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A model of spatially constrained social network dynamics

A model of spatially constrained social network dynamics
A model of spatially constrained social network dynamics
Social networks characterise the set of relationships amongst a population of social agents. As such, their structure both constrains and is constrained by social processes such as partnership formation and the spread of information, opinions and behaviour. Models of these coevolutionary network dynamics exist, but they are generally limited to specific interaction types such as games on networks or opinion dynamics.

Here we present a dynamic model of social network formation and maintenance that exhibits the characteristic features of real-world social networks such as community structure, high clustering, positive degree assortativity and short characteristic path length. While these macro-structural network properties are stable, the network micro-structure undergoes continuous change at the level of relationships between individuals. Notably, the edges are weighted, allowing for gradual change in relationship strength in contrast to more abrupt mechanisms, such as rewiring, used in other models.

We show how the structural features that characterise social networks can arise as the result of constraints placed on the interactions between individuals. Here we explore the relationship between structural properties and four idealised constraints placed on social interactions: space, affinity, time, and history. We show that spatial embedding and the subsequent constraints on possible interactions are crucial in this model for the emergence of the structures characterising social networks.
373-392
zu Erbach-Schoenberg, Elisabeth
9a1f59b2-c661-42c9-ad94-96772c292add
Bullock, Seth
2ad576e4-56b8-4f31-84e0-51bd0b7a1cd3
Brailsford, Sally
634585ff-c828-46ca-b33d-7ac017dda04f
zu Erbach-Schoenberg, Elisabeth
9a1f59b2-c661-42c9-ad94-96772c292add
Bullock, Seth
2ad576e4-56b8-4f31-84e0-51bd0b7a1cd3
Brailsford, Sally
634585ff-c828-46ca-b33d-7ac017dda04f

zu Erbach-Schoenberg, Elisabeth, Bullock, Seth and Brailsford, Sally (2013) A model of spatially constrained social network dynamics. Social Science Computer Review, 32 (3), 373-392. (doi:10.1177/0894439313511934).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Social networks characterise the set of relationships amongst a population of social agents. As such, their structure both constrains and is constrained by social processes such as partnership formation and the spread of information, opinions and behaviour. Models of these coevolutionary network dynamics exist, but they are generally limited to specific interaction types such as games on networks or opinion dynamics.

Here we present a dynamic model of social network formation and maintenance that exhibits the characteristic features of real-world social networks such as community structure, high clustering, positive degree assortativity and short characteristic path length. While these macro-structural network properties are stable, the network micro-structure undergoes continuous change at the level of relationships between individuals. Notably, the edges are weighted, allowing for gradual change in relationship strength in contrast to more abrupt mechanisms, such as rewiring, used in other models.

We show how the structural features that characterise social networks can arise as the result of constraints placed on the interactions between individuals. Here we explore the relationship between structural properties and four idealised constraints placed on social interactions: space, affinity, time, and history. We show that spatial embedding and the subsequent constraints on possible interactions are crucial in this model for the emergence of the structures characterising social networks.

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Erbach Bullock Brailsford SSCR.pdf - Author's Original
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More information

Published date: 6 December 2013
Venue - Dates: European Conference on Artificial Life 2011, 2013-12-06
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity, WorldPop

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 358864
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/358864
PURE UUID: 0d254aae-ae87-4191-a8f9-aae4c045c6be
ORCID for Sally Brailsford: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6665-8230

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Oct 2013 09:13
Last modified: 05 Nov 2019 02:06

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Contributors

Author: Elisabeth zu Erbach-Schoenberg
Author: Seth Bullock

University divisions

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