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Kaplan, F. (1998) A New Approach to Class Formation in Multi-Agent Simulations of Language Evolution. In Demazeau, Y., editor, ICMAS98. IEEE Computer Society.

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A new approach to class formation in multi­agent simulations of
language evolution
Fr'ed'eric Kaplan
SONY Computer Science Laboratory ­ 6 Rue Amyot, Paris
LIP6 ­ OASIS/MIRIAD ­ UPMC ­ 4, place Jussieu F­75252 Paris
Abstract Multi­agent models of language evolution usually in­ volve agents giving names to internal independently constructed categories. We present an approach in which the creation of categories is part of the language formation process itself. When an agent does not have a word for a particular object it is allowed to use the existing name of another object, close to the original one as defined by an analogy function. In this way, the names in the shared lexicon that has evolved in a collective way, directly yield the different object classes. We present the results of several simulations using this model showing under what conditions the agents will develop meaningful classes. We also examine the ef­ fects of an influx and outflux of agents. Finally we discuss the prospects for models in which the classes would constitute relevant complex taxonomies.
1 Introduction This work is part of a new approach on language origins and evolution. Instead of analyzing existing linguistic forms in order to trace back their roots, a bottom­up approach is considered. Language is viewed as a complex dynamical system that emerges through adaptive interactions between agents. Similar approaches are currently under study in social sciences [7][8]. The multi­agent paradigm seems well adapted to the study of these phenomena (see discussion in [6]). Interesting results have already been obtained for dif­ ferent areas of language: simple communication codes [2] [13] [15] [22], coordination [4] [5] meaning and class formation [16], conventional lexicons [10][17][20] , pho­ netics [3] and syntax [1][9][18]. An overview of this approach is given in [19]. This paper focuses on the links between class forma­ tion and lexicon building. This topic is a
  author={F. Kaplan},
  title={A New Approach to Class Formation in Multi-Agent Simulations of Language Evolution},
  editor={Demazeau, Y.},
  publisher={IEEE Computer Society},

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