Active influence in dynamical models of structural balance in social networks
1 Automatic Control Laboratory, ETH Zurich - Zurich, Switzerland
2 Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Melbourne - Melbourne, Australia
Received: 8 April 2013
Accepted: 17 June 2013
We consider a nonlinear dynamical system on a signed graph, which can be interpreted as a mathematical model of social networks in which the links can have both positive and negative connotations. In accordance with a concept from social psychology called structural balance, the negative links play a key role in both the structure and dynamics of the network. Recent research has shown that in a nonlinear dynamical system modeling the time evolution of “friendliness levels” in the network, two opposing factions emerge from almost any initial condition. Here we study active external influence in this dynamical model and show that any agent in the network can achieve any desired structurally balanced state from any initial condition by perturbing its own local friendliness levels. Based on this result, we also introduce a new network centrality measure for signed networks. The results are illustrated in an international-relations network using United Nations voting record data from 1946 to 2008 to estimate friendliness levels amongst various countries.
PACS: 89.65.-s – Social and economic systems / 05.45.-a – Nonlinear dynamics and chaos / 02.50.Le – Decision theory and game theory
© EPLA, 2013