Computational Social Science

In the moment I am mainly concerned with writing Proposals. This can be a lot of fun, in fact. The common frame is probably that I would like to enrich agents in computational models with a cognitive and psychological internal structure that co-evolves along with their actually observable behavior.

Opinion Dynamics and Cultural Conflict in European Spaces

One of the projects actually got accepted! See www.ODYCCEUS.eu!

Opinion Polarization by Learning from Social Feedback, S. Banisch & E. Olbrich Submitted to the Social Simulation Conference, Dublin (2017).

The paper explores a new mechanism to explain polarization phenomena in opinion dynamics. The model is based on the idea that agents evaluate alternative views on the basis of the social feedback obtained on expressing them. A high support of the favored and therefore expressed opinion in the social environment, is treated as a positive social feedback which reinforces the value associated to this opinion. In this paper we concentrate on the model with dyadic communication and encounter probabilities defined by an unweighted, time-homogeneous network. The model captures polarization dynamics more plausibly compared to bounded confidence opinion models and avoids extensive opinion flipping usually present in binary opinion dynamics. We perform systematic simulation experiments to understand the role of network connectivity for the emergence of polarization.