Fashioning social simulations into engineering tools – the case of cooperation on P2P networks

By: David Hales and Bruce Edmonds
Date: 4 June 2004.
CPM Report No.: 03-134.

Published as: Hales, D. and Edmonds, B. (2005) Applying a Socially Inspired Technique (Tags) to Improve Cooperation in P2P Networks.  IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 35:385-395.


A sequence of simulation models is presented that applies, develops and explores a self-organizing cooperation-producing technique that does not require reciprocity even when subunits behave egotistically (selfishly). The models progress from the domain of social theory (group based cooperation) to an engineering-oriented domain (peer-to-peer file sharing). For each model we analyze the results of extensive computer simulations and draw conclusions concerning the domains of applicability of the technique. Based on these (and other) experiences, we sketch a generalized approach that develops and applies complex emergent techniques to real engineering problems – an approach which puts greater emphasis on hypothesizing and experimentation.

Keywords: Self-Organization, Tags, Peer-to-Peer systems, Networks, Prisoner’s Dilemma.

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