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Minding NormsMechanisms and dynamics of social order in agent societies$
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Rosaria Conte, Giulia Andrighetto, and Marco Campennl

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812677

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812677.001.0001

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Demonstrating the Theory

Demonstrating the Theory

The Case of Wikipedia

(p.127) 9 Demonstrating the Theory
Minding Norms

Maria Xenitidou

Robin Emde

Jens Villard

Ulf Lotzmann

Klaus G. Troitzsch

Oxford University Press

This chapter is based on empirical work conducted on Wikipedia as an emergent self-regulated and self-organized community. Two studies were conducted, focusing on the discussion pages of Wikipedia articles. One study is about “featured” and “controversial” articles, which cover special and restricted topics, respectively, while the other study focuses on discussions about the person and role of Sarah Palin as a candidate for vice president of the United States. These studies cover a wide range of collaborative writing and of discussion about collaborative writing, and aim to support the design of the EMIL-S simulation architecture suitable for the wider study of normative mechanisms. Some but not all of the findings of the empirical analysis of the behavior of contributors to and discussants of Wikipedia articles are used to build a simulation model of collaborative writing. As software agents are still not able to use natural language to produce texts, an artificial language whose symbols do not refer to anything in the real world was invented. Accordingly, the software agents were endowed with the capability to produce text in this language and to evaluate something like the “style of writing” in this language. Thus they are able to take offence at certain features of texts and to blame the authors of such texts. From this kind of communication, norms emerge in the artificial society of software agents.

Keywords:   collaborative writing, norm emergence, simulation, artificial society, multi-agent system

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