Opinion dynamics: The effect of the number of peers met at once

Authors: Diemo Urbig and Jan Lorenz

Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (2008)

Abstract

The opinion dynamics model introduced by Deffuant and Weisbuch as well as the one by Hegselmann and Krause are rather similar. In both models individuals are assumed to have opinions about an issue, they meet and discuss, and they may adapt their opinions towards the other agents` opinions or may ignore each other if their positions are too different. Both models differ with respect to the number of peers they meet at once. Furthermore the model by Deffuant and Weisbuch has a convergence parameter that controls how fast agents adapt their opinions. By defining the reversed parameter as self-support we can extend the applicability of this parameter to scenarios with more than one interaction partner. We investigate the effects of changing the number of peers met at once, which is done for different population sizes, and the effects of changing the self-support. For describing the dynamics we look at different statistics, i.e. number of cluster, number of major clusters, and Gini coefficient.