Noyce Conference Room
  US Mountain Time

This event is private.

Didier Sornette (ETH Zurich)

Abstract.  In the first part of the seminar, we present a new analysis of a representative sample 254 open source software (OSS) projects that show how development activity of successful open innovation projects occurs in productive bursts. Such bursts are important because they contribute to an overall enhanced effectiveness of the workforce according to a remarkable robust quantitative super-linear productivity law. Thus, it is in the projects’ (and managers’) interest to design organizations that will enable and benefit from bursts. Based on observations of OSS projects, we generate six design principles to help managers deal with organizational challenges in open innovation: 1) transparency; 2) self-censored clans; 3) emergent technology; 4) problem front-loading; 5) distributed screening; and 6) modularity.

In the second part of the seminar, we identify the mechanisms that account for the emergence of strong reciprocity in human cooperation. By combining an evolutionary perspective together with an expected utility model and agent-based simulations in evolutionary framework,  we explain the emergence of fairness preferences and altruistic punishment in voluntary contribution occurring in  public good games. The present work fills the gap between the literature on the theory of evolution applied to cooperation and punishment, and the empirical findings from experimental economics. The approach is motivated by previous findings on other-regarding behavior, the co-evolution of culture, genes and social norms, as well as bounded rationality. We find the emergence of two distinct evolutionary regimes that force agents to converge either to a defection state or to a state of coordination, depending on the predominant set of self- or other-regarding preferences. Moreover, we determine that subjects in laboratory experiments of public goods games with punishment coordinate and punish defectors as a result of an aversion against disadvantageous inequitable outcomes. We identify disadvantageous inequity aversion as evolutionary dominant and stable in a heterogeneous population of agents endowed initially only with purely self-regarding preferences. We validate our model using previously obtained results from three independently conducted experiments of public goods games with punishment.

Research Collaboration
SFI Host: 
Doug Erwin