Consensus and Disagreement of Heterogeneous Belief Systems in Influence Networks
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Recently, an opinion dynamics model has been proposed to describe a network of individuals discussing a set of logically interdependent topics. For each individual, the set of topics and the logical interdependencies between the topics (captured by a logic matrix) form a belief system. We investigate the role the logic matrix and its structure plays in determining the final opinions, including existence of the limiting opinions, of a strongly connected network of individuals. We provide a set of results that, given a set of individuals' belief systems, allow a systematic determination of which topics will reach a consensus, and of which topics will disagreement arise. For irreducible logic matrices, each topic reaches a consensus. For reducible logic matrices, which indicates a cascade interdependence relationship, conditions are given on whether a topic will reach a consensus or not. It turns out that heterogeneity among the individuals' logic matrices, and a cascade interdependence relationship, are necessary conditions for disagreement. Thus, this article attributes for the first time, a strong diversity of limiting opinions to heterogeneity of belief systems in influence networks, in addition to the more typical explanation that strong diversity arises from individual stubbornness.
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