Threshold Phenomena in Epistemic Networks

In Proceedings, AAAI Fall Symposium on Complex Adaptive Systems and the Threshold Effect. AAAI Press (2006)
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Abstract

A small consortium of philosophers has begun work on the implications of epistemic networks (Zollman 2008 and forthcoming; Grim 2006, 2007; Weisberg and Muldoon forthcoming), building on theoretical work in economics, computer science, and engineering (Bala and Goyal 1998, Kleinberg 2001; Amaral et. al., 2004) and on some experimental work in social psychology (Mason, Jones, and Goldstone, 2008). This paper outlines core philosophical results and extends those results to the specific question of thresholds. Epistemic maximization of certain types does show clear threshold effects. Intriguingly, however, those effects appear to be importantly independent from more familiar threshold effects in networks.

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Patrick Grim
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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