Minds and Machines

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 419–441 | Cite as

Gossip-Based Self-Organising Agent Societies and the Impact of False Gossip

  • Sharmila Savarimuthu
  • Maryam Purvis
  • Martin Purvis
  • Bastin Tony Roy Savarimuthu


The objective of this work is to demonstrate how cooperative sharers and uncooperative free riders can be placed in different groups of an electronic society in a decentralised manner. We have simulated an agent-based open and decentralised P2P system which self-organises itself into different groups to avoid cooperative sharers being exploited by uncooperative free riders. This approach encourages sharers to move to better groups and restricts free riders into those groups of sharers without needing centralised control. Our approach is suitable for current P2P systems that are open and distributed. Gossip is used as a social mechanism for information sharing which facilitates the formation of groups. Using multi-agent based simulations we demonstrate how the adaptive behaviour of agents lead to self-organisation. We have tested with varying the gossip level and checked its impact in the system’s behaviour. We have also investigated the impact of false gossip in this system where gossip is the medium for information sharing which leads to self-organisation.


Self-organising systems Freeriding problem Peer-to-Peer cooperation File-sharing  Multi-agent systems Artificial societies 


  1. Antoniadis, P. & Grand, B. L. (2007). Incentives for resource sharing in self-organized communities: From economics to social psychology. In ICDIM (pp. 756–761). IEEE.Google Scholar
  2. Boyd, S., Ghosh, A., Prabhakar, B., & Shah, D. (2006) Randomized gossip algorithms. IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 52(6), 2508–2530.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Conte, R., & Paolucci, M. (2002). Reputation in artificial societies: social beliefs for social order. Norwell, MA, USA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. de Pinninck, A. P., Sierra, C., Schorlemmer, W. M. (2008). Distributed norm enforcement: Ostracism in open multi-agent systems. In: P. Casanovas, G. Sartor, N. Casellas, R. Rubino (Eds.) Computable Models of the law, languages, dialogues, games, ontologies, lecture notes in computer science, vol. 4884 (pp. 275–290). Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Dasgupta, P. (2003). Incentive driven node discovery in a p2p network using mobile intelligent agents. In H. R. Arabnia, R. Joshua, Y. Mun (Eds.) Proceedings of the international conference on artificial intelligence, IC-AI ’03, vol. 2 (pp. 750–756), June 23–26. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA: CSREA Press.Google Scholar
  6. Dunbar, R. (1996). Grooming, gossip and the evolution of language. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  7. Dunbar, R. (2004). Gossip in evolutionary perspective. Review of General Psychology, 8(2), 100–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Eugster, P., Felber. P., & Le Fessant. F. (2007). The “art” of programming gossip-based systems. SIGOPS Operating Systems Review, 41(5), 37–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ganesh, A. J., Kermarrec, A. M., & Massoulie, L. (2003). Peer-to-peer membership managementfor gossip-based protocols. IEEE Transactions on Computers, 52, 139–149. doi: 10.1109/TC.2003.1176982. URL http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=642778.642782.Google Scholar
  10. Gorodetsky, V., Karsaev, O., Samoylov, V., & Serebryakov, S. (2007). Multi-agent peer-to-peer intrusion detection. In V. Gorodetsky, Kotenko, I., Skormin V. A. (Eds.) Computer network security, communications in computer and information science, vol. 1 (pp. 260–271). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  11. Hales, D. (2004). Self-organising, open and cooperative P2P Societies—From tags to networks. In S. Brueckner, G. D. M. Serugendo, A. Karageorgos, R. Nagpal (Eds.) Engineering self-organising systems, Vol. 3464 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science (pp. 123–137). Springer (2004).Google Scholar
  12. Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162, 1243–1248.Google Scholar
  13. Hirshleifer, D., & Rasmusen, E. (1989). Cooperation in a repeated prisoners’ dilemma with ostracism. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 12(1), 87106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jelasity, M., Montresor, A., & Babaoglu, O. (2004). Detection and removal of malicious peers in gossip-based protocols. In FuDiCo II: S.O.S. Bertinoro, Italy.Google Scholar
  15. Jelasity, M., Montresor, A., & Babaoglu, O. (2005). Gossip-based aggregation in large dynamic networks. ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, 23, 219–252. doi: 10.1145/1082469.1082470.Google Scholar
  16. Kempe, D., Dobra, A., & Gehrke, J. (2003). Gossip-based computation of aggregate information. In Proceedings of the 44th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS ’03 (pp. 482–491). Washington, DC, USA: IEEE Computer Society. URL http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=946243.946317.
  17. Khan, S. K. A., & Tokarchuk, L. N. (2003). Interest-based self organization in group-structured p2p networks. In: Proceedings of the 6th IEEE conference on consumer communications and networking conference, CCNC’09 (pp. 1237–1241). Piscataway, NJ, USA: IEEE Press. URL http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1700527.1700827.
  18. Mordacchini, M., Baraglia, R., Dazzi, P., & Ricci, L. (2010). A p2p recommender system based on gossip overlays (prego). In Proceedings of the 2010 10th IEEE international conference on computer and information technology, CIT ’10 (pp. 83–90). Washington, DC, USA: IEEE Computer Society. doi: 10.1109/CIT.2010.502.
  19. Nakamaru, M., & Kawat, M. (2004). Evolution of rumors that discriminate lying defectors. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 6(2), 261–283.Google Scholar
  20. Nowak, M., & Sigmund, K. (1998). Evolution of indirect reciprocity by image scoring. Nature, 393(6685), 573–577. doi: 10.1038/31225 Google Scholar
  21. Nowak, M. (2006). Five rules for the evolution of cooperation. Science, 314(5805),1560–1563.Google Scholar
  22. Nowak, M., & Highfield, R. (2012). SuperCooperators. Canongate Books. URL http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=E2KcygAACAAJ.
  23. Oh, J. C. (1999). Ostracism for improving cooperation in the iterated prisoner’s dilemma game. In Proceedings of the 1999 congress on evolutionary computation, CEC 99, vol. 2 (pp. 891–896). doi: 10.1109/CEC.1999.782517.
  24. Ohtsuki, H., & Iwasa, Y. (2004). How should we define goodness?-reputation dynamics in indirect reciprocity. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 231, 107–120MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pacheco, J. M., Santos, F. C., Chalub, F. A. C. C. (2006). Stern-judging: A simple, successful norm which promotes cooperation under indirect reciprocity. PLoS Computational Biology, 2(12).Google Scholar
  26. Paine, R. (1967). What is gossip about? an alternative hypothesis. Man, 2(2), 278–285. URL http://www.jstor.org/stable/2799493.
  27. Paolucci, M., Marsero, M., & Conte, R. (2000). What is the use of gossip? A sensitivity analysis of the spreading of respectful reputation. In Tools and Techniques for Social Science Simulation (pp. 302–314). Physica-Verlag.Google Scholar
  28. Purvis, M. K., Savarimuthu, S. De Oliveira, M., Purvis, M. A. (2006). Mechanisms for Cooperative Behaviour in Agent Institution, In T. Nishida, M. Klusch, K. Sycara, M. Yokoo, J. Liu, B. Wah, W. Cheung, Y.-M. Cheung (Eds.) Proceedings of IEEE/WIC/ACM international conference on intelligent agent technology (IAT 2006) (pp. 121–124), ISBN 0-7695-2748-5. IEEE Press: Los Alamitos, CA.Google Scholar
  29. Roberts, J. M. (1964). The self-management of cultures. In: W. H. Goodenough (Ed.) Explorations in cultural anthropology essays in honor of George Peter Murdock (pp. 433–454). NewYork: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  30. Saroiu, S., Gummadi, P., & Gribbe, S. (2002). A measurement study of peer-to-peer file-sharing systems. Technical report UW-CSE-01-06002, University of Washington.Google Scholar
  31. Savarimuthu, S., Purvis, M. A., & Purvis, M. K. (2009). Self-organization of peers in agent societies. In IEEE/WIC/ACM international conference on web intelligence and intelligent agent technology (Milan, Italy, September 15–18, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7695-3801-3, Vol. 2 (pp. 74–77). Los Alamitos, CA, USA.Google Scholar
  32. Savarimuthu, S., Purvis, M. A., Purvis, M. K. & Savarimuthu, B. T. R. Mechanisms for the self-organization of peer groups in agent societies. In Proceedings of the of the 11th International Workshop on Multi-Agent-Based Simulation (MABS2010) (pp. 91–104). Toronto, Canada, May (2010).Google Scholar
  33. Savarimuthu, S., Purvis, M. K.,Purvis, M. A., & Savarimuthu, B. T. R. (2010). Gossip-based self-organising open agent societies. In The 13th international conference on principles and practice of multi-agent systems, vol. 7057 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science (pp. 105–120). Springer, November (2010).Google Scholar
  34. Savarimuthu, S. (2010d) Self-organising groups (gui for open society). University of Otago. URL http://unitube.otago.ac.nz/view?m=HbOw1pni7qS February 2010d.
  35. Skyrms, B., & Pemantle, R. (2000). A dynamic model of social network formation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 97(16), 9340–9346.CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  36. Skyrms, B. (2009). Groups and networks Their role in the evolution of cooperation. In: S. A. Levin (Ed.) Games Groups and the Global Good, Springer Series in Game Theory (pp. 105–114). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Physica-Verlag.Google Scholar
  37. Smead, R. (2010). Indirect reciprocity and the evolution of moral signals. Biology and Philosophy, 25(1), 33–51.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sommerfeld, R. D. , Krambeck, H. J., Semmann, D., & Milinski, M. (2007). Gossip as an alternative for direct observation in games of indirect reciprocity proceedings of the national academy of sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 104, No. 44 (Oct. 30, 2007) (pp. 17435–17440), Published by: National Academy of Sciences, Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25450253.
  39. Rebecca, S. B. (1956). Some psychological mechanisms operative in Gossip, social forces, Vol. 34, No. 3 (Mar., 1956) (pp. 262–267), Published by: University of North Carolina Press, Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2574050
  40. Suls, J. M. (1977). Gossip as social comparison. Journal of Communication, 27(1), 164–168. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.1977.tb01812.x.Google Scholar
  41. Thomsen, R. (1972). The origins of ostracism, A synthesis, (Gyldendal: Copenhagen, 1972).Google Scholar
  42. Yu, B., & Singh, M. P. (2000). A social mechanism of reputation management in electronic communities. In: M. Klusch, L. Kerschberg (eds.) Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Cooperative Information Agents IV, The Future of Information Agents in Cyberspace, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (pp. 154–165). London, UK: Springer. URL http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=647785.735555.
  43. Zaharia, M. A., & Keshav, S. (2008). Gossip-based search selection in hybrid peer-to-peer networks. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, 20(2), 139–153. URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cpe.1188

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharmila Savarimuthu
    • 1
  • Maryam Purvis
    • 1
  • Martin Purvis
    • 1
  • Bastin Tony Roy Savarimuthu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information ScienceUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations