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Establishing norms with metanorms over interaction topologies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1344-1376
JournalAutonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
Early online date8 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


King's Authors


Norms are a valuable means of establishing coherent cooperative behaviour in decentralised systems in which there is no central authority. Axelrod’s seminal model of norm establishment in populations of self-interested individuals provides some insight into the mechanisms needed to support this through the use of metanorms, but considers only limited scenarios and domains. While further developments of Axelrod’s model have addressed some of the limitations, there is still only limited consideration of such metanorm models with more realistic topological configurations. In response, this paper tries to address such limitation by considering its application to different topological structures. Our results suggest that norm establishment is achievable in lattices and small worlds, while such establishment is not achievable in scale-free networks, due to the problematic effects of hubs. The paper offers a solution, first by adjusting the model to more appropriately reflect the characteristics of the problem, and second by offering a new dynamic policy adaptation approach to learning the right behaviour. Experimental results demonstrate that this dynamic policy adaptation overcomes the difficulties posed by the asymmetric distribution of links in scale-free networks, leading to an absence of norm violation, and instead to norm emergence.

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