Date of Award

1-1-2008

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Hexmoor, Henry

Abstract

Social reasoning and norms of a group of individuals that share a set of cultural traits are largely fashioned by those traits. We explored a few predominant sociological, cultural traits and developed a methodology for parametrically adjusting them. This exploratory study shows promise toward a capability to deliberately tune cultural group traits in order to produce desired group behavior. In order to validate our methodology, we implemented a prototypical agent based simulated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance scenario. In this simulation, a group of simulated agents traverse a hostile territory while a user adjusts cultural group trait values. The group and individual utilities are dynamically observed against values of selected cultural traits. Uncertainty avoidance index and individualism are the cultural traits we explored in depth. Upon user's training of the correspondence between cultural values and system utilities, the user is able to deliberately produce desired system utilities by issuing changes to trait values. Appropriateness of specific cultural values is not universal but determined by the domain and scenarios. This work heralds a path for control of large systems via parametric cultural adjustments.

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