Achieving consensus among agents - an opinion-dynamics model
The paper considers the problem of how a distributed system of agents (who communicate only via a localised network) might achieve consensus by copying beliefs (copy) from each other and doing some belief pruning themselves (drop). This is explored using a social simulation model, where beliefs interact with each other via a compatibility function, which assigns a level of compatibility (which is a sort of weak consistency) to a set of beliefs. The probability of copy and drop processes occurring is based on the increase in compatibility this process might result in. This allows for a process of collective consensus building whilst allowing for temporarily incompatible beliefs to be held by an agent.
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