The Dilemma of Saussurean Communication

Oliphant, Michael (1996) The Dilemma of Saussurean Communication. [Journal (Paginated)]

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A Saussurean communication system exists when an entire communicating population uses a single "language" that maps states unambiguously onto symbols and then back into the original states. This paper describes a number of simulations performed with a genetic algorithm to investigate the conditions necessary for such communication systems to evolve. The first simulation shows that Saussurean communication evolves in the simple case where direct selective pressure is placed on individuals to be both good transmitters and good receivers. The second simulation demonstrates that, in the more realistic case where selective pressure is only placed on doing well as a receiver, Saussurean communication fails to evolve. Two methods, inspired by research on the Prisoner's Dilemma, are used to attempt to solve this problem. The third simulation shows that, even in the absence of selective pressure on transmission, Saussurean communication can evolve if individuals interact multiple times with the same communication partner and are given the ability to respond differentially based on past interaction. In the fourth simulation, spatially organized populations are used, and it is shown that this allows Saussurean communication to evolve through kin selection.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:communication, langauge, evolution of communication, evolution of language, genetic algorithm, evolutionary computation, prisoner's dilemma, altruism
Subjects:Biology > Animal Behavior
Biology > Animal Cognition
Biology > Ethology
Biology > Evolution
Biology > Evolution
Computer Science > Language
Computer Science > Dynamical Systems
Linguistics > Computational Linguistics
Linguistics > Learnability
Linguistics > Semantics
ID Code:169
Deposited By: Oliphant, Michael
Deposited On:15 Jun 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:53


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