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Scientific publication: How to design public debates in social networks?

The TIPPING+ paper entitled "On the Design of Public Debate in Social Networks" and produced by Michel Grabisch, Antoine Mandel and Agnieszka Rusinowska is published at Operations Research!

The paper proposes a model of the joint evolution of opinions and social relationships giving rise to strong diversity, in a setting in which social influence decays over time. The dynamics are based on bounded confidence: social connections between individuals with distant opinions are severed, whereas new connections are formed between individuals with similar opinions. This model naturally gives rise to strong diversity, that is, the persistence of heterogeneous opinions in connected societies, a phenomenon that most existing models fail to capture.

The intensity of social interactions is the key parameter that governs the dynamics. First, it determines the asymptotic distribution of opinions. In particular, increasing the intensity of social interactions brings society closer to consensus. Second, it determines the risk of polarisation, which is shown to increase with the intensity of social interactions.

The results allow characterisation of the optimal strategy for a social planner who controls the intensity of the public debate. In addition, authors consider applications to political campaigning and show that both minority and majority candidates can have incentives to lead society toward polarization.

You can find the paper here!

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