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Zombie politics: evolutionary algorithms to counteract the spread of negative opinions

  • Ronald HochreiterEmail author
  • Christoph Waldhauser
Methodologies and Application
  • 24 Downloads

Abstract

This paper is about simulating the spread of opinions in a society and about finding ways to counteract that spread. To abstract away from potentially emotionally laden opinions, we instead simulate the spread of a zombie outbreak in a society. The virus causing this outbreak is different from traditional approaches: It not only causes a binary outcome (healthy vs. infected) but rather a continuous outcome. To counteract the outbreak, a discrete number of infection-level-specific treatments are available. This corresponds to acts of mild persuasion or the threats of legal action in the opinion spreading use case. This paper offers a genetic and a cultural algorithm that find the optimal mixture of treatments during the run of the simulation. They are assessed in a number of different scenarios. It is shown that albeit far from being perfect, the cultural algorithm delivers superior performance at lower computational expense.

Keywords

Dynamic optimization Opinion propagation Epidemiology Evolutionary computing 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business and ManagementWebster Vienna Private UniversityViennaAustria
  2. 2.Raiffeisen Bank International AGViennaAustria

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