Communication Networks in the Context of Social Capital
Communication Networks in the Context of Social Capital
  • Cha Joo-hak (
  • 승인 2014.01.20 23:26
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The nineth article of the concrete methodology for building social capital

SEOUL, KOREA - In real life situations, people often have a limited amount of information and make decisions accordingly. Knowledge is always incomplete, partial or bounded. In decision-making, rationality of individuals is limited by the information they have, the cognitive limitations of their minds, and the finite amount of time they have to make a decision.

Homo Economicus may be so "on average rational" or “fuzzily rational”, that he in fact contributes not only to the satisfaction of needs of which he does not know, but sometimes even to the achievement of ends of which he would disapprove if he knew about them. And he cannot help this because he does not know for what purposes the goods or services which he supplies to others will be used by them. Furthermore, he assists in the realization of other people’s aims without sharing them or even knowing them, and solely in order to achieve his own aim. So long as collaboration or cooperation presupposes common purposes, he is necessarily an enemy who may fight the others with different aims for the same means; the introduction of barter made it possible for the different individuals to be of use to each other without agreeing on the ultimate ends. Because he as a decision-maker lacks the ability and resources to arrive at the optimal solution, he instead applies his so-called rationality only after having greatly simplified the choices available. Thus the decision-maker may be a satisfier, one seeking a satisfactory solution rather than the optimal one according to his preference, though he views decision-making as a fully rational process of finding an optimal choice given the information available.

Interactions between individuals or entities with conflicting interests follow action plans designed by each individual, in such a way as to achieve a particular selfish goal; such interactions are known as strategic interactions.


How to promote cooperative behavior in interactive situations between heterogeneous entities


Strategic Interactions by Game Theory develop models that prescribe actions for individuals interacting in a strategic manner, such that they achieve satisfactory gains from the situation. In a strategic situation, the individual's success depends on the choice of actions by others. Accordingly, a logical behavior would be to attempt to find equilibria between the individuals (called the players), i.e., sets of strategies (action sequences) that players will unlikely want to change, since if they do they will most probably benefit-less. The individuals make satisfactory choices, which are profitable according to each individual's own interpretation of profit.


But the cause of the wealth-creating Strategic Interactions is that the returns of the efforts of each player act as the signs which enable him to contribute to the satisfaction of needs of which he does not know, and to do so by taking advantage of conditions of which he also learns only indirectly through their being reflected in the prices of the factors of production which they use. And Strategic Interactions supply to each player information which enables him to provide for needs of which he has no direct knowledge and by the use of means of the existence of which without it he would have no cognizance, thus bringing about the satisfaction of a greater range of needs than would otherwise be possible. Conceptually, information is the conveyed message. In a general sense, information is "Knowledge Communicated or Received concerning a particular fact or circumstance". Information cannot be predicted and resolve uncertainty. The uncertainty of an event is measured by its probability of occurrence and is inversely proportional to that. The more uncertain an event, the more information is required to resolve uncertainty of that event.


Communication Network for Information and Strategic Interactions is an area in which multiple interactive situations arise among networking the entities. Such interactive situations may be hard to resolve satisfactorily because of the conflicting goals of the participating the entities. It is often the case that cooperation in such interactive situations may be beneficial to all the entities involved; however, cooperation is normally hard to enforce, unless specific conditions can be applied. An example of such a network is a converged communication network, a paradigm found in Next (4th) Generation Telecommunication Networks, where heterogeneous access technologies may coexist. Among other features, this new network model enables a user (or a set of users) to be served by any (one or many) of the multiple, available access networks. These access networks carry differing characteristics and capabilities encouraging the decoupling of carriage and content, i.e., the infrastructure operators and the service or content providers can be different the entities in this new system. As part of the same network, these entities may need to cooperate in order to serve the users of the networks while maintaining their own goals as self-managed entities. For this specific network, the common thread that links all this heterogeneity is the support for a user-centric paradigm of communication, converging all activities to the system's key function, i.e., to satisfy its customers. Cooperation in Next (4th) Generation Communication Networks can take advantage of these varying characteristics, and exploit them in complementary manners in order to surpass any limits imposed by any one of these networks on their own, through appropriate network synergies.


Synergies, i.e., cooperation between participating entities in communication networks, promote the useful coexistence of the participating entities, aiming at enhancing the overall network, since the support of demanding services, as for example interactive and multiparty multimedia services, can become a challenging task due to the heterogeneity of the entities involved, the user(s), and the access network(s). This heterogeneity results in different and often conflicting interests for these entities. Since cooperation between these entities, if achieved, is expected to be beneficial, we explore examples of interactive situations arising in such communication networks, and show how cooperation is beneficial for the interacting entities, i.e., how the proposed cooperative modes of behavior allow the interacting entities to achieve their own satisfaction, despite their conflicting interests, and how this cooperation can be encouraged. In fact, there exist multiple interactive situations in communication networks among the entities participating in such networks where cooperation of the entities might be a beneficial or even a necessary way to achieve certain goals of the participating entities.


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