Quarterly (winter, spring, summer, fall)
128 pp. per issue
7 x 10, illustrated
2014 Impact factor:

Artificial Life

Winter 1998, Vol. 4, No. 1, Pages 109-124
(doi: 10.1162/106454698568477)
© 1998 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Evolution of Linguistic Diversity in a Simple Communication System
Article PDF (280.53 KB)

This article reports on the current state of our efforts to shed light on the origin and evolution of linguistic diversity using synthetic modeling and artificial life techniques. We construct a simple abstract model of a communication system that has been designed with regard to referential signaling in nonhuman animals. We analyze the evolutionary dynamics of vocabulary sharing based on these experiments. The results show that mutation rates, population size, and resource restrictions define the classes of vocabulary sharing. We also see a dynamic equilibrium, where two states, a state with one dominant shared word and a state with several dominant shared words, take turns appearing. We incorporate the idea of the abstract model into a more concrete situation and present an agent-based model to verify the results of the abstract model and to examine the possibility of using linguistic diversity in the field of distributed AI and robotics. It has been shown that the evolution of linguistic diversity in vocabulary sharing will support cooperative behavior in a population of agents.