Contagion on Complex Networks with Persuasion

The threshold model has been widely adopted as a classic model for studying contagion processes on social networks. We consider asymmetric individual interactions in social networks and introduce a persuasion mechanism into the threshold model. Specifically, we study a combination of adoption and persuasion in cascading processes on complex networks. It is found that with the introduction of the persuasion mechanism, the system may become more vulnerable to global cascades, and the effects of persuasion tend to be more significant in heterogeneous networks than those in homogeneous networks: a comparison between heterogeneous and homogeneous networks shows that under weak persuasion, heterogeneous networks tend to be more robust against random shocks than homogeneous networks; whereas under strong persuasion, homogeneous networks are more stable. Finally, we study the effects of adoption and persuasion threshold heterogeneity on systemic stability. Though both heterogeneities give rise to global cascades, the adoption heterogeneity has an overwhelmingly stronger impact than the persuasion heterogeneity when the network connectivity is sufficiently dense.


Read also: Explosive Contagion in Networks

About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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