A message-passing approach for threshold models of behavior in networks

Munik Shrestha, Cristopher Moore

We study a simple model of how social behaviors, like trends and opinions, propagate in networks where individuals adopt the trend when they are informed by threshold $T$ neighbors who are adopters. Using a dynamic message-passing algorithm, we develop a tractable and computationally efficient method that provides complete time evolution of each individual's probability of adopting the trend or of the frequency of adopters and non-adopters in any arbitrary networks. We validate the method by comparing it with Monte Carlo based agent simulation in real and synthetic networks and provide an exact analytic scheme for large random networks, where simulation results match well. Our approach is general enough to incorporate non-Markovian processes and to include heterogeneous thresholds and thus can be applied to explore rich sets of complex heterogeneous agent-based models.

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