob 2015), 2015
Several agent-based frameworks have been proposed to investigate the possible reasons that lead humans to act in the interest of others while giving up individual gains. In this paper we propose a novel framework for analyzing this phenomenon based on the notions of social importance (SI) and local discrimination. We analyze such mechanism in the context of a “favors game” where a recipient agent can “claim” a favor to a donor agent, which may in turn “confer” its request at the expense of a certain cost. We perform several agent- based simulations and study both the conditions under which cooperation occurs and the dynamics of the relationships formed within a population. The results of our study indicate that the SI mechanism can promote cooperation in populations where all individuals share a common social predisposition towards the favors game, and also in initially mixed-strategy populations evolving by means of mutation and natural selection. We also show that the framework predicts the emergence of a conservative strategy that makes individuals to be “cautious” when interacting with “acquaintances”.