Detecting Emergence in the Interplay of Networks

John Symons, Jorge Louca, Andre Morais, David Rodrigues

We present a formal framework for the identification and interpretation of emergent properties in environments where agents participate in distinct kinds of relations or networks. We focus here on the interplay between social and geographic relations in the behavior of our agents. The method we present provides a way to detect emergent properties in the interaction of distinguishable forms of network. Our initial models suggest that characterizing the emergent properties of the behavior of a complex communication network allows for the explanation of dynamics in geographic and other dimensions. Additionally, we hypothesize the emergence of territory-like features which have consequences for the behavior of agents at both social and spatial levels. We distinguish our approach from what we call macro-level accounts of emergence and present two case studies in which we apply some of the formal strategies discussed.

Subjects: 7.1 Multi-Agent Systems; 9.4 Philosophical Foundations

Submitted: Aug 22, 2007