Learning in Social Networks
41 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2017 Last revised: 10 Apr 2017
Date Written: February 16, 2017
This survey covers models of how agents update behaviors and beliefs using information conveyed through social connections. We begin with sequential social learning models, in which each agent makes a decision once and for all after observing a subset of prior decisions; the discussion is organized around the concepts of diffusion and aggregation of information. Next, we present the DeGroot framework of average-based repeated updating, whose long- and medium-run dynamics can be completely characterized in terms of measures of network centrality and segregation. Finally, we turn to various models of repeated updating that feature richer optimizing behavior, and conclude by urging the development of network learning theories that can deal adequately with the observed phenomenon of persistent disagreement.
Keywords: social learning, informational herding, cascades, DeGroot, Bayesian, consensus, imitation, homophily, speed of convergence
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