Rewiring the network. What helps an innovation to diffuse?
A fundamental question related to innovation diffusion is how the social network structure influences the process. Empirical evidence regarding real-world influence networks is very limited. On the other hand, agent-based modeling literature reports different and at times seemingly contradictory results. In this paper we study innovation diffusion processes for a range of Watts-Strogatz networks in an attempt to shed more light on this problem. Using the so-called Sznajd model as the backbone of opinion dynamics, we find that the published results are in fact consistent and allow to predict the role of network topology in various situations. In particular, the diffusion of innovation is easier on more regular graphs, i.e. with a higher clustering coefficient. Moreover, in the case of uncertainty – which is particularly high for innovations connected to public health programs or ecological campaigns – a more clustered network will help the diffusion. On the other hand, when social influence is less important (i.e. in the case of perfect information), a shorter path will help the innovation to spread in the society and – as a result – the diffusion will be easiest on a random graph.
|Date of creation:||20 Oct 2013|
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