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Emergence in multi-agent systems: conceptual and methodological issues

Dessalles J.L., Müller J.P., Phan D.. 2007. In : Phan Denis (ed.), Amblard Frédéric (ed.). Agent-based modelling and simulation in the social and human sciences. Oxford : The Bardwell Press, p. 327-355. (GEMAS Studies in social analysis).

The first section raises critical questions about emergence from two paradigmatic examples of emergent phenomenon resulting from local social interaction (Schelling's model of Segregation and the RY model of emergence of classes). The second section briefly reviews and discusses some conceptual or formal definitions of emergence from both Philosophy and Computer sciences, with a special attention for multi-agent systems [MUL 04]. The third section provides a complementary definition proposed by [BON 97] and discussed in [DES 05], [DES 07] to be operative in multi-agent frameworks and to make sense from both a cognitive and a social point of view. This definition is coherent with important related features, like cognitive hierarchy, detection, and complexity.

Mots-clés : méthodologie; changement social; application des ordinateurs; analyse de système; organisation; philosophie; Émergence; système multiagents

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