Opinion dynamics on an adaptive random network
Benczik, I. J.
Benczik, S. Z.
Zia, R. K. P.
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We revisit the classical model for voter dynamics in a two-party system with two basic modifications. In contrast to the original voter model studied in regular lattices, we implement the opinion formation process in a random network of agents in which interactions are no longer restricted by geographical distance. In addition, we incorporate the rapidly changing nature of the interpersonal relations in the model. At each time step, agents can update their relationships. This update is determined by their own opinion, and by their preference to make connections with individuals sharing the same opinion, or rather with opponents. In this way, the network is built in an adaptive manner, in the sense that its structure is correlated and evolves with the dynamics of the agents. The simplicity of the model allows us to examine several issues analytically. We establish criteria to determine whether consensus or polarization will be the outcome of the dynamics and on what time scales these states will be reached. In finite systems consensus is typical, while in infinite systems a disordered metastable state can emerge and persist for infinitely long time before consensus is reached.