Emergence of Social Balance in Signed Networks
Social media often reveals a complex interplay between positive and negative ties. Yet, the origin of such complex patterns of interaction remains largely elusive. In this paper we study how third parties may sway our perception of others. Our model relies on the analysis of all triadic relations taking into account the influence and relations with common friends, through large-scale simulations. We show that a simple peer-influence mechanism, based on balance theory of social sciences, is able to promptly increase the degree of balance of a signed network—with balance defined as the fraction of positive cycles—irrespectively of the network we start from. Additionally, our results indicate that the tendency towards a balanced state also depends on the network connectivity and on the initial distribution of signs.
KeywordsBalance theory Network analysis Social networks
This work was partly supported by national funds through Universidade de Lisboa and FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, under projects TUBITAK/0004/2014, PTDC/EEI-SII/5081/2014, PTDC/EEI-SII/1973/2014, PTDC/MAT/STA/335 8/2014 and UID/CEC/50021/2013.
- 5.Leskovec, J., Huttenlocher, D., Kleinberg, J.: Signed networks in social media. In: 28th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) (2010)Google Scholar
- 6.Leskovec, J., Huttenlocher, D., Kleinberg, J.: Predicting positive and negative links in online social networks. In: 28th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) (2010)Google Scholar
- 8.Estrada, E., Benzi, M.: Are social networks really balanced? arXiv:1406.2132 [physics.soc-ph] (2014)
- 9.Skyrms, B.: The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure. Cambridge University Press (2004)Google Scholar
- 13.Barabási, A.-L.: Network Science. Cambridge University Press (2016)Google Scholar
- 24.Rand, D.G., Nowak, M.A., Fowler, J.H., Christakis, N.A.: Static network structure can stabilize human cooperation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 111(48), 17093–17098 (2014)Google Scholar