Social contagions with communication channels alternation on multiplex networks

Wei Wang, Ming Tang, H. Eugene Stanley, Lidia A. Braunstein

Internet communication channels, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and email, are multiplex networks that facilitate interaction and information-sharing among individuals. During brief time periods users often use a single communication channel, but then communication channel alteration (CCA) occurs. This means that we must refine our understanding of the dynamics of social contagions. We propose a non-Markovian behavior spreading model in multiplex networks that takes into account the CCA mechanism, and we develop a generalized edge-based compartmental method to describe the spreading dynamics. Through extensive numerical simulations and theoretical analyses we find that the time delays induced by CCA slow the behavior spreading but do not affect the final adoption size. We also find that the CCA suppresses behavior spreading. On two coupled random regular networks, the adoption size exhibits hybrid growth, i.e., it grows first continuously and then discontinuously with the information transmission probability. CCA in ER-SF multiplex networks in which two subnetworks are Erd\H{o}s-R\'{e}nyi (ER) and scale-free (SF) introduces a crossover from continuous to hybrid growth in adoption size versus information transmission probability. Our results extend our understanding of the role of CCA in spreading dynamics, and may elicit further research.

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