Date: 10. 10. 2019, 12:00
Today we find ourselves in the world of fake news, targeted advertising, pronounced manipulation attempts and comprehensive disinformation campaigns, all reinforcing the growing polarization of public opinion within societies. This has a detrimental effect of disrupting political processes necessary for each body politic to commit to and pursue its own agenda. Such nefarious methods are not at all new; however, the present problem is significantly exacerbated by the ubiquitous reach of social media, allowing the specifically tailored messages to reach their target audiences quite effectively. Hence, contemporary disruption is a fairly sophisticated endeavour based on structural intricacies of social networks. Any attempt to counter it must be based on an equally exact foundation. This talk will shed light on some recent models from engineering sciences that go towards elucidating such complex processes on social networks and also suggest compelling directions of future research.
Even though exact descriptions of social networks, initiated first by Jacob Moreno with his sociograms in the 1930s, have been around for a while, it was not until recently that dynamics on graphs attracted
In contrast, when
Depending on a precise way these mediators break structural balance a social network achieves compromise agreement at a different pace. Most compellingly, if a social network is already polarized, strategically placing potential mediators may help reduce this polarization over time. There are good guesses available as to where in the network it may be most advantageous to place such influential nodes to expedite agreement. Applying these insights to the civil society, with its NGOs as actors, it may be possible to appeal to antagonistic actors, bring them closer together, bridge the gap and thereby significantly reduce the overall polarization of public opinion. Furthermore, this could provide a social network with a measure of
2010 Kristian was inducted into The Golden Key Honor Society, for academic achievement. In 2013 he was awarded second place prize, N.M. Stelmakh Outstanding Student Research Award, for
Currently, Kristian Hengster-
Research interests include, but are not limited to, dynamical systems and control theory applied to complex, multi-agent systems, differential geometry, topology, qualitative analysis of dynamical systems, control of physical systems, systems with distributed parameters. Recent work addressed distributed control of multi-agent systems, applied to synchronization and consensus.