Maximization of Potential Information Flow as a Universal Utility for Collective Behaviour
We explore how information theoretic quantities such as potential information flow (empowerment) can be used as a drive toward complex collective behaviour in the context of multi-agent systems. In a first experiment, we investigate the empowerment of two agents interacting in a grid world. We show that some conditions lead to higher empowerment than others, depending on the amount of interaction and the amount of information shared by the agents. We then investigate more deeply the tradeoff between freedom of the agents and the constraints they impose on each other. We show that there exist a trade-off between these where empowerment is maximized. In a third experiment, we show that agents behaving so as to maximize potential information transfer over time generate a wide range of complex collective behaviours. We then discuss how these notions can be compared to what happens in natural systems.