Talks & Seminars
Title: Group Knowledge, Communication and Behavior
Prof. Rohit Parikh, City University of New York
Date & Time: January 20, 2016 14:30
Venue: Lecture Hall, B Block, 02nd/03rd Floors, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Kanwal Rekhi (KReSIT) Building
We discuss three issues regarding group knowledge. 1) How can we tell by the behavior of agents in a group what their beliefs are or at least what they are not? For instance someone going out without an umbrella reveals the fact that she does not know (believe) it is raining. She does not need to tell us, we can infer what she believes from what she does. We deal not only with beliefs of agents about the world but also with their beliefs about the beliefs of other agents and so on. A principal tool used is the notion of rationalizable strategy, defined by Bernheim and Pearce in Econometrica 1984 but generalized to take into account the different states of knowledge of the agents. The tools developed apply not only to agents who are competent users of language but also animals and children and agents who have reason to deceive. 2) How can we influence the behavior of agents by influencing what they know or what they believe? We give a theoretical account of this and also show that for any state of knowledge described by a finite Kripke structure, there is an n-tuple of signals that can be sent, one to each agent which will create precisely that state of knowledge. We distinguish between cautious and aggressive agents and point out that given the same choice situation, the two kinds of agents may act differently. Thus knowing the temperament of the agent helps us to predict its behavior. 3) As a special case of 2) when a candidate is running for election and facing various groups of voters who have different wishes, how should she speak so as to make her own perception better in the eyes of the voters? The work in 1) is work under progress. Work in 2) is joint with CagilTasdemir, a recent doctorate from CUNY, and Andreas Witzel, now working at Google in New York. Work in 3) is joint with Tasdemir. It is a sequel to some work with Walter Dean which was previously presented at ICLA.
Speaker Profile:
Prof. Rohit Parikh is currently a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, Philosophy and Mathematics at Graduate Center, City University New York. He is also affiliated to the Department of Computer Science, Brooklyn College. His research interests have spanned Formal languages, Automata Theory, Recursive function theory, Proof theory, Non-standard analysis, Logic of programs, Logic of knowledge, Philosophy of Language, Belief revision, Social software and Game theory. However, the theme which concerns most of his recent papers is Social Software, an analysis of social procedures, from elections to cake cutting, using ideas from Computer Science, Game Theory and Logic. The following is a partial list of some of his seminal contributions over the years: - formal language theory, especially inherently ambiguous languages and semilinear sets - mathematical logic, specifically lengths of proofs and feasible arithmetic - logic in computer science, dynamic logic and logics of knowledge philosophical logic, especially vagueness, nonmonotonic reasoning, and belief revision - social software, including the logic of games. For more details about Prof. Parikh, visit http://www.sci.brooklyn.cuny.edu/cis/parikh/ .
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