Computer Laboratory

Technical reports

Ising model of rumour spreading in interacting communities

Massimo Ostilli, Eiko Yoneki, Ian X. Y. Leung, Jose F. F. Mendes, Pietro Lió, Jon Crowcroft

January 2010, 24 pages


We report a preliminary investigation on interactions between communities in a complex network using the Ising model to analyse the spread of information among real communities. The inner opinion of a given community is forced to change through the introduction of a unique external source and we analyse how the other communities react to this change. We model two conceptual external sources: namely, “Strong-belief”, and “propaganda”, by an infinitely strong inhomogeneous external field and a finite uniform external field, respectively. In the former case, the community changes independently from other communities while in the latter case according also to interactions with the other communities. We apply our model to synthetic networks as well as various real world data ranging from human physical contact networks to online social networks. The experimental results using real world data clearly demonstrate two distinct scenarios of phase transitions characterised by the presence of strong memory effects when the graph and coupling parameters are above a critical threshold.

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BibTeX record

  author =	 {Ostilli, Massimo and Yoneki, Eiko and Leung, Ian X. Y. and
          	  Mendes, Jose F. F. and Li{\'o}, Pietro and Crowcroft, Jon},
  title = 	 {{Ising model of rumour spreading in interacting communities}},
  year = 	 2010,
  month = 	 jan,
  url = 	 {},
  institution =  {University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory},
  number = 	 {UCAM-CL-TR-767}