Interest Dynamics with Social Constraints and Exogenous Drivers

H. Van Dyke Parunak, Sven A. Brueckner, Elizabeth Downs, Andrew Yinger

An important dynamic among interacting knowledge workers is the transition from cognitive convergence (a positive group phenomenon) to collapse (which can lead to overlooking critical information). This paper extends previous studies of this subject in two ways. 1) We place agents in distinct social groups and vary within-group affinity. 2) We provide exogenous drivers of interest. We exhibit a metastable configuration of this system with three phases, and show how to distinguish convergence from collapse. Then we use this metric to explore the system’s dynamics, over the space defined by social affinity and precision of queries, and under a range of different functions for the influence that an interaction partner has on an agent.

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