Social reinforcement with weighted interactions

Theó Konc, Ivan Savin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The speed and extent of diffusion of behaviors in social networks depends on network structure and individual preferences. The contribution of the present study is twofold. First, we introduce weighted interactions between potential adopters that depend on the similarity in their preferences and moderate the strength of social reinforcement. The reason for the extension is the existence of a confirmation bias in the way agents treat information by prioritizing evidence conforming to their opinion. As a result, individuals become less likely to be influenced by peers with relatively different preferences, reducing the overall diffusion rate under clustered networks. Second, we enrich our analysis by also considering a scale free network topology with a high degree asymmetry, motivated by its pervasiveness in online social networks. This network performs consistently well in terms of diffusion for different parameter combinations and clearly outperforms clustered networks under weighted interactions. Our results show that more realistic assumptions regarding agents' interactions shift the focus from clustering to degree distribution in the study of network structures allowing for fast and widespread behavior adoption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022305
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2019


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