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Modelling Structured Societies: a Multi-relational Approach to Context Permeability

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arXiv ID: 1507.03826
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The structure of social relations is fundamental for the construction of plausible simulation scenarios. It shapes the way actors interact and create their identity within overlapping social contexts. Each actor interacts in multiple contexts within different types of social relations that constitute their social space. In this article, we present an approach to model structured agent societies with multiple coexisting social networks. We study the notion of context permeability, using a game in which agents try to achieve global consensus. We design and analyse two different models of permeability. In the first model, agents interact concurrently in multiple social networks. In the second, we introduce a context switching mechanism which adds a dynamic temporal component to agent interaction in the model. Agents switch between the different networks spending more or less time in each one. We compare these models and analyse the influence of different social networks regarding the speed of convergence to consensus. We conduct a series of experiments that show the impact of different configurations for coexisting social networks. This approach unveils both the limitations of the current modelling approaches and possible research directions for complex social space simulations.


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