Computational modelling of Inter-group dynamics for situational understanding

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Computer Science

Abstract

Using large-scale agent-based simulation, this project addresses the modelling of inter-group behaviour to provide understanding of the dynamics that fuel cooperative and uncooperative interaction, extending to hostility and conflict. Techniques originally developed to emulate distributed flocking in nature, as originated in computer vision, will be extended to embody psychological theory relating to interaction and perception between individual agents. This will enable new insights into the collective behaviour of groups, for enhanced situational awareness.

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512503/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021
1948277 Studentship EP/R512503/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Rhodri Lloyd Morris
 
Description We have extended Axelrod's Dissemination of Culture model using Latane's Social Impact Theory as a basis for simulating "peer pressure" on an individual from the combined effect of its neighbours. Concepts from social sciences have been transferred to the computing sciences and we have examined the impact of peer influence on culture. We have established the power of peer pressure through its role as a complex contagion, and contrasted this model against the work of Axelrod. Our findings show that peer pressure invokes a significant increase in the number of stable regions that emerge, while taking into account diminishing influence by social distance.

We also apply this model to different shape hierarchical tree structures. We find that increasing the number of features promotes strong convergence in flatter trees as compared to narrower and deeper trees. At the same time increasing features causes narrower deeper trees to show greater cultural pluralism while flatter trees instead show greater cultural homogenisation. We also find that in contrast to previous work, the polarisation between nodes does not rise steadily as the number of traits increase but under certain conditions may also fall.
Exploitation Route Our model provides a useful basis for further experimentation, including alternative network structures, heterogeneous agent behaviour and alternative models for influence taking hold upon individuals. The outcomes of such modelling are potentially relevant to organisational behaviour and structure as well as understanding inter-group relations, in terms of coherence and divergence of common views.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy

 
Title A social-impact inspired extension of Axelrod's model of cultural dissemination, with compound influence over distance. 
Description We implement an agent-based model based on Axelrod's model of Cultural Dissemination (Axelrod 1997). Inspired by Social Impact Theory, our model takes into account both compound influence and diminishing influence over distance. We compare results with Axelrod's work and also use this model as a basis for further research examining differing dissemination behaviours between dyadic interactions and compound influence. For a detailed explanation of this model, please see section III of: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICCC.2019.00030 ('The impact of peer pressure: extending Axelrod's model on cultural polarisation', Morris et al, 2019) 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This model formed the basis of the paper http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICCC.2019.00030 and further work examining the differing effects of compound vs dyadic influence in different hierarchical tree structures. The model provides a platform to explore culture in a wide range of further scenarios, including electronic, coalition and organisational contexts. In particular we find that when influence is compound rather than dyadic, different shape hierarchical structures (eg tall vs flat) have a tangible effect on the spread of traits through a network (R. Morris et al, 2020, currently under review). 
 
Description Distributed Analytics and Information Sciences International Technology Alliance (DAIS-ITA) 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Development of models capturing cultural contagion and possible coalition formation.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative links to Army Research Laboratory, DSTL and IBM. Expertise in Social Psychology.
Impact R. Bellamy, G. Colombo, S. Eshghi, G. de Mel, C. Giammanco, R. Morris, D. G. Rand, L. D. Turner, R. M. Whitaker, and G.-R. Williams, "A computational framework for modelling inter-group behaviour using psychological theory" in NextGeneration Analyst VI, vol. 10653. International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2018, p. 106530G. Morris, R., Turner, L., Whitaker, R., & Giammanco, C. (2019, July). "The Impact of Peer Pressure: Extending Axelrod's Model on Cultural Polarisation." In 2019 IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Computing (ICCC) (pp. 114-121). IEEE. Morris, R., Turner, L., Whitaker, R., & Giammanco, C. "Breadth verses depth: the impact of tree structure on cultural influence." (Unpublished, under review) Morris, R., Turner, L., Whitaker, R.: School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University. Giammanco, C.: US Army Research Laboratory A collaboration between computer scientists(Morris, Turner, Whitaker) and Social Psychologists (Giammanco).
Start Year 2017
 
Description Distributed Analytics and Information Sciences International Technology Alliance (DAIS-ITA) 
Organisation IBM
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Development of models capturing cultural contagion and possible coalition formation.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative links to Army Research Laboratory, DSTL and IBM. Expertise in Social Psychology.
Impact R. Bellamy, G. Colombo, S. Eshghi, G. de Mel, C. Giammanco, R. Morris, D. G. Rand, L. D. Turner, R. M. Whitaker, and G.-R. Williams, "A computational framework for modelling inter-group behaviour using psychological theory" in NextGeneration Analyst VI, vol. 10653. International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2018, p. 106530G. Morris, R., Turner, L., Whitaker, R., & Giammanco, C. (2019, July). "The Impact of Peer Pressure: Extending Axelrod's Model on Cultural Polarisation." In 2019 IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Computing (ICCC) (pp. 114-121). IEEE. Morris, R., Turner, L., Whitaker, R., & Giammanco, C. "Breadth verses depth: the impact of tree structure on cultural influence." (Unpublished, under review) Morris, R., Turner, L., Whitaker, R.: School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University. Giammanco, C.: US Army Research Laboratory A collaboration between computer scientists(Morris, Turner, Whitaker) and Social Psychologists (Giammanco).
Start Year 2017
 
Description Distributed Analytics and Information Sciences International Technology Alliance (DAIS-ITA) 
Organisation US Army Research Lab
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Development of models capturing cultural contagion and possible coalition formation.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborative links to Army Research Laboratory, DSTL and IBM. Expertise in Social Psychology.
Impact R. Bellamy, G. Colombo, S. Eshghi, G. de Mel, C. Giammanco, R. Morris, D. G. Rand, L. D. Turner, R. M. Whitaker, and G.-R. Williams, "A computational framework for modelling inter-group behaviour using psychological theory" in NextGeneration Analyst VI, vol. 10653. International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2018, p. 106530G. Morris, R., Turner, L., Whitaker, R., & Giammanco, C. (2019, July). "The Impact of Peer Pressure: Extending Axelrod's Model on Cultural Polarisation." In 2019 IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Computing (ICCC) (pp. 114-121). IEEE. Morris, R., Turner, L., Whitaker, R., & Giammanco, C. "Breadth verses depth: the impact of tree structure on cultural influence." (Unpublished, under review) Morris, R., Turner, L., Whitaker, R.: School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University. Giammanco, C.: US Army Research Laboratory A collaboration between computer scientists(Morris, Turner, Whitaker) and Social Psychologists (Giammanco).
Start Year 2017