Competition and the dynamics of group affiliation

Geard, Nicholas and Bullock, Seth (2010) Competition and the dynamics of group affiliation. Advances in Complex Systems, 13, (4), 501-517. (doi:10.1142/S0219525910002712).


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How can we understand the interaction between the social network topology of a population and the patterns of group affiliation in that population? Each aspect influences the other: social networks provide the conduits via which groups recruit new members, and groups provide the context in which new social ties are formed. From an organisational ecology perspective, groups can be considered to compete with one another for the time and energy of their members. Such competition is likely to have an impact on the way in which social structure and group affiliation co-evolve. While many social simulation models exhibit group formation as a part of their behaviour (e.g., opinion clusters or converged cultures), models that explicitly focus on group affiliation are rare. We describe and explore the behaviour of a model in which, distinct from most current models, individual nodes can belong to multiple groups simultaneously. By varying the capacity of individuals to belong to groups, and the costs associated with group membership, we explore the effect of different levels of competition on population structure and group dynamics.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1142/S0219525910002712
ISSNs: 1284-8535 (print)
Keywords: social networks, group affiliation, simulation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions : Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering > Electronics and Computer Science > Agents, Interactions & Complexity
ePrint ID: 271195
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
August 2010Published
Date Deposited: 27 May 2010 17:37
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:18
Amorphous computation, random graphs and complex biological networks
Funded by: EPSRC (EP/D00232X/1)
1 January 2006 to 30 September 2010
Further Information:Google Scholar

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