Three-state opinion dynamics in modular networks

André L. Oestereich, Marcelo A. Pires, Nuno Crokidakis

In this work we study the opinion evolution in a community-based population with intergroup interactions. We address two issues. First, we consider that such intergroup interactions can be negative with some probability $p$. We develop a coupled mean-field approximation that still preserves the community structure and it is able to capture the richness of the results arising from our Monte Carlo simulations: continuous and discontinuous order-disorder transitions as well as nonmonotonic ordering for an intermediate community strength. In the second part, we consider only positive interactions, but with the presence of inflexible agents holding a minority opinion. We also consider an indecision noise: a probability $q$ that allows the spontaneous change of opinions to the neutral state. Our results show that the modular structure leads to a nonmonotonic global ordering as $q$ increases. This inclination toward neutrality plays a dual role: a moderated propensity to neutrality helps the initial minority to become a majority, but this noise-driven opinion switching becomes less pronounced if the agents are too susceptible to become neutral.

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