Projects in Previous Years

1st Semester 2009/10: Formal and game-theoretic aspects of norms

St├ęphane Airiau, Davide Grossi
If you are interested in this project, please contact the instructors by e-mail.

Norms or conventions generally guide the choice of behaviors in human societies. Conformity to norms reduces social frictions, relieves cognitive load on humans, and facilitates coordination. ``Everyone conforms, everyone expects others to conform, and everyone has good reason to conform because conforming is in each person's best interest when everyone else plans to conform'' (D. Lewis, 1969). This topic is the concern of various disciplines including social sciences (using game theoretic models), logics, and multiagent systems. The goal of the project is to get acquainted with the issue of norms in these different fields.

The project will focus on two main topics within the theory of norms:
  1. what is the logic of norms?
  2. how does norm "emerge" within a given society?
These topics will be addressed from an interdisciplinary point of view, by reviewing a selection of papers from different research fields (see list): philosophy, logic, game theory, computer science. The project will be structured in the form of a seminar, so it will take place only conditionally to a sufficient number of students (at least 3). The participants will also be encouraged to attend the workshop on Norm Change that will be held on January 18-19th at the illc (details will be provided soon).
The course presupposes some basic knowledge of modal logic and game theory.
Students will present two articles among the ones selected and write a short essay at the end of the seminar. The participation in the discussion at the end of each session will also contribute to the final assessment.