Predictable dynamics of opinion forming for networks with antagonistic interactions.

C. Altafini and G. Lini.

IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control , 60(2):342-357, 2015.

For communities of agents which are not necessarily cooperating, distributed processes of opinion forming are naturally represented by signed graphs, with positive edges representing friendly and cooperative interactions and negative edges the corresponding antagonistic counterpart. Unlike for nonnegative graphs, the outcome of a dynamical system evolving on a signed graph is not obvious and it is in general difficult to characterize, even when the dynamics are linear. In this paper we identify a significant class of signed graphs for which the linear dynamics are however predictable and show many analogies with positive dynamical systems. These cases correspond to adjacency matrices that are eventually positive, for which the Perron-Frobenius property still holds and implies the existence of an invariant cone contained inside the positive orthant. As examples of applications, we determine cases in which it is possible to anticipate or impose unanimity of opinion in decision/voting processes even in presence of stubborn agents, and show how it is possible to extend the PageRank algorithm to include negative links.

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