Cognitive heuristics for distributed resource allocation/selection
University of Athens, Dept of Informatics and Telecommunications, Max Planck Institute for Human Development
Information and communication technologies (ICT) increasingly penetrate a broad range of human activities, transforming the way these activities are carried out, altering the human perception about the network and its services, but also shaping human experiences and lifestyles. The integration of sensing devices of various sizes, scope and capabilities with mobile communication devices, on the one hand, and the wide proliferation of online social applications, on the other, leverage the heterogeneity of users in terms of interests, preferences, and mobility, and enable the collection of huge amounts of information with very different spatial and temporal context.
These amounts of information can enrich dramatically people’s awareness (and foster more efficient management) of their environment, whether this is the natural environment or the physical space they move in while working, driving, or entertaining themselves. In parallel, this knowledge provides them, at least potentially, with the opportunity to make more informed/intelligent decisions about the way they access and use the resources of this environment, which again range from natural goods such as water and electricity, to human artefacts such as urban space and transportation infrastructure. Nevertheless, the easier acquisition of environmental information has its negative side as well. It synchronizes the perception of different actors about the state of resources and, at a second and most important level, their decisions.
The objective of the proposed action is two-fold. First, it aims at breaking some fresh ground in understanding the impact of cognitive mechanisms and heuristics on the efficiency of distributed resource allocation mechanisms, where resources come under the broader family of rivalrous, non-excludable goods (common goods). Secondly, it intends to revisit implicit assumptions about the amount and nature of information that is generated and presented to the human actors, in an attempt to alleviate some of the synchronization/competition phenomena that are evidenced when accessing resources with common good features. Ultimately, the action seeks to contribute to the EINS NoE effort in JRA1 to develop a theory for Internet Science; in particular, to promote the behavioral/cognitive viewpoint in the activities of EINS task R1.1 “An economics theory for information networks”.