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Opinion evolution influenced by informed agents

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  • Fan, Kangqi
  • Pedrycz, Witold

Abstract

Guiding public opinions toward a pre-set target by informed agents can be a strategy adopted in some practical applications. The informed agents are common agents who are employed or chosen to spread the pre-set opinion. In this work, we propose a social judgment based opinion (SJBO) dynamics model to explore the opinion evolution under the influence of informed agents. The SJBO model distinguishes between inner opinions and observable choices, and incorporates both the compromise between similar opinions and the repulsion between dissimilar opinions. Three choices (support, opposition, and remaining undecided) are considered in the SJBO model. Using the SJBO model, both the inner opinions and the observable choices can be tracked during the opinion evolution process. The simulation results indicate that if the exchanges of inner opinions among agents are not available, the effect of informed agents is mainly dependent on the characteristics of regular agents, including the assimilation threshold, decay threshold, and initial opinions. Increasing the assimilation threshold and decay threshold can improve the guiding effectiveness of informed agents. Moreover, if the initial opinions of regular agents are close to null, the full and unanimous consensus at the pre-set opinion can be realized, indicating that, to maximize the influence of informed agents, the guidance should be started when regular agents have little knowledge about a subject under consideration. If the regular agents have had clear opinions, the full and unanimous consensus at the pre-set opinion cannot be achieved. However, the introduction of informed agents can make the majority of agents choose the pre-set opinion.

Suggested Citation

  • Fan, Kangqi & Pedrycz, Witold, 2016. "Opinion evolution influenced by informed agents," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 462(C), pages 431-441.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:462:y:2016:i:c:p:431-441
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2016.06.110
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    Cited by:

    1. Fan, Kangqi & Pedrycz, Witold, 2017. "Evolution of public opinions in closed societies influenced by broadcast media," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 472(C), pages 53-66.

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