Frequentist Belief Update Under Ambiguous Evidence in Social Networks

EPOC Working Paper No. 13 - 2024

25 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2024 Last revised: 9 Feb 2024

See all articles by Michel Grabisch

Michel Grabisch

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - CERMSEM

M. Alperen Yasar

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia; Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne (CES)

Date Written: February 1, 2024

Abstract

In this paper, we study a frequentist approach to belief updating in the framework of Dempster-Shafer Theory (DST). We propose several mechanisms that allow the gathering of possibly ambiguous pieces of evidence over time to obtain a belief mass assignment. We then use our approach to study the impact of ambiguous evidence on the belief distribution of agents in social networks. We illustrate our approach by taking three representative situations. In the first one, we suppose that there is an unknown state of nature, and agents form belief on the set of possible states. Nature constantly sends a signal which reflects the true state with some probability but which can also be ambiguous. In the second situation, there is no ground truth, and agents are against or in favor of some ethical or societal issues. In the third situation, there is no ground state either, but agents have opinions on left, center, and right political parties. We show that our approach can model various phenomena often observed in social networks, like polarization, echo chambers, and bounded confidence effects.

Keywords: Dempster-Shafer theory, agent-based modeling, social networks, ambiguous evidence, subjective belief update, opinion dynamics

Suggested Citation

Grabisch, Michel and Yasar, M. Alperen, Frequentist Belief Update Under Ambiguous Evidence in Social Networks (February 1, 2024). EPOC Working Paper No. 13 - 2024, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4715241 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4715241

Michel Grabisch

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - CERMSEM ( email )

106-112, Boulevard de l'Hôpital
Paris, 75647
France

M. Alperen Yasar (Contact Author)

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne (CES) ( email )

106-112 Boulevard de l'hopital
106-112 Boulevard de l'Hôpital
Paris Cedex 13, 75647
France

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