Modelling Culture with Complex, Multi-dimensional, Multi-agent Systems

  • Alexis MorrisEmail author
  • William Ross
  • Hadi Hosseini
  • Mihaela Ulieru
Part of the Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality book series (SIPS, volume 3)


Culture plays a significant role in human civilizations as a key determinant of relationships and organization formation; however, its role, key properties, and mechanisms are not yet fully understood. This work explores culture and cultural modelling from a complex systems, multi-dimensional, and multi-agency standpoint. The need for performing such modelling and simulation is evident since in-vivo organizational experiments are costly, not easily generalizable, and require lengthy analyses that may not be feasible in critical situations. Exploring the role and influence of culture on organizations is the aim of this chapter, whereby definitions, dimensions, and experiments are introduced in order to show the evolution and emergence of culture as a complex, distributed, social system. This work contributes to culture studies by (a) adding to the literature of culture as a complex system, (b) presenting a new seven-dimensional model to describe and encapsulate culture, and (c) simulating cultural interactions using a multi-agent system of high-functioning agents that achieve an equilibrium of beliefs.


Cultural Belief Cultural Event Deontic Logic Cultural Interaction Influential Agent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Alvesson, M.: Understanding organisational culture. Human Resource Management Journal 13 (2003)Google Scholar
  2. Ashkanasy, N., Wilderom, C., Peterson, M.: Handbook of organizational culture & climate. Sage Publications, Inc (2000)Google Scholar
  3. Bar-Yam, Y.: Dynamics of complex systems. Perseus Books Cambridge, MA, USA (1997)Google Scholar
  4. Bicocchi, N., Ross, W., Ulieru, M.: A simulation modelling approach enabling joint emergency response operations. In: Systems Man and Cybernetics (SMC), 2010 IEEE International Conference on, IEEE (2010) 1832–1837Google Scholar
  5. Clancey, W., Sachs, P., Sierhuis, M., Van Hoof, R.: Brahms: Simulating practice for work systems design. International Journal of Human Computer Studies 49 (1998) 831–866Google Scholar
  6. Conte, R., Castelfranchi, C., Dignum, F.: Autonomous norm acceptance. In: Intelligent Agents V. Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages: 5th International Workshop, ATAL’98, Paris, France, July 1998. Proceedings, Springer (2000) 66–66Google Scholar
  7. Dignum, F., Dignum, V.: Emergence and enforcement of social behavior. 18th World IMACS / MODSIM Congress, Cairns, Australia (2009)Google Scholar
  8. Dignum, F., Dignum, V., Jonker, C.: Towards agents for policy making. Multi-Agent-Based Simulation IX (2009) 141–153Google Scholar
  9. Floridi, L.: What is the Philosophy of Information? Metaphilosophy 33 (2002) 123–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hatch, M., Cunliffe, A.: Organization theory: Modern, symbolic, and postmodern perspectives. Volume 379. Oxford University Press Oxford (1997)Google Scholar
  11. Hofstede, G.: Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations. Sage Publications, Inc (2001)Google Scholar
  12. Hosseini, H.: A Reinforcement Learning Approach to Dynamic Norm Generation. Master’s thesis, University of New Brunswick (2010)Google Scholar
  13. Hosseini, H., Ulieru, M.: How Adaptable Are Your Norms? Leveraging Domain Knowledge to Learn Normative Behaviors. In Proceedings of Adaptive and Learning Agents (ALA) workshop at Tenth international joint conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS). Taiwan; 2–6 May 2011. (2011)Google Scholar
  14. Kroeber, A., Kluckhohn, C., Untereiner, W., Meyer, A.: Culture: A critical review of concepts and definitions. Vintage Books New York (1952)Google Scholar
  15. Kroeber, A., Kluckhohn, C., Untereiner, W., Meyer, A., of American Archaeology, P.M., Ethnology: Culture: A critical review of concepts and definitions. Vintage Books New York (1963)Google Scholar
  16. Morris, A., Ross, W., Ulieru, M.: Modelling Culture in Multi-agent Organizations. AMPLE Workshop Proceedings, Tenth international joint conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS). Taiwan; 2–6 May 2011. (2011)Google Scholar
  17. Rao, A., Georgeff, M.: BDI agents: From theory to practice. In: Proceedings of the first international conference on multi-agent systems (ICMAS-95), San Francisco, CA (1995) 312–319Google Scholar
  18. Savarimuthu, B., Cranefield, S., Purvis, M., Purvis, M.: Role model based mechanism for norm emergence in artificial agent societies. In: Proceedings of the 2007 international conference on Coordination, organizations, institutions, and norms in agent systems III, Springer-Verlag (2007) 203–217Google Scholar
  19. Ulieru, M., Verdon, J.: Organizational transformation in the digital economy. In: 7th IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics (INDIN), IEEE (2009) 17–24Google Scholar
  20. Von Bertalanffy, L.: General system theory: Foundations, development, applications. G. Braziller New York (1968)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexis Morris
    • 1
    Email author
  • William Ross
    • 1
  • Hadi Hosseini
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mihaela Ulieru
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Computer Science, Adaptive Risk Management LaboratoryThe University of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada
  2. 2.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

Personalised recommendations