A Logic for Knowledge Flow in Social Networks

  • Ji Ruan
  • Michael Thielscher
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7106)


In this paper, we develop a formal framework for analysing the flow of information and knowledge through social networks. Specifically, we propose a multi-agent epistemic logic in which we can represent and reason about communicative actions based on social networks and the resulting knowledge and ignorance of agents. We apply this logic to formally analyse the “Revolt or Stay-at-home” problem known from the literature, where social networks play an important role in agents’ knowledge acquisition and decision-making. We evaluate our work by proving some mathematical properties of our new logic, including the fact that it generalises the existing Logic of Public Announcement.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abraham, A., Hassanien, A.E., Snasel, V. (eds.): Computational Social Network Analysis. Springer, London (2010)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Apt, K.R., Witzel, A., Zvesper, J.A.: Common knowledge in interaction structures. In: Heifetz, A. (ed.) Proc. of TARK, pp. 4–13 (2009)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Baltag, A., Moss, L.: Logics for epistemic programs. Synthese 139, 165–224 (2004), Knowledge, Rationality & Action, 1–60MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    van Benthem, J., van Eijck, J., Kooi, B.P.: Logics of communication and change. Inf. Comput. 204(11), 1620–1662 (2006)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chwe, M.S.Y.: Structure and strategy in collective action. American Journal of Sociology 105(1), 128–156 (1999)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    van Ditmarsch, H., van der Hoek, W., Kooi, B.: Dynamic Epistemic Logic, Synthese Library, vol. 337. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fagin, R., Halpern, J.Y., Moses, Y., Vardi, M.Y.: Reasoning About Knowledge. MIT Press (1995)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Freeman, L.: The Development of Social Network Analysis: A Study in the Sociology of Science. Empirical Press, Vancouver (2004)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jackson, M.: Social and Economic Networks. Princeton University Press (2008)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pacuit, E., Parikh, R.: Reasoning about communication graphs. In: van Benthem, J., Loewe, B., Gabbay, D. (eds.) Interactive Logic: Games and Social Software (2007)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Roelofsen, F.: Exploring Logical Perspectives on Distributed Information and its Dynamics. Master’s thesis, ILLC, University of Amsterdam (2005)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ruan, J.: Exploring the Update Universe. Master’s thesis, ILLC Publications, Master of Logic Thesis Series, University of Amsterdam (2004)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Seligman, J., Liu, F., Girard, P.: Logic in the Community. In: Banerjee, M., Seth, A. (eds.) Logic and Its Applications. LNCS, vol. 6521, pp. 178–188. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sietsma, F., van Eijck, J.: Message passing in a dynamic epistemic logic setting. In: Apt, K.R. (ed.) Proc. of TARK, pp. 212–220. ACM (2011)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wang, Y., Sietsma, F., van Eijck, J.: Logic of Information Flow on Communication Channels. In: Omicini, A., Sardina, S., Vasconcelos, W. (eds.) DALT 2010. LNCS, vol. 6619, pp. 130–147. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ji Ruan
    • 1
  • Michael Thielscher
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Computer Science & EngineeringThe University of New South WalesAustralia

Personalised recommendations