Vagueness and Imprecise Imitation in Signalling Games

Abstract

Signalling games are popular models for studying the evolution of meaning, but typical approaches do not incorporate vagueness as a feature of successful signalling. Complementing recent like-minded models, we describe an aggregate population-level dynamic that describes a process of imitation of successful behaviour under imprecise perception and realization of similar stimuli. Applying this new dynamic to a generalization of Lewis’s signalling games, we show that stochastic imprecision leads to vague, yet by-and-large efficient signal use, and, moreover, that it unifies evolutionary outcomes and helps avoid sub-optimal categorization. The upshot of this is that we see ‘as-if’-generalization at an aggregate level, without agents actually generalizing. _1_ Introduction _2_ Background _2.1_ Sim-max games and conceptual spaces _2.2_ Vagueness in sim-max games and conceptual spaces _2.3_ Vagueness, functional pressure, and transmission biases _3_ Imprecise Imitation _3.1_ Replicator dynamic in behavioural strategies _3.2_ Noise-perturbed conditional imitation _4_ Exploring Imprecise Imitation _4.1_ Setting the stage _4.2_ Simulation set-up _4.3_ Measures of interest _4.4_ Results _5_ Discussion _5.1_ Levels of vagueness _5.2_ Evolutionary benefits of imprecision _5.3_ Related work _6_ Conclusion Appendix

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José Pedro Correia
University of Porto

References found in this work

Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Lewis - 1969 - Synthese 26 (1):153-157.
Convention: A Philosophical Study.David K. Lewis - 1971 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 4 (2):137-138.
Conceptual Spaces: The Geometry of Thought.Peter Gärdenfors - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):180-181.
Attention, Similarity, and the Identification–Categorization Relationship.Robert M. Nosofsky - 1986 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 115 (1):39-57.

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Citations of this work

Games and Kinds.Cailin O’Connor - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):719-745.
Games and Kinds.Cailin O’Connor - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx027.
Doping, Debunking, and Drawing the Line.Eric Gilbertson - 2020 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 15 (2):160-184.

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