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Dynamics of opinion forming in structurally balanced social networks

TitleDynamics of opinion forming in structurally balanced social networks
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsAltafini, C
JournalPloS one. 2012 ; 7(6):e38135

A structurally balanced social network is a social community that splits into two antagonistic factions (typical example being a two-party political system). The process of opinion forming on such a community is most often highly predictable, with polarized opinions reflecting the bipartition of the network. The aim of this paper is to suggest a class of dynamical systems, called monotone systems, as natural models for the dynamics of opinion forming on structurally balanced social networks. The high predictability of the outcome of a decision process is explained in terms of the order-preserving character of the solutions of this class of dynamical systems. If we represent a social network as a signed graph in which individuals are the nodes and the signs of the edges represent friendly or hostile relationships, then the property of structural balance corresponds to the social community being splittable into two antagonistic factions, each containing only friends.


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