Self-organised communication in autonomous agents: A critical evaluation of artificial life models
Abstract: This dissertation aims to provide a critical evaluation of artificial life (A-Life) models of communication in autonomous agents. In particular the focus will be on the issue of self-organisation, which is often argued to be one of the characteristic features distinguishing A-life from other approaches. To ground the arguments, a background of the study of communication within artificial intelligence is provided. This is followed by a comprehensive review of A-Life research on communication between autonomous agents, which is evaluated by breaking down self-organisation into the following sub-questions. Is communication self-organised or hard-coded? What do signals mean to the agents, and how should an external examiner interpret them? Is there any spatial or temporal displacement, or do agents only communicate about their present situation? It is shown that there is very little self-organised communication, as yet, when examined on these grounds, and that most models only look at communication as relatively independent from other behaviours. As a conclusion, it is suggested to use integrated co-evolution of behaviours, including communication, in the spirit of the enactive cognitive science paradigm, and by using incremental evolution combined with learning.
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