Adaptive Preferences for a Changing World: an AI study in the co-evolution of preferences and group formation.


Many strategic and economic situations are characterized by participant preferences that take into account the well being of others.  These preferences guide humans in their choices with whom to participate in economical or social activities.  Little attention has been given to how this group formation shapes these preferences and, vice versa, how these preferences shape formation of groups.

Here I will investigate how these other regarding preferences influence the matching of players, both in pairwise and N-player scenarios, and vice versa how group dynamics shape the beliefs and/or preferences (i.e. formation and adaptation of preference/belief models) of the individual agents participating in two concrete strategic problems: the dictator game and its extension the trust game. 

To tackle this problem I will combine existing research on preference handling and stable matching with the dynamical approaches used to analyze the population-wide dynamics typically used in evolutionary game theory.  Together they will allow us to explore how preferences are shaped over time, which processes are necessary to shape these preferences and how matching strategies influence the end product.  Moreover, they will provide insight into the convergence or divergence of population-wide preference models, allowing us to explore how agents come to agree or disagree on certain collective behavior.

To ensure the validity of this research, this theoretical research will be evaluated in the light of different behavioral economics experiments.  These experiments will not only ensure the validity of the results but it will also guide the research directions followed.  

Involved members: