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Active influence in dynamical models of structural balance in social networks


T.H. Summers, I. Shames

Europhysics Letters, vol. 103, no. 1, pp. 18001:1-6

We consider a mathematical model of social networks in which the links can have both positive and negative connotations. In accordance with a concept from social psychology called structural balance, the negative links play a key role in both the structure and dynamics of the network. Recent research has shown that in a nonlinear dynamical system modeling the time evolution of “friendliness levels” in the network, two opposing factions emerge from almost any initial condition. Here we study active external influence in this dynamical model and show that any agent in the network can achieve any desired structurally balanced state from any ini- tial condition by perturbing its own local friendliness levels. We also introduce a new network centrality measure for signed networks. The results are illustrated in an international relations network using United Nations voting record data from 1946 to 2008 to estimate friendliness levels amongst various countries.


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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@Article { SumSha:2013:IFA_4398,
    author={T.H. Summers and I. Shames},
    title={{Active influence in dynamical models of structural balance
	  in social networks}},
    journal={Europhysics Letters},
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