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Collective decision-making on networked systems in presence of antagonistic interactions

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Mar 03

Date and time: 3 March 2022, 12:00 – 13:00 CET (UTC +1)
Speaker: Angela Fontan, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Title: Collective decision-making on networked systems in presence of antagonistic interactions

Meeting ID: 695 6088 7455
Password: 755440

Watch the recorded presentation:


Picture of Angela Fontan_1Abstract: Collective decision-making refers to a process in which the agents of a community exchange opinions with the objective of reaching a common decision. It is often assumed that a collective decision is reached through collaboration among individuals. However, in many contexts, concerning for instance collective human behaviour, it is more realistic to assume that the agents can collaborate or compete with each other. In this case, different types of collective behaviour can be observed.

In this talk, a collective decision-making process in a network is described by a nonlinear interconnected dynamical model with sigmoidal nonlinearities, with the equilibria of the system encoding the possible decisions. The model is investigated under the assumption that the agents can both cooperate and compete, meaning that the community can be represented as a signed graph of interactions. The aim is to shed light on the role of frustration of the signed network (quantifying the amount of conflict or “social tension” in the network) in the decision-making process. The first part of this talk will focus on the analysis of the model and interpretation of the results in the social context, while in the second part a concrete application of these results to the process of government formation in parliamentary democracies will be discussed.

Bio: Angela Fontan received an M.Sc. degree in Automation Engineering in 2016 from the University of Padova, Italy. Between 2016 and 2021 she was a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Claudio Altafini at the Division of Automatic Control at the Department of Electrical Engineering of Linköping University, Sweden. She received a PhD in Electrical Engineering with specialization in Automatic Control in September 2021, and she is currently a Postdoctoral researcher at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, working with Prof. Karl H. Johansson. Her research interests are in the area of networked systems and nonlinear dynamics over networks, with applications to social networks and collective decision-making processes.

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