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Publication# Disagreement and fragmentation in growing groups

Abstract

The arise of disagreement is an emergent phenomenon that can be observed within a growing social group and, beyond a certain threshold, can lead to group fragmentation. To better understand how disagreement emerges, we introduce an analytically tractable model of group formation where individuals have multidimensional binary opinions and the group grows through a noisy homophily principle, i.e., like-minded individuals attract each other with exceptions occurring with some small probability. Assuming that the level of disagreement is correlated with the number of different opinions coexisting within the group, we find analytically and numerically that in growing groups disagreement emerges spontaneously regardless of how small the noise in the system is. Moreover, for groups of infinite size, fragmentation is inevitable. We also show that the model outcomes are robust under different group growth mechanisms.

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Ontological neighbourhood

Group action

In mathematics, a group action on a space is a group homomorphism of a given group into the group of transformations of the space. Similarly, a group action on a mathematical structure is a group homomorphism of a group into the automorphism group of the structure. It is said that the group acts on the space or structure. If a group acts on a structure, it will usually also act on objects built from that structure. For example, the group of Euclidean isometries acts on Euclidean space and also on the figures drawn in it.

Reductive group

In mathematics, a reductive group is a type of linear algebraic group over a field. One definition is that a connected linear algebraic group G over a perfect field is reductive if it has a representation that has a finite kernel and is a direct sum of irreducible representations. Reductive groups include some of the most important groups in mathematics, such as the general linear group GL(n) of invertible matrices, the special orthogonal group SO(n), and the symplectic group Sp(2n).

Dihedral group

In mathematics, a dihedral group is the group of symmetries of a regular polygon, which includes rotations and reflections. Dihedral groups are among the simplest examples of finite groups, and they play an important role in group theory, geometry, and chemistry. The notation for the dihedral group differs in geometry and abstract algebra. In geometry, D_n or Dih_n refers to the symmetries of the n-gon, a group of order 2n. In abstract algebra, D_2n refers to this same dihedral group.

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