Memes and Cooperation in Multiagent Systems

Stefan Heinrich

Thesis: MSc thesis, Department of Computer Science, University of Paderborn, Paderborn, DE, Oct 2009


Abstract: The general interest in multi-agent systems is undauntedly high. The idea of dis-tributed problem solving by using autonomous agents is continuously seized intheory and practice. Moreover, problem areas have emerged, in which agents areto use limited resources cooperatively at an optimal level. To reach cooperationamong autonomous rational agents is still a major challenge. Attempts at explai-ning altruistic cooperation by other disciplines in most cases did not get beyondkinship relations (as a benefit for the gene). The theory of memes, however, isan approach that tries to explain altruism through cultural relations. To promotecooperation among autonomous and rational agents, this study transfers the ideaof memetics to and analyzes it in multi-agent systems. For this purpose agents arecharacterized by cultural traits (memes) and are to solve tasks for which in mostcases they need the cooperation of other agents. The interaction of cooperation andmeme distribution will be investigated in a theoretical analysis and an empiricalsimulation in an ad hoc developed framework.

Diploma Thesis