Abstract

Referential communication is a ”representation-hungry” behavior, and the bee waggle dance is a classical example of referential communication in nature. We used an evolutionary robotics approach to create a simulation model of a minimalist example of this situation. Two structurally identical agents engage in embodied interaction such that one of them can find a distant target in 2D space that only the other could perceive. This is a challenging task: during their interaction the agents must disambiguate translational and communicative movements, allocate distinct behavioral roles (sender versus receiver), and switch behaviors from communicative to target seeking behavior. We found an evolutionary convention with compositionality akin to the waggle dance, correlating duration and angle of interaction with distance and angle to target, respectively. We propose that this behavior is more appropriately described as interactive mindshaping, rather than as the transfer of informational content.

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