Signals: Evolution, Learning, and Information

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Overview

Brian Skyrms presents a fascinating exploration of how fundamental signals are to our world. He uses a variety of tools-theories of signaling games, information, evolution, and learning-to investigate how meaning and communication develop. He shows how signaling games themselves evolve, and introduces a new model of learning with invention. The juxtaposition of atomic signals leads to complex signals, as the natural product of gradual process. Signals operate in networks of senders and receivers at all levels of life. Information is transmitted, but it is also processed in various ways. That is how we think-signals run around a very complicated signaling network. Signaling is a key ingredient in the evolution of teamwork, in the human but also in the animal world, even in micro-organisms. Communication and co-ordination of action are different aspects of the flow of information, and are both affected by signals.

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Editorial Reviews

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"The argument is interesting throughout. Recommended." —CHOICE
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199582945
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/2/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Skyrms is a Distinguished Professor of logic and Philosophy of Science at the University of California Irvine, and Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Signals 5

2 Signals in Nature 20

3 Information 33

4 Evolution 48

5 Evolution in Lewis Signaling Games 63

6 Deception 73

7 Learning 83

8 Learning in Lewis Signaling Games 93

9 Generalizing Signaling Games: Synonyms, Bottlenecks, Category Formation 106

10 Inventing New Signals 118

11 Networks I: Logic and Information Processing 136

12 Complex Signals and Compositionality 145

13 Networks II: Teamwork 149

14 Learning to Network 161

Postscript 177

References 179

Index 197

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