The impact of heterogeneity on threshold-limited social contagion, and on crowd decision-making

Authors
Karampourniotis, Panagiotis Dimitrios
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Other Contributors
Korniss, Gyorgy
Szymanśki, Bolesław
Meunier, Vincent
Lu, T.-M. (Toh-Ming), 1943-
Lim, Chjan C., 1959-
Issue Date
2017-08
Keywords
Physics
Degree
PhD
Terms of Use
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
This electronic version is a licensed copy owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Copyright of original work retained by author.
Full Citation
Abstract
First, to capture the complex nature of social influencing we use a simple but classic model of contagion spreading in complex social systems, namely the threshold model. We investigate numerically and analytically the transition in the behavior of threshold-limited cascades in the presence of multiple initiators as the distribution of thresholds is varied between the two extreme cases of identical thresholds and a uniform distribution. We show that individuals' heterogeneity of susceptibility governs the dynamics, resulting in different sizes of initiators needed for consensus.
Finally, we study the aggregated biases of humans in a global setting. The emergence of technology and globalization gives raise to the debate on whether the world moves towards becoming flat a world where preferential attachment does not govern economic growth. By studying the data from a global lending platform we discover that geographical proximity and cultural affinity are highly negatively correlated with levels of flatness of the world. Furthermore, we investigate the robustness of the flatness of the world against sudden catastrophic national events such as political disruptions, by removing countries (nodes) or connections (edges) between them.
Furthermore, given the impact of heterogeneity on the cascade dynamics, we investigate selection strategies for accelerating consensus. To this end, we introduce two new selection strategies for Influence Maximization. One of them focuses on finding the balance between targeting nodes which have high resistance to adoptions versus nodes positioned in central spots in networks. The second strategy focuses on the combination of nodes for reaching consensus, by targeting nodes which increase the group's influence. Our strategies outperform other existing strategies regardless of the susceptibility diversity and network degree assortativity.
Recent global events and their poor predictability are often attributed to the complexity of the world event dynamics. A key factor generating the turbulence is human diversity. Here, we study the impact of heterogeneity of individuals on opinion formation and emergence of global biases. In the case of opinion formation, we focus on the heterogeneity of individuals' susceptibility to new ideas. In the case of global biases, we focus on the aggregated heterogeneity of individuals in a country.
Description
August 2017
School of Science
Department
Dept. of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
Publisher
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Relationships
Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations Online Collection
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CC BY-NC-ND. Users may download and share copies with attribution in accordance with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. No commercial use or derivatives are permitted without the explicit approval of the author.