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Partial balance in social networks with stubborn links


  • Sheykhali, Somaye
  • Darooneh, Amir Hossein
  • Jafari, Gholam Reza


Structural balance theory affirms that in signed social networks with simultaneous friendly/hostile interactions, there is a general tendency of evolving to reduce the tensions. From this perspective, individuals iteratively invert their sentiments to reduce the felt tensions induced by imbalance. Each agent in a signed network has a mixture of positive and negative links representing friendly or antagonistic interactions and his stubbornness about interactions. We define stubbornness as an extreme antagonistic interaction that is resistant to change. In the current paper, we investigate if the presence of stubborn links renders an impact on the balanced state of the network and whether or not the degree of balance in a signed network depends on the location of stubborn links. Our results show that a poorly balanced configuration consists of multiple antagonistic groups. Both analytical and simulation results demonstrate that the global level of balance of the network is more influenced by the locations of stubborn links in the resulting network topology than by the fraction of stubborn links. This means that even with a large fraction of stubborn links the network would evolve towards a balanced state. On the other hand, if a small fraction of stubborn links are clustered in five stubborn communities, the network evolves into an unbalanced state.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheykhali, Somaye & Darooneh, Amir Hossein & Jafari, Gholam Reza, 2020. "Partial balance in social networks with stubborn links," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 548(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:548:y:2020:i:c:s0378437119321557
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2019.123882

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    References listed on IDEAS

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