Discussion papers

Paper: Meyer & Edmonds "The importance of dynamic networks within a model of politics"

A paper presented at Social Simulation 2022, Milan Italy. The research came out of the PaCE project


Many simulation models of social influence are for the theoretical exploration of the outcomes resulting from certain mechanisms. They therefore tend to be relatively focussed on one mechanism at a time – the KISS approach. Here we take a more KIDS approach, looking at the interaction of two mechanisms within an evidence-led simulation of political behaviour in Austria 2013-2017. In this simulation there is not only the mutual social influence of attitudes (within a 7D space), but this social influence is constrained by a social network. However, one can also allow this social network to adapt based on the interactions between agents, so the social attitudes and social networks co-evolve. In this model, we find that (a) whether the social network is allowed to adapt is more important to the outcomes than the particular kind of social network it is initialized with, but also that (b) (given all the other mechanisms, parameters and structures in this model) a changing social network seems essential to getting out- comes that are qualitatively similar to the patterns in the observed polling data.


Agent-based simulation, Opinion dynamics, Social influence, Social network.