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LCN2 Seminar: Cooperation for Public Goods Driven by Noise

Friday 26 April 2019
Gorlaeus Building
Einsteinweg 55
2333 CC Leiden
Science club

33rd LCN2 seminar

Speaker: Jeroen Bruggeman (University of Amsterdam)

Title: Cooperation for Public Goods Driven by Noise


Cooperation for public goods poses a dilemma, where individuals are tempted to free ride on others' contributions. Classic solutions involve costly feedback mechanisms with rewards and punishments, but there are important collective actions based on simple and cheap cues only, for example unplanned protests and revolts, as well as cooperation in other species. This is explained by an Ising model with asymmetric spin values representing defection and cooperation, and the assumption that when people share a goal in an uncertain situation, they tend to conform to their local majority. Then a critical level of noise, such as rumors that cause misunderstandings about the situation or provocations by opponents, causes the onset of collective action. The model thereby provides a parsimonious explanation without recourse to accurate monitoring, high network connectivity, reliable transmission of information, advanced cognition with memory, pro-social norms, incentives or leaders. It can incorporate leaders, though, and can express incentives and norms in terms of (local) fields to show that additional mechanisms are necessary when noise is below the critical level.

The talk is partly based on the following paper:

Jeroen Bruggeman, Rudolf Sprik, Rick Quax, Cooperation for Public Goods Driven by Noise, arXiv:1812.05367, 2019.

About the LCN2 seminar

This talk is part of a series of seminars organized within an ongoing scientific initiative called the "Leiden Complex Networks Network" (LCN2), which brings together scientists with a common interest in both theoretical models and empirical analyses of complex networks and random graphs. The LCN2 community shares the approach of using networks for describing real-world complex systems and aims at developing related analytical and numerical methods, while also being open to other research approaches for studying complex systems. The talks are designed for a broad audience, allowing for constructive exchanges of ideas between scientists from different disciplines. During and after the talk, some drinks and simple snacks are provided.

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