The dynamics and characteristics behind intelligent cognitive systems lie at the heart of understanding, and devising, successful solutions to a variety of multiagent problems. Despite the extant literature on collective intelligence, important questions like “how does the effectiveness of a collective compare to its isolated members?” and “are there some general rules or properties shaping the spread of intelligence across various cognitive systems and environments?” remain somewhat of a mystery. In this paper we develop the idea of collective intelligence by giving some insight into a range of factors hindering and influencing the effectiveness of interactive cognitive systems. We measure the influence of each examined factor on intelligence independently, and empirically show that collective intelligence is a function of them all simultaneously. We further investigate how the organisational structure of equally sized groups shapes their effectiveness. The outcome is fundamental to the understanding and prediction of the collective performance of multiagent systems, and for quantifying the emergence of intelligence over different environmental settings.
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