[Amath-seminars] Boeing Distinguished Lecture - Naomi Leonard - Jan. 20

Andrea Barreiro akb6 at washington.edu
Mon Jan 17 08:49:05 PST 2011

Dear all,

Our second Boeing lecturer of the quarter will speak this Thursday, Jan 20. See you there!


Boeing Distinguished Lecture Series

Naomi Leonard (Princeton University)

The role of interconnection in multi-agent decision making dynamics

Thursday, January 20, 2011
220 Guggenheim, 4:00 pm
(Reception to follow on 4th floor of Guggenheim)

Abstract: Social feedback plays a critical role in animal and human decision-making dynamics; it likewise provides inspiration for feedback design in multi-agent robotic systems and mixed teams of humans and robots. Social interactions in bird flocks and fish schools are credited with improving group responsiveness to external environmental stimuli and with maintaining group cohesiveness in the presence of uncertainty. Humans also gain in myriad ways from social interactions; however, as has been observed in recent human behavioral experiments, social feedback can negatively impact performance in certain types of decision-making tasks. I will present methodology derived to assess the influence of social feedback, and the topology of the interconnections, on decision-making dynamics in two contexts: 1) robustness of consensus decision making and 2) accuracy in tasks that require choosing between two alternatives. I will describe application to observational data of animal groups as part of an effort to identify underlying mechanisms of robust behavior. I will also discuss exploration of the role of social feedback in a human decision-making model that has been fitted to data from human experiments with two-alternative choice tasks in a social context.
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