Engineering Consensus Building in Complex Networks

Understanding the factors that govern consensus building processes in complex networks, as well as mechanisms that may turn such processes into a success or into a failure, is one of the key questions of our work [1]. We aim to understand the underlying dynamics of opinion formation and to identify key factors that may determine whether consensus in fact can be achieved in complex networks. By identifying the factors that lead to barriers and conflicts in online collaborations networks, as a special case of complex networks, intervention mechanisms can be implemented by recommending possible collaborators (i.e., experts) with the goal to speed up the process of consensus building. We model the dynamics of opinion spreading by applying agent-based models and by configuring the degree of the social impact on the empirical network dynamics. Our approach enables us design and develop mechanisms and services to predict, control and steer in the right direction dynamical processes in complex networks.

[1] Hasani-Mavriqi, I., Geigl, F., Pujari, S.C., Lex, E., Helic, D. (2016). The influence of social status and network structure on consensus building in collaboration networks. In Social Network Analysis and Mining (SNAM). doi:10.1007/s13278-016-0389-y