WEIN 2010 - The Fifth International Workshop on Emergent Intelligence on Networked Agents
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AAMAS 2010 Satellite Workshop

The Fifth International Workshop on Emergent Intelligence on Networked Agents (WEIN 2010)

A Generative Approach to Constructing Dynamic Networks with Small World Properties

Declan Mungovan, Jim Duggan and Enda Howley

Many real world social networks have the small world property of high clustering and low average path length. Early research in this area focused on static networks, whereas recent research has begun to explore networks that evolve in an unplanned or decentralized manner. In this paper we propose a network creation method that deploys a generative approach. Rather than defining a fixed network structure at the outset, agents can autonomously decide whether to create new links or break existing ones. This is achieved by each agent sending out introductory signals to their acquaintances about who they should be connected to. Our experiments show that this new approach allows a population of heterogeneously interacting agents to self organise into networks that have small world properties. This approach not only helps explain the small world effect as an emergent property of agent interactions, but should also prove to be a useful method for researchers who are simulating dynamic social networks.


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