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Learning and dynamics in social networks

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1 Author(s)
Ozdaglar, A. ; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA

Most individuals form their opinions about the quality of products, social trends and political issues via their interactions in social and economic networks. While the role of social networks as a conduit for information is as old as humanity, recent social and technological developments, such as Facebook, Blogs and Tweeter, have added further to the complexity of network interactions. Despite the ubiquity of social networks and their importance in communication, we know relatively little about how opinions form and information is transmitted in such networks. For example, does a large social network of individuals holding disperse information aggregate it efficiently? Can falsehoods, misinformation and rumors spread over networks? Do social networks, empowered by our modern communication means, support the wisdom of crowds or their ignorance? Systematic analysis of these questions necessitates a combination of tools and insights from game theory, the study of multiagent systems, and control theory. Game theory is central for studying both the selfish decisions and actions of individuals and the information that they reveal or communicate. Control theory is essential for a holistic study of networks and developing the tools for optimization over networks.

Published in:

American Control Conference, 2009. ACC '09.

Date of Conference:

10-12 June 2009