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Exchange process-based social mechanisms and social functions: an operational approach to the macro functional aspects of agent societies

Antônio Carlos Rocha Costa ()
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Antônio Carlos Rocha Costa: Programa de Pós-Graduação em Informática na Educação/UFRGS

Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, 2018, vol. 24, issue 2, No 3, 188-223

Abstract: Abstract This paper presents elements for an operational approach to the formal modeling of the macro functional aspects of agent societies. The concept of agent society used in the paper is summarized. The exchange process-based concept of elementary social function is reviewed and a corresponding concept of elementary social mechanism is introduced. Together, these concepts allow for the recursive definition of the concept of functional system, with which one can account for the general functions performed by the core organizational structure of agent societies. Two case studies are developed to illustrate the type of functional modeling of agent societies that is enabled by the concepts introduced in the paper. The first case study concerns the functional analysis of a simple motivating thought experiment. The second concerns the use of agent societies as formal models for natural societies: it sketches the formalization of Pierre Bourdieu’s functional analysis of the reproduction process of contemporary human societies.

Keywords: Agent societies; Social mechanisms; Social functions; Exchange processes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s10588-017-9254-4

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