Friday, February 10, 2023

"An Adaptive Bounded-Confidence Model of Opinion Dynamics on Networks "

An article of mine just appeared in final form a couple of days ago. Here are some details.

Title: An Adaptive Bounded-Confidence Model of Opinion Dynamics on Networks

Authors: Unchitta Kan, Michelle Feng, and Mason A. Porter

Abstract: Individuals who interact with each other in social networks often exchange ideas and influence each other’s opinions. A popular approach to study the spread of opinions on networks is by examining bounded-confidence models (BCMs), in which the nodes of a network have continuous-valued states that encode their opinions and are receptive to other nodes’ opinions when they lie within some confidence bound of their own opinion. In this article, we extend the Deffuant–Weisbuch (DW) model, which is a well-known BCM, by examining the spread of opinions that coevolve with network structure. We propose an adaptive variant of the DW model in which the nodes of a network can (1) alter their opinions when they interact with neighbouring nodes and (2) break connections with neighbours based on an opinion tolerance threshold and then form new connections following the principle of homophily. This opinion tolerance threshold determines whether or not the opinions of adjacent nodes are sufficiently different to be viewed as ‘discordant’. Using numerical simulations, we find that our adaptive DW model requires a larger confidence bound than a baseline DW model for the nodes of a network to achieve a consensus opinion. In one region of parameter space, we observe ‘pseudo-consensus’ steady states, in which there exist multiple subclusters of an opinion cluster with opinions that differ from each other by a small amount. In our simulations, we also examine the roles of early-time dynamics and nodes with initially moderate opinions for achieving consensus. Additionally, we explore the effects of coevolution on the convergence time of our BCM.

Saturday, February 04, 2023

The Dodgers are Finally Retiring Fernando Valenzuela's Uniform Number!

It took way too long, but the Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that they are finally retiring Fernando Valenzuela's uniform number. Given what Fernandro means to this franchise and this city, the team should have retired his number a very long time ago.