The influence of social status and network structure on consensus building in collaboration networks

Ilire Mavriqi-Hasani, Florian Geigl, Subhash Chandra Pujari, Elisabeth Lex, Denis Helic

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    In this paper, we analyze the influence of social status on opinion dynamics and consensus building in collaboration networks. To that end, we simulate the diffusion of opinions in empirical networks and take into account both the network structure and the individual differences of people reflected through their social status. For our simulations, we adapt a well-known Naming Game model and extend it with the Probabilistic Meeting Rule to account for the social status of individuals participating in a meeting. This mechanism is sufficiently flexible and allows us to model various society forms in collaboration networks, as well as the emergence or disappearance of social classes. In particular, we are interested in the way how these society forms facilitate opinion diffusion. Our experimental findings reveal that (i) opinion dynamics in collaboration networks is indeed affected by the individuals’ social status and (ii) this effect is intricate and non-obvious. Our results suggest that in most of the networks the social status favors consensus building. However, relying on it too strongly can also slow down the opinion diffusion, indicating that there is a specific setting for an optimal benefit of social status on the consensus building. On the other hand, in networks where status does not correlate with degree or in networks with a positive degree assortativity consensus is always reached quickly regardless of the status.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1
    Number of pages17
    JournalSocial Network Analysis and Mining
    Volume6
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sep 2016

    Keywords

    • opinion dynamics
    • consensus building
    • collaboration networks
    • naming game

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