Summary: Convention in Joint Activity
Computer Science Department
Volen Center for Complex Systems
Waltham, MA 02254
Technical Report: CS-98-199
Revised March, 2000.
Conventional behaviors develop from practice for regularly occurring problems of
coordination within a community of actors. Re-using and extending conventional meth-
ods for coordinating behavior is the task of everyday reasoning.
The computational model presented in the paper details the emergence of conven-
tion in circumstances where there is no ruling body of knowledge developed by prior
generations of actors within the community to guide behavior. The framework we as-
sume combines social theories of cognition with human information processing models
that have been developed within Cognitive Science. The model presented reflects both
elements of the framework. Conventional behaviors are partially coded in the predis-