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We have presented here a simple, but workable, model with which to model the flow of an important opinion in a population of humans. It can be used with populations small or large, homogeneous or heterogeneous.
This work is the first that I know of in which a social network is the raw substrate for a dynamic simulation. As such it represents just the beginning of study. But even in its initial form we can use it to help create realistic game worlds.
Of course, this work represents just another step toward a Matrix type complete simulation of the world of humans. We can’t yet model accurately all people and their interactions yet, so we use a simplified model (connections, assessments, alignments, etc.) Placing our players in ever more realistic game worlds promises to make the games more intuitive and instantly engaging. This trend will only continue.
Software to run these types of simulations is located at http://www.skipcole.com/modeling_opinion_flow. It is covered under the GNU public license, so it is free for you to use.
It is probable that you will need to modify it for your own particular purposes. Since the code is set up as interfaces, and one can overwrite the methods that create the connections and initial alignments, going to higher levels of detail should not be difficult.
On the site listed above we will continue to improve this code and more features. Future refinements may include:
We have eclectically cobbled together ideas from many disciplines. The references below have been essential reading.