Impact of Network Connectivity and Agent Commitment on Spread of Opinions In Social Networks
Authors: David Galehouse a, Tommy Nguyen a, Sameet Sreenivasan a, Omar Lizardo b, G. Korniss a
Abstract: The spread of opinions in social networks underlies other important socio-economical processes such as the spread of innovations, the acceptance of new technologies, or the speed of modernization of infrastructure and industries. Here, we present our results on spread of opinion and the fundamental role played in this spread by two characteristics of the agents, average interconnectivity and level of commitment to the current opinion. Those in turn are dependent on many cultural characteristics of the agent's society, such as trust in others, openness to new views, willingness to discuss certain opinions outside the narrow group of family and close friends, and so on. We also report on our initial investigation how the first factor, average connectivity of social network nodes, varies across cultures based on a study of a real social network. In our Binary Adoption Model (BAM) with committed agents, the spreading of opinions involves two stages. Without sufficient support, the committed minority can advance its cause only by increasing its ranks to the so-called tipping point fraction. After such a fraction is achieved, the opinion spreads rapidly across the society. We discuss how the tipping point fraction is impacted by the two social-based factors mentioned above.
Keywords: Spread of Opinions, Committed Agents, Tipping-points
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