Theory-choice, transient diversity and the efficiency of scientific inquiry

Dunja Šešelja
Eindhoven University of Technology
Recent studies of scientific interaction based on agent-based models suggest that a crucial factor conducive to efficient inquiry is what Zollman has dubbed ‘transient diversity’. It signifies a process in which a community engages in parallel exploration of rivaling theories lasting sufficiently long for the community to identify the best theory and to converge on it. But what exactly generates transient diversity? And is transient diversity a decisive factor when it comes to the efficiency of inquiry? In this paper we examine the impact of different conditions on the efficiency of inquiry, as well as the relation between diversity and efficiency. This includes certain diversity-generating mechanisms previously proposed in the literature, as well as some factors that have so far been neglected. This study is obtained via an argumentation-based ABM. Our results suggest that cautious decision-making does not always have a significant impact on the efficiency of inquiry while different evaluations underlying theory-choice and different social networks do. Moreover, we find a correlation between diversity and a successful performance of agents only under specific conditions, which indicates that transient diversity is sometimes not the primary factor responsible for efficiency. Altogether, when comparing our results to those obtained by structurally different ABMs based on Zollman’s work, the impact of specific factors on efficiency of inquiry, as well as the role of transient diversity in achieving efficiency, appear to be highly dependent on the underlying model.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s13194-019-0249-5
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,483
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Value of Cognitive Diversity in Science.Samuli Pöyhönen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4519-4540.
Diversity and the Fate of Objectivity.Karyn L. Freedman - 2009 - Social Epistemology 23 (1):45-56.
Complexity, Diversity and the Role of the Public Sphere on the Internet.Nathan Eckstrand - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism:019145371989000.
A Semantic Taxonomy for Diversity Measures.Carlo Ricotta - 2007 - Acta Biotheoretica 55 (1):23-33.


Added to PP index

Total views
4 ( #1,144,071 of 2,286,524 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #323,129 of 2,286,524 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature