Threshold models of global cascades have been extensively used to model real-world collective behavior, such as the contagious spread of fads and the adoption of new technologies. A common property of those cascade models is that a vanishingly small seed fraction can spread to a finite fraction of an infinitely large network through local infections. In social and economic networks, however, individuals' behavior is often influenced not only by what their direct neighbors are doing, but also by what the majority of people are doing as a trend. A trend affects individuals' behavior while individuals' behavior creates a trend. To analyze such a complex interplay between local- and global-scale phenomena, I generalize the standard threshold model by introducing a type of node called global nodes (or trend followers), whose activation probability depends on a global-scale trend, specifically the percentage of activated nodes in the population. The model shows that global nodes play a role as accelerating cascades once a trend emerges while reducing the probability of a trend emerging. Global nodes thus either facilitate or inhibit cascades, suggesting that a moderate share of trend followers may maximize the average size of cascades.
Physical Review E
- Pub Date:
- December 2015
- Social and economic systems;
- Computer Science - Social and Information Networks;
- Physics - Physics and Society
- Physical Review E, in press