Progressive Information Polarization in a Complex-Network Entropic Social Dynamics Model

Published on Mar 4, 2019in IEEE Access3.745
· DOI :10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2902400
Chao Wang7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Anhui University of Technology),
Jin Ming Koh12
Estimated H-index: 12
(SUTD: Singapore University of Technology and Design)
+ 1 AuthorsNeng-gang Xie10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Anhui University of Technology)
The advent of social media and technologies augmenting social communication has dramatically amplified the role of rumor spreading in shaping society, via means of misinformation and fact distortion. Existing research commonly utilize contagion mechanisms, statistical mechanics frameworks, or complex-network opinion dynamics models. In this paper, we incorporate information distortion and polarization effects into an opinion dynamics model based on information entropy, modeling imprecision in human memory and communication, and the consequent progressive drift of information toward subjective extremes. Simulation results predict a wide variety of possible system behavior, heavily dependent on the relative trust placed on individuals of differing social connectivity. Mass-polarization toward a positive or negative consensus occurs when a synergistic mechanism between preferential trust and polarization tendencies is sustained; a division of the population into segregated groups of different polarity is also possible under certain conditions. These results may aid in the analysis and prediction of opinion polarization phenomena on social platforms, and the presented agent-based modeling approach may aid in the simulation of complex-network information systems.
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