Boltzmann and Fokker-Planck Equations Modelling Opinion Formation in the Presence of Strong Leaders
20 Pages Posted: 5 May 2009
Date Written: May 4, 2009
We propose a mathematical model for opinion formation in a society which is built of two groups, one group of 'ordinary' people and one group of 'strong opinion leaders'. Our approach is based on an opinion formation model introduced in Toscani (2006) and borrows ideas from the kinetic theory of mixtures of rarefied gases. Starting from microscopic interactions among individuals, we arrive at a macroscopic description of the opinion formation process which is characterized by a system of Fokker-Planck type equations. We discuss the steady states of this system, extend it to incorporate emergence and decline of opinion leaders, and present numerical results.
Keywords: Boltzmann equation, Fokker-Planck equation, opinion formation, sociophysics
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