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 International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2007)

Evolutionary Perspective on Collective Decision Making

Dene Farrell
Bioengineering Department, Binghamton University

Hiroki Sayama
Bioengineering Department, Binghamton University

Shelley Dionne
School of Management, Binghamton University

Francis Yammarino
School of Management, Binghamton University

David Sloan Wilson
Biological Sciences, Binghamton University

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     Last modified: October 19, 2007

Team decision making dynamics are investigated from a novel perspective by shifting agency from decision makers to representations of potential solutions. We provide a new way to navigate social dynamics of collective decision making by interpreting decision makers as constituents of an evolutionary environment of an ecology of evolving solutions. We demonstrate distinct patterns of evolution with respect to three forms of variation: (1) Results with random variations in utility functions of individuals indicate that groups demonstrating minimal internal variation produce higher true utility values of group solutions and display better convergence; (2) analysis of variations in behavioral patterns within a group shows that a proper balance between selective and creative evolutionary forces is crucial to producing adaptive solutions; and (3) biased variations of the utility functions diminish the range of variation for potential solution utility, leaving only the differential of convergence performance static. We generally find that group cohesion (low random variation within a group) and composition (appropriate variation of behavioral patterns within a group) are necessary for a successful navigation of the solution space, but performance in both cases is susceptible to group level biases.

(Hiroki Sayama will present on behalf of Dene Farrell)

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