Information Dynamics across Linked Sub-Networks: Germs, Genes, and Memes

In Proceedings, AAAI Fall Symposium on Complex Adaptive Systems: Energy, Information and Intelligence. AAAI Press (2011)
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Beyond belief change and meme adoption, both genetics and infection have been spoken of in terms of information transfer. What we examine here, concentrating on the specific case of transfer between sub-networks, are the differences in network dynamics in these cases: the different network dynamics of germs, genes, and memes. Germs and memes, it turns out, exhibit a very different dynamics across networks. For infection, measured in terms of time to total infection, it is network type rather than degree of linkage between sub-networks that is of primary importance. For belief transfer, measured in terms of time to consensus, it is degree of linkage rather than network type that is crucial. Genes model each of these other dynamics in part, but match neither in full. For genetics, like belief transfer and unlike infection, network type makes little difference. Like infection and unlike belief, on the other hand, the dynamics of genetic information transfer within single and between linked networks are much the same. In ways both surprising and intriguing, transfer of genetic information seems to be robust across network differences crucial for the other two.

Author Profiles

Patrick Grim
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Daniel J. Singer
University of Pennsylvania


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