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Seminar "Coherence-Correlations-Complexity", Dept. of Theoretical Physics, Wrocław University of Technology

13:15, 19-01-16
Sala 320a bud. A-1, Politechnika Wrocławska

Modelling opinion dynamics: the role of disorder in phase transitions

Arkadiusz Jędrzejewski

Katedra Fizyki Teoretycznej WPPT PWr

The q-voter model is one of the flagship agent-based models of sociophysics used to model opinion dynamics. It illustrates the spread of information under the influence of three types of social responses: conformity, anticonformity and independence. The latter two are perceived as different manifestations of nonconformity. Until now, the probability has been deciding whether a voter behave like a conformist or a nonconformist in a given time step. A comprehensive analysis of the model in which this behavior became a trait of a given voter reveals surprising changes in the macroscopic behavior of the system. Namely, qualitative differences between these two kinds of nonconformity introduced to the model at the microscopic level, independence and anticonformity, have ceased to be observed. Moreover, these two different approaches to modelling the voters’ behavior have been associated with two different types of disorder: annealed – time-varying and quenched – frozen in time. Using the mean-field method, we showed that discontinuous phase transitions  are present only in the model with annealed disorder. This allows us to differentiate between the models with different types of nonconformity. On the other hand, the introduction of quenched disorder changes the type of phase transitions from discontinuous to continuous.

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