Bae, K-H ; Feng, B ; Kim, S ; Lazarova-Molnar, S ; Zheng, Z ; Roeder, T ; Thiesing, R. (Ed.)
Protest is a collective action problem and can be modeled as a coordination game in which people take an action with the potential to achieve shared mutual benefits. In game-theoretic contexts, successful coordination requires that people know each others’ willingness to participate, and that this information is common knowledge among a sufficient number of people. We develop an agent-based model of collective action that was the first to combine social structure and individual incentives. Another novel aspect of the model is that a social network increases in density (i.e., new graph edges are formed) over time. The model studies the formation of common knowledge through local interactions and the characterizing social network structures. We use four real-world, data-mined social networks (Facebook, Wikipedia, email, and peer-to-peer networks) and one scale-free network, and conduct computational experiments to study contagion dynamics under different conditions.