Convention Emergence with Congested Resources

Priel Levy, Nathan Griffiths

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Norms and conventions enable coordination in populations of agents by establishing patterns of behaviour, which can emerge as agents interact with their environment and each other. Previous research on norm emergence typically considers pairwise interactions, where agents’ rewards are endogenously determined. In many real-life domains, however, individuals do not interact with one other directly, but with their environment, and the resources associated with actions are often congested. Thus, agents’ rewards are exogenously determined as a function of others’ actions and the environment. In this paper, we propose a framework to represent this setting by: (i) introducing congested actions; and (ii) adding a central authority, that is able to manipulate agents’ rewards. Agents are heterogeneous in terms of their reward functions, and learn over time, enabling norms to emerge. We illustrate the framework using transport modality choice as a simple scenario, and investigate the effect of representative manipulations on the emergent norms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMulti-Agent Systems - 18th European Conference, EUMAS 2021, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsAriel Rosenfeld, Nimrod Talmon
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783030822538
StatePublished - 2021
Event18th European Conference on Multi-Agent Systems, EUMAS 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 28 Jun 202129 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12802 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference18th European Conference on Multi-Agent Systems, EUMAS 2021
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Congestion games
  • Conventions
  • Norm emergence


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