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Predicting a Community Wide Outcome from Local Information

Posted: 26 Jan 2012  

Thomas Chesney

Nottingham University Business School

Date Written: January 26, 2012


The ability of a network node to predict a community wide outcome solely from the decision of its neighbors is explored. A community wide outcome is defined as the consensus decision of 80% of the network's members. This paper presents a new algorithm that can be used to generate a network with the characteristics of social networks. This is used to simulate a community that over discrete time period collectively decides to like or not something unspecified, but it could be imagined as a song, a film, a holiday resort, etc. The network nodes are analyzed for their ability to predict from the behavior of their neighbor nodes what the community outcome will be.

Keywords: social network, consensus decision, simulation

Suggested Citation

Chesney, Thomas, Predicting a Community Wide Outcome from Local Information (January 26, 2012). Nottingham University Business School Research Paper No. 2012-02. Available at SSRN:

Thomas Chesney (Contact Author)

Nottingham University Business School ( email )

Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

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