Computational Model Library

The Social Identity Model of Protest Emergence (SIMPE), an agent-based model of national identity and protest mobilisations.

I developed this model for my PhD project, “Polarisation and Protest Mobilisation Around Secessionist Movements: an Agent-Based Model of Online and Offline Social Networks”, at the University of Glasgow (2019-2023).

The purpose of this model is to simulate protest emergence in a given country where there is an independence movement, fostering the self-categorisation process of national identification. In order to contextualised SIMPE, I have used Catalonia, where an ongoing secessionist movement since 2011 has been present, national identity has shown signs of polarisation, and where numerous mobilisations have taken place over the last decade. Data from the Catalan Centre of Opinion Studies (CEO) has been used to inform some of the model parameters.

This is an interdisciplinary agent-based model with Monte Carlo simulations to assess the relative effects of broadcast and contagion processes in a multiplex social network. This multiplex approach models multiple channels of informal communication - phone, word-of-mouth, and social media - that vary in their attribute values. Each agent is an individual in a threatened community who, once warned, has a probability of warning others in their social network using one of these channels. The probability of an individual warning others is based on their warning source and the time remaining until disaster impact, among other variables. Default parameter values were chosen from empirical studies of disaster warnings along with the spatial aspects of Coos Bay, OR, USA and Seaside, OR, USA communities.

Social Media

Lila Zayed Vivian Hamidi | Published Mon Nov 29 18:28:08 2021

This project attempts to model how social media platforms recommend a user followers based on their interests, and how those individual interests change as a result of the influences from those they follow/are followed by.

We have three types of users on the platform:

Consumers (🔴), who update their interests based on who they’re following.
Creators (⬛), who update their interests based on who’s following them.

Communication processes occur in complex dynamic systems impacted by person attitudes and beliefs, environmental affordances, interpersonal interactions and other variables that all change over time. Many of the current approaches utilized by Communication researchers are unable to consider the full complexity of communication systems or the over time nature of our data. We apply agent-based modeling to the Reinforcing Spirals Model and the Spiral of Silence to better elucidate the complex and dynamic nature of this process. Our preliminary results illustrate how environmental affordances (i.e. social media), closeness of the system and probability of outspokenness may impact how attitudes change over time. Additional analyses are also proposed.

Digital social networks facilitate the opinion dynamics and idea flow and also provide reliable data to understand these dynamics. Public opinion and cooperation behavior are the key factors to determine the capacity of a successful and effective public policy. In particular, during the crises, such as the Corona virus pandemic, it is necessary to understand the people’s opinion toward a policy and the performance of the governance institutions. The problem of the mathematical explanation of the human behaviors is to simplify and bypass some of the essential process. To tackle this problem, we adopted a data-driven strategy to extract opinion and behavioral patterns from social media content to reflect the dynamics of society’s average beliefs toward different topics. We extracted important subtopics from social media contents and analyze the sentiments of users at each subtopic. Subsequently, we structured a Bayesian belief network to demonstrate the macro patters of the beliefs, opinions, information and emotions which trigger the response toward a prospective policy. We aim to understand the factors and latent factors which influence the opinion formation in the society. Our goal is to enhance the reality of the simulations. To capture the dynamics of opinions at an artificial society we apply agent-based opinion dynamics modeling. We intended to investigate practical implementation scenarios of this framework for policy analysis during Corona Virus Pandemic Crisis. The implemented modular modeling approach could be used as a flexible data-driven policy making tools to investigate public opinion in social media. The core idea is to put the opinion dynamics in the wider contexts of the collective decision-making, data-driven policy-modeling and digital democracy. We intended to use data-driven agent-based modeling as a comprehensive analysis tools to understand the collective opinion dynamics and decision making process on the social networks and uses this knowledge to utilize network-enabled policy modeling and collective intelligence platforms.

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