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An agent-based model of exaptive processes


A key problem in research on innovations is that of understanding their origins. In this paper, we propose that radical innovations are created by a process of ’exaptation’, and we introduce a dynamical model that describes how it may happen. In particular, our model is focussed on the interplay between artefact innovation and attributions of functionality. We propose that the explicit representation of artefacts and categories eases the understanding of the exaptation phenomenon, seen in this context as a shift in terms of ‘leading attributions’ and allows the identification of the elements favouring the emergence of innovations.

Author:  David Lane, Marco Villani, Stefano Bonacini, Davide Ferrari, Roberto Serra