Spatial opinion dynamics and the effects of two types of mixing

Physical Review E 98 (2):022310 (2018)
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Spatially situated opinions that can be held with different degrees of conviction lead to spatiotemporal patterns such as clustering (homophily), polarization, and deadlock. Our goal is to understand how sensitive these patterns are to changes in the local nature of interactions. We introduce two different mixing mechanisms, spatial relocation and nonlocal interaction (“telephoning”), to an earlier fully spatial model (no mixing). Interestingly, the mechanisms that create deadlock in the fully spatial model have the opposite effect when there is a sufficient amount of mixing. With telephoning, not only is polarization and deadlock broken up, but consensus is hastened. The effects of mixing by relocation are even more pronounced. Further insight into these dynamics is obtained for selected parameter regimes via comparison to the mean-field differential equations.

Author's Profile

Bert Baumgaertner
University of Idaho


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