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A model of influence based on aggregation functions

  • Grabisch, Michel
  • Rusinowska, Agnieszka

The paper concerns a dynamic model of influence in which agents make a yes–no decision. Each agent has an initial opinion which he may change during different phases of interaction, due to mutual influence among agents. We investigate a model of influence based on aggregation functions. Each agent modifies his opinion independently of the others, by aggregating the current opinion of all agents. Our framework covers numerous existing models of opinion formation, since we allow for arbitrary aggregation functions. We provide a general analysis of convergence in the aggregation model and find all terminal classes and states. We show that possible terminal classes to which the process of influence may converge are terminal states (the consensus states and nontrivial states), cyclic terminal classes, and unions of Boolean lattices (called regular terminal classes). An agent is influential for another agent if the opinion of the first one matters for the latter. A generalization of influential agent to an irreducible coalition whose opinion matters for an agent is called influential coalition. The graph (hypergraph) of influence is a graphical representation of influential agents (coalitions). Based on properties of the hypergraphs of influence we obtain conditions for the existence of the different kinds of terminal classes. An important family of aggregation functions–the family of symmetric decomposable models–is discussed. Finally, based on the results of the paper, we analyze the manager network of Krackhardt.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Mathematical Social Sciences.

Volume (Year): 66 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 316-330

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Handle: RePEc:eee:matsoc:v:66:y:2013:i:3:p:316-330
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505565

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