Topics in Social Software: Information in Strategic Situations

Thesis: Download full thesis, BibTeX

Thesis Supervisor: Rohit Parikh (CUNY)

Thesis Committee: Horacio Arlo-Costa (CMU), Sergie Artemov (CUNY), Steven Brams (NYU), Melvin Fitting (CUNY)


    Social software is an emerging interdisciplinary field devoted to the design and analysis of social procedures. This new field has recently gained the attention of a wide range of research communities, including computer scientists, game theorists and philosophers. The main idea behind social software is that constructing and verifying social procedures should be pursued as systematically as computer software is pursued by computer scientists. The logical systems developed in this thesis are intended to facilitate such an analysis.

    Although the analogy between computer software and social software is strong, there are some important differences. For example, two issues which are important for an analysis of social procedures but less crucial for computer software are the exchange of (and occasional hiding of) information, and the provision of incentives. Concurrency theory, cryptography and distributed computing have all addressed the first issue. However, many of the underlying assumptions in these fields make applying these results to social procedures unrealistic. The second issue has been more or less the province of game theory. But game theory tends to study the area in rather simple terms lacking the sophisticated tools of computer science such as modularization or data types. The objective of this thesis is to develop formal frameworks which may be used to verify social procedures, with special attention paid to naturally modeling the flow of information in a social situation.

Related Publications:
  1. Survey article on Social Software
    1. Eric Pacuit and Rohit Parikh (2006), Social Interaction, Knowledge, and Social Software. In Interactive Computation: The New Paradigm, Springer-Verlag, Dina Goldin, Scott Smolka and Peter Wegner (eds.). (PDF, BIB, Webpage)
  2. Article based on Chapter 2
    1. Eric Pacuit (2007), Some Comments on History Based Structures, Journal of Applied Logic. (PDF, BIB, Official Journal Version)
  3. Article based on Chapter 3
    1. Eric Pacuit, Rohit Parikh and Eva Cogan (2006), The Logic of Knowledge Based Obligation, Synthese, Volume 2, Number 49. (PDF, BIB, Journal Version)
  4. Articles based on Chapter 4
    1. Eric Pacuit and Rohit Parikh (2004), The Logic of Communication Graphs. In Proceedings of DALT 2004, J. Leita, A. Omincini, P. Torroni and P. Yolum (eds.).
      (Electronic Version)
    2. Eric Pacuit and Rohit Parikh (2007), Reasoning about Communication Graphs. In Interactive Logic, Johan van Benthem, Benedikt Loewe, Dov Gabbay (eds.).
      (PDF, BIB, Order the Book)
  5. Articles based on Chapter 5
    1. Eric Pacuit (2004), Knowledge-theoretic Properties of Strategic Voting, Proceedings of Logics in Artificial Intelligence: 9th European Conference (JELIA), J. J. Alferes and J. Leite (eds.). (PDF, BIB, Electronic Version)
Defense Date: April 15, 2005

Proposal: Knowledge is strategic situations: A survey (presented at the Workshop Knowledge and Games 2004, University of Liverpool).