Biased Opinion Dynamics: When the Devil is in the Details
Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Main track. Pages 53-59. https://doi.org/10.24963/ijcai.2020/8
We investigate opinion dynamics in multi-agent networks when there exists a bias toward one of two possible opinions; for example, reflecting a status quo vs a superior alternative. Starting with all agents sharing an initial opinion representing the status quo, the system evolves in steps. In each step, one agent selected uniformly at random adopts with some probability a the superior opinion, and with probability 1 - a it follows an underlying update rule to revise its opinion on the basis of those held by its neighbors. We analyze the convergence of the resulting process under two well-known update rules, namely majority and voter. The framework we propose exhibits a rich structure, with a nonobvious interplay between topology and underlying update rule. For example, for the voter rule we show that the speed of convergence bears no significant dependence on the underlying topology, whereas the picture changes completely under the majority rule, where network density negatively affects convergence. We believe that the model we propose is at the same time simple, rich, and modular, affording mathematical characterization of the interplay between bias, underlying opinion dynamics, and social structure in a unified setting.
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