We describe a model for polarization in multi-agent systems based on Esteban and Ray’s standard measure of polarization from economics. Agents evolve by updating their beliefs (opinions) based on an underlying influence graph, as in the standard DeGroot model for social learning, but under a confirmation bias; i.e., a discounting of opinions of agents with dissimilar views. We show that even under this bias polarization eventually vanishes (converges to zero) if the influence graph is strongly-connected. If the influence graph is a regular symmetric circulation, we determine the unique belief value to which all agents converge. Our more insightful result establishes that, under some natural assumptions, if polarization does not eventually vanish then either there is a disconnected subgroup of agents, or some agent influences others more than she is influenced. We also show that polarization does not necessarily vanish in weakly-connected graphs under confirmation bias. We illustrate our model with a series of case studies and simulations, and show how it relates to the classic DeGroot model for social learning.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Formal Techniques for Distributed Objects, Components, and Systems - 41st IFIP WG 6.1 International Conference, FORTE 2021, Held as Part of the 16th International Federated Conference on Distributed Computing Techniques, DisCoTec 2021, Proceedings|
|Editors||Kirstin Peters, Tim A. Willemse|
|Publisher||Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH|
|Number of pages||20|
|State||Published - Jun 8 2021|
|Event||41st IFIP WG 6.1 International Conference on Formal Techniques for Distributed Objects, Components, and Systems, FORTE 2021 held as part of 16th International Federated Conference on Distributed Computing Techniques, DisCoTec 2021 - Virtual, Online|
Duration: Jun 14 2021 → Jun 18 2021
|Name||Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)|
|Conference||41st IFIP WG 6.1 International Conference on Formal Techniques for Distributed Objects, Components, and Systems, FORTE 2021 held as part of 16th International Federated Conference on Distributed Computing Techniques, DisCoTec 2021|
|Period||6/14/21 → 6/18/21|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Mário S. Alvim and Bernardo Amorim were partially supported by CNPq, CAPES and FAPEMIG. Santiago Quintero and Frank Valencia were partially supported by the ECOS-NORD project FACTS (C19M03).
© 2021, IFIP International Federation for Information Processing.
- Confirmation bias
- Multi-agent systems
- Social networks