Self Organizing Maps as Models of Social Processes: The Case of Electoral Preferences
We propose the use of self-organizing maps as models of social processes, in particular, of electoral preferences. In some voting districts patterns of electoral preferences emerge, such that in nearby areas citizens tend to vote for the same candidate whereas in geographically distant areas the most voted candidate is that whose political position is distant to the latter. Those patterns are similar to the spatial structure achieved by self-organizing maps. This model is able to achieve spatial order from disorder by forming a topographic map of the external field, identified with advertising from the media. Here individuals are represented in two spaces: a static geographical location, and a dynamic political position. The modification of the later leads to a pattern in which both spaces are correlated.
KeywordsSelf-organizing maps electoral preferences social sciences and computational models
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