Opinion and community formation in coevolving networks.

Gerardo Iñiguez, János Kertész, Kimmo K. Kaski, and R. A. Barrio
Physical Review E 80, 066119-9, 2009

In human societies, opinion formation is mediated by social interactions, consequently taking place on a network of relationships and at the same time influencing the structure of the network and its evolution. To investigate this coevolution of opinions and social interaction structure, we develop a dynamic agent-based network model by taking into account short range interactions like discussions between individuals, long range interactions like a sense for overall mood modulated by the attitudes of individuals, and external field corresponding to outside influence. Moreover, individual biases can be naturally taken into account. In addition, the model includes the opinion-dependent link-rewiring scheme to describe network topology coevolution with a slower time scale than that of the opinion formation. With this model, comprehensive numerical simulations and mean field calculations have been carried out and they show the importance of the separation between fast and slow time scales resulting in the network to organize as well-connected small communities of agents with the same opinion.

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