The paper which Ezequiel and me submitted to the 10th International Conference on the Simulation of Adaptive Behavior (SAB’08) has been accepted as an oral presentation. The title and abstract of our contribution are as follows:
Stability of coordination requires mutuality of interaction in a model of embodied agents
Tom Froese & Ezequiel A. Di Paolo
Abstract. We used an evolutionary robotics methodology to generate pairs of simulated agents capable of reliably establishing and maintaining a coordination pattern under noisy conditions. The agents were only evolved for this ability and not for their capacity to detect social contingency. However, when they were made to interact with a previously recorded, successful behavioral sequence, the coordination pattern could not be maintained. An analysis of the system’s underlying dynamics revealed (i) that stability of the coordination pattern requires mutuality of interaction, and (ii) that the interaction process is not only constituted by but also constitutive of individual behavior. We suggest that such termination of interaction is a general property of a certain class of interactively coupled dynamical systems, and conclude that psychological explanations of an individual’s sensitivity to social contingency need to take into account the role of the interaction process.