Decentralized Collective Learning for Self-managed Sharing Economies

The Internet of Things equips citizens with phenomenal new means for online participation in sharing economies. When agents self-determine options from which they choose, for instance their resource consump- tion and production, while these choices have a collective system-wide impact, optimal decision-making turns into a combinatorial optimization problem known as NP-hard. In such challenging computational problems, centrally managed (deep) learning systems often require personal data with implications on privacy and citizens’ autonomy. This paper envisions an alternative unsupervised and decentralized collective learning approach that preserves privacy, autonomy and participation of multi-agent systems self-organized into a hierarchical tree structure. Remote interactions orchestrate a highly efficient process for decentralized collective learning. This disruptive concept is realized by I-EPOS, the Iterative Economic Planning and Optimized Selections, accompanied by a paradigmatic software artifact. Strikingly, I-EPOS outperforms related algorithms that in- volve non-local brute-force operations or exchange full information. This paper contributes new experimental findings about the influence of network topology and planning on learning efficiency as well as findings on techno-socio-economic trade-offs and global optimality. Experimental evaluation with real-world data from energy and bike sharing pilots demonstrates the grand potential of collective learning to design ethically and socially responsible participatory sharing economies.


Decentralized Collective Learning for Self-managed Sharing Economies