MacNorms

The main objective of this project is to explore the emergent scientific space generated by the intersection of three different paradigms dedicated to the study of self-organizing mechanisms in social systems: prehistoric etno-anthropology and social anthropology, experimental economics, and multiagent systems. 

The project aims to study the mechanisms of self-organization in societies where it does not exist a centralized control mechanism and where the institutional level is almost inexistent.

We will study the mechanisms in charge of self-organization and distributed social control (as it is the case of reputation) that generate social norms in human societies and that can be easily applicable to virtual environments, either entirely populated by artificial entities (autonomous agents) or virtual societies, where both humans and virtual agents coexist. 

The work developed should serve as a guide to treat similar research topics where the behaviour of a group of individuals responds to the individual adoption of certain social conventions. This research can lead to three different and complementary paths:

  • (i) a theoretical work where different social coordination mechanisms are identified by using the models and simulations suggested in this project;
  • (ii) an instrumental work where the methodology and tools developed under this project are refined to build a technological corpus for social scientists;
  • (iii) and finally, the application of several mechanisms for social coordination and the technological corpus in virtual communities as the integration of web services, ubiquitous and pervasive computing applications, and the online gaming applications.