Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How network dynamics shape collaboration

25.08.2015

From the Earth System to the human brain, from families to Facebook – complex networks can be found everywhere around us. Describing the structure of socio-economic systems, the analysis of complex networks can improve our understanding of interactions and transformations within our society.

A team of researchers now used this approach to explore the development of large coalitions in a network of acquaintances, when cooperation promises the highest economic or social advantages. For the first time, they focused on how social relations interact with this process.


Full cooperation is most probable when the network adapts only slowly to new coalition structures. (Detail of Figure 2 in the study) Graphics: PIK

Published in the journal Scientific Reports of the renowned Nature group, their results show that full cooperation is most probable when the network adapts only slowly to new coalition structures. If the network adapts faster than new coalitions form, its fragmentation might prevent the formation of large-scale coalitions.

“Cooperation is critical when it comes to a common pool resource,” says lead author Sabine Auer of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Man-made climate change and the necessary transition to a low-carbon economy as one of the major current economic challenges are examples of changes which are closely related to several common pool resources like the atmosphere and renewable energy sources.

“As a more simple example, imagine a meadow used by several farmers – a common agreement on how to use this renewable resource in a sustainable way would be most profitable for the group at a whole in the long-term, so a trustworthy grand coalition would be the best option. However, our study shows that if some farmers quickly form a coalition before trust within the whole network is established, this might alienate the others - and the lost social tie may later prevent them to join the coalition,” Auer explains.

+++“Keep up good relations with your competitors so they might become your partners later”+++

Even though there clearly is a feedback loop of network structure influencing behavior and at the same time behavior influencing the network adaptation, so far the underlying social relations in a network were disregarded in models of coalition formation.

“Now we were able to investigate the role of trust and social relations for coalitions of multiple potential partners for the first time and found that full cooperation is most probable when the acquaintance network adapts only slowly to the coalition structure,” Auer says. “The relative speed of changes in social feedback loops seems to be crucial for transformation processes”.

“We provide a new methodological approach that can be used in socio-economic environments where cooperation promises economic or social advantages – this is an important step towards a better understanding of the mechanisms of collaboration,” says co-author Jobst Heitzig. It can be applied to study diverse subjects from firm size distribution to fish cohorts or political parties. “One common message is clear from the model: Keep up good relations with your competitors so they might become your partners later!”

+++Statistical physics used to study socio-economic systems+++

“Statistical physics provides a powerful means to conceptually study mechanisms of socio-economic systems and their associated transformations, such as market restructuring, social upheavals or even revolutions, says co-author Jürgen Kurths, chair of Research Domain Transdisciplinary Concepts & Methods” at the Potsdam Institute.

The study was carried out within the framework of PIK’s project “Copan – Coevolutionary Pathways,” that aims at developing conceptual models which consolidate natural and socio-economic subsystems of the Earth system and their relationship to each other. “The formation and breakdown of coalitions and the emergence of transitions is a major modelling challenge, which our study advanced to a new level of complexity,” says Kurths.

Article: Auer, S., Heitzig, J., Kornek, U., Schöll, E., Kurths, J. (2015): The Dynamics of Coalition Formation on Complex Networks. Nature Scientific Reports [DOI: 10.1038/srep13386]

Weblink to the article: www.nature.com/articles/srep13386

Media contact:
PIK press office
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
E-Mail: press@pik-potsdam.de
Twitter: @PIK_Climate

Jonas Viering | Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung
Further information:
http://www.pik-potsdam.de

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>