5 Dec: Bernard Brooks (QSMS Seminar)

Presenting Rumour Propagation on Social Networks as a Function of Diversity  at 12:45-13:45 in QA403. (Notice the unusual time and venue!)

On 5th December 2018 we have Bernard Brooks of the Rochester Institute of Technology visiting us. He is going to give a seminar titled Rumour Propagation on Social Networks as a Function of Diversity at 12:45-13:45 in room A403  in Building Q, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, Magyar tudósok körútja 2, 1117 Budapest.


Consider a rumour that is derogatory towards a minority group in a population. If that minority (the outgroup) is very poorly integrated do they have a greater probability of resisting the derogatory rumour or is it better for the minority to be well mixed in the social network as a whole, allowing them to better rebut the rumour?

In populations comprised of two conflicting groups the propagation of an outgroup-negative rumour is dependent on the proportion and distribution of the two groups in the social network. The social network over which the rumour propagates is comprised of individuals from two social groups; the ingroup majority and the outgroup minority, and the relationships between those individuals. Because the rumour content reflects negatively on the members of the minority, the rumour’s flow across the minority outgroup population is markedly different from the flow across the majority ingroup. Rumour propagation over such a social network is clearly dependent on the size of the minority outgroup population; but the integration of the outgroup minority is also a factor in rumour propagation. Minority outgroups of similar size can consist of a tight-knit clique or have their members evenly distributed across the social network.

Consider the two social networks be low. In the two 10 people social networks shown there are 11 edges are 4 outgroup nodes (shaded). The social network on the left appears to be more integrated than that on the right; the minority group of the 4 shaded nodes is more integrated into the network.



It is not enough to simply state that 40% of the people in both social networks are minorities; we need a metric that quantifies the integration of the minority into the social network as a whole.  The diversity of a social network depends on both the size of the minority population and its distribution.