Modelling collective opinion formation by means of active Brownian particles
Frank Schweitzer , Janusz Hołyst
AbstractThe concept of active Brownian particles is used to model a collective opinion formation process. It is assumed that individuals in community create a two-component communication field that influences the change of opinions of other persons and/or can induce their migration. The communication field is described by a reaction-diffusion equation, the opinion change of the individuals is given by a master equation, while the migration is described by a set of Langevin equations, coupled by the communication field. In the mean-field limit holding for fast communication we derive a critical population size, above which the community separates into a majority and a minority with opposite opinions. The existence of external support (e.g. from mass media) changes the ratio between minority and majority, until above a critical external support the supported subpopulation exists always as a majority. Spatial effects lead to two critical “social” temperatures, between which the community exists in a metastable state, thus fluctuations below a certain critical wave number may result in a spatial opinion separation. The range of metastability is particularly determined by a parameter characterizing the individual response to the communication field. In our discussion, we draw analogies to phase transitions in physical systems.
|Corporate author||The Faculty of Physics, WUT (WF)|
|Journal series||European Physical Journal B, ISSN 1434-6028, e-ISSN 1434-6036|
|Pages||723 - 732|
|Publication size in sheets||0.5|
|Keywords in English||Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics, Nonlinear Sciences - Adaptation and Self-Organizing Systems|
|Publication indicators||= 87; = 94; = 144.0; : 2000 = 1.392; : 2006 = 1.651 (2) - 2007=1.515 (5)|
|Citation count*||144 (2020-01-17)|
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.