Modelling community formation driven by the status of individual in a society

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2017-12-01
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
22
817-838
Series
Journal of Complex Networks, Volume 5, issue 6
Abstract
In human societies, people's willingness to compete and strive for better social status, as well as being envious of those perceived in some way superior, lead to social structures that are intrinsically hierarchical. Here, we propose an agent-based, network model to mimic the ranking behaviour of individuals and its possible repercussions in human society. The main ingredient of the model is the assumption that the relevant feature of social interactions is each individual's keenness to maximize his or her status relative to others. The social networks produced by the model are homophilous and assortative, as frequently observed in human communities, and most of the network properties seem quite independent of its size. However, we see that for a small number of agents the resulting network consists of disjoint weakly connected communities, while being highly assortative and homophilic. On the other hand, larger networks turn out to be more cohesive with larger communities but less homophilic.We find that the reason for these changes is that larger network size allows agents to use new strategies for maximizing their social status, allowing for more diverse links between them.
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Keywords
Community formation, opinion formation, Social hierarchy
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Citation
Snellman , J , Iniguez Gonzalez , G , Govezensky , T , Barrio , R A & Kaski , K 2017 , ' Modelling community formation driven by the status of individual in a society ' , Journal of Complex Networks , vol. 5 , no. 6 , pp. 817-838 . https://doi.org/10.1093/comnet/cnx009