Balkanization in a Probabilistic Model

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A Probabilistic Society Model

Note: in order to run the simulation referred to in this slide, go here, to the Java Applet version. You will be directed to download the latest version of the Java plug-in.

In the society to the left, agents will select their partners probabilistically. We introduce a new parameter to denote agent preference for similar or different agents. This parameter is given in the slide below the society. The parameter will determine how much more likely a similar agent is to be chosen over a different agent or vice-versa.

If the slide is set to .50, agents will have no preference for similar or different agents. Thus connections will be completely random. If the slide is set towards the similar end, agents will prefer connecting to similar agents to some extent. If the slide is set towards the different end, agents will be more likely to connect to a different agent than a similar one.

Note that setting the slider completely to the similar end precludes the possibility of connections forming between different types under any circumstances, because the likelihood of an agent connecting to a different type is 0. Likewise, if the slider is set all the way to the different end, similar types will not connect.

On this slide, you can alter the slide position, the level of access, and the channel count. Then press "Go" to connect the society and display the Balkanization Measures. You may press "restart" to generate a new society.

Under conditions of universal access and a limited channel count, try to connect the society with different settings for the agent preference and see how this affects the Index of Balkanized Affiliation. We will investigate results from this setup in the next slides. Of course, feel free to experiment with this society under different circumstances, either now or after reading the remainder of the tutorial.

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