Competition in social networks: Emergence of a scale-free leadership structure and collective efficiency

M. Anghel, Z. Toroczkai, K.E. Bassler, and G. Korniss
Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 058701, 2004.

Using the minority game as a model for competition dynamics, we investigate the effects of inter-agent communications on the global evolution of the dynamics of a society characterized by competition for limited resources. The agents communicate across a social network with small-world character that forms the static substrate of a second network, the influence network, which is dynamically coupled to the evolution of the game. The influence network is a directed network, defined by the inter-agent communication links on the substrate along which communicated information is acted upon. We show that the influence network spontaneously develops hubs with a broad distribution of in-degrees, defining a robust leadership structure that is scale-free. Furthermore, in realistic parameter ranges, facilitated by information exchange on the network, agents can generate a high degree of cooperation making the collective almost maximally efficient.

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