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Future Internet 2018, 10(6), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi10060055

Simulating the Cost of Cooperation: A Recipe for Collaborative Problem-Solving

1
Center for the Study of Complex Dynamics (CSDC), University of Florence, Via di San Salvi 12, 50135 Firenze, Italy
2
Department of Education and Psychology, University of Florence, Via di San Salvi 12, 50135 Firenze, Italy
3
Department of Information Engineering, University of Florence, Via Santa Marta 3, 50139 Firenze, Italy
4
Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Via Girolamo Caruso 16, 56122 Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 9 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Techno-Social Smart Systems)
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Abstract

Collective problem-solving and decision-making, along with other forms of collaboration online, are central phenomena within ICT. There had been several attempts to create a system able to go beyond the passive accumulation of data. However, those systems often neglect important variables such as group size, the difficulty of the tasks, the tendency to cooperate, and the presence of selfish individuals (free riders). Given the complex relations among those variables, numerical simulations could be the ideal tool to explore such relationships. We take into account the cost of cooperation in collaborative problem solving by employing several simulated scenarios. The role of two parameters was explored: the capacity, the group’s capability to solve increasingly challenging tasks coupled with the collective knowledge of a group, and the payoff, an individual’s own benefit in terms of new knowledge acquired. The final cooperation rate is only affected by the cost of cooperation in the case of simple tasks and small communities. In contrast, the fitness of the community, the difficulty of the task, and the groups sizes interact in a non-trivial way, hence shedding some light on how to improve crowdsourcing when the cost of cooperation is high. View Full-Text
Keywords: group decision-making; collective intelligence; collective problem-solving; simulation study group decision-making; collective intelligence; collective problem-solving; simulation study
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Guazzini, A.; Duradoni, M.; Lazzeri, A.; Gronchi, G. Simulating the Cost of Cooperation: A Recipe for Collaborative Problem-Solving. Future Internet 2018, 10, 55.

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