Communicating with sentences: A multi-word naming game model

Yang LOU, Guanrong CHEN*, Jianwei HU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Naming game simulates the process of naming an object by a single word, in which a population of communicating agents can reach global consensus asymptotically through iteratively pair-wise conversations. We propose an extension of the single-word model to a multi-word naming game (MWNG), simulating the case of describing a complex object by a sentence (multiple words). Words are defined in categories, and then organized as sentences by combining them from different categories. We refer to a formatted combination of several words as a pattern. In such an MWNG, through a pair-wise conversation, it requires the hearer to achieve consensus with the speaker with respect to both every single word in the sentence as well as the sentence pattern, so as to guarantee the correct meaning of the saying; otherwise, they fail reaching consensus in the interaction. We validate the model in three typical topologies as the underlying communication network, and employ both conventional and man-designed patterns in performing the MWNG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-868
Number of pages12
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Early online date8 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council under the GRF Grant CityU11208515 , and the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61473321 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Complex networks
  • Multi-word naming game
  • Naming game
  • Sentence propagation


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