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Kinetics of Social Contagion

Thu, 04 Jun 2015 16:37:24 GMT

Diffusion of information, behavioural patterns or innovations follows diverse pathways depending on a number of conditions, including the structure of the underlying social network, the sensitivity to peer pressure and the influence of media. Here we study analytically and by simulations a general model that incorporates threshold mechanism capturing sensitivity to peer pressure, the effect of `immune' nodes who never adopt, and a perpetual flow of external information. While any constant, non-zero rate of dynamically-introduced innovators leads to global spreading, the kinetics by which the asymptotic state is approached show rich behaviour. In particular we find that, as a function of the density of immune nodes, there is a transition from fast to slow spreading governed by entirely different mechanisms. This transition happens below the percolation threshold of fragmentation of the network, and has its origin in the competition between cascading behaviour induced by innovators and blocking of adoption due to immune nodes. This change is accompanied by a percolation transition of the induced clusters.

Kinetics of Social Contagion
Zhongyuan Ruan, Gerardo Iniguez, Marton Karsai, Janos Kertesz


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