Computational Model Library

We study cultural dissemination in the context of an Axelrod-like agent-based model describing the spread of cultural traits across a society, with an added element of social influence. This modification produces absorbing states exhibiting greater variation in number and size of distinct cultural regions compared to the original Axelrod model, and we identify the mechanism responsible for this amplification in heterogeneity. We develop several new metrics to quantitatively characterize the heterogeneity and geometric qualities of these absorbing states. Additionally, we examine the dynamical approach to absorbing states in both our Social Influence Model as well as the Axelrod Model, which not only yields interesting insights into the differences in behavior of the two models over time, but also provides a more comprehensive view into the behavior of Axelrod’s original model. The quantitative metrics introduced in this paper have broad potential applicability across a large variety of agent-based cultural dissemination models.

In an associated paper which focuses on analyzing the structure of several egocentric networks of collective awareness platforms for sustainable innovation (CAPS), this model is developed. It answers the question whether the network structure is determinative for the sustainability of the created awareness. Based on a thorough literature review a model is developed to explain and operationalize the concept of sustainability of a social network in terms of importance, effectiveness and robustness. By developing this agent-based model, the expected outcomes after the dissolution of the CAPS are predicted and compared with the results of a network with the same participants but with different ties. Twitter data from different CAPS is collected and used to feed the simulation. The results show that the structure of the network is of key importance for its sustainability. With this knowledge and the ability to simulate the results after network changes have taken place, CAPS can assess the sustainability of their legacy and actively steer towards a longer lasting potential for social innovation. The retrieved knowledge urges organizations like the European Commission to adopt a more blended approach focusing not only on solving societal issues but on building a community to sustain the initiated development.

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