EF45 – Multi-Agent Complex Systems



Informing Opinion Dynamics Models with Online Social Network Data

Project Heads

Nataša Djurdjevac Conrad, Ana Djurdjevac, Christof Schütte, Carsten Hartmann, Philipp Lorenz-Spreen

Close Collaborators

Camille Roth, Sebastian Pokutta

Project Members

Sebastian Zimper

Project Duration

01.04.2023 – 31.03.2026

Located at



The literature contains a manifold of fundamental models for the dynamical changes of opinions through social influence during social interaction (personal, social networks). Although some of these models qualitatively reproduce real-world phenomena like the emergence of opinion polarization, or echo chambers, their assumptions and outcomes are still quite far from being empirically adequate since an appropriate data-based approach for empirical validation is still missing. To overcome this gap, we aim to build a model in close comparison to real-world data from the beginning. By extending traditional bounded confidence models of opinion dynamics, we propose a new mathematical model for complex co-evolution of opinion and social dynamics. Our model will rely on empirical, time-dependent social network data (from Twitter) that is coupled to a stochastic opinion dynamics model for a large, but finite number of interacting agents. Once the model’s outcomes of social- and individual-opinion correlations are validated against the respective measures from Twitter, it can be used to achieve a better understanding of how polarization and echo-chambers are created and to provide empirical underpinning on how people shape their opinions in their online social space to assess the risk of possible mechanism for manipulations by automated bots.

Project Webpages

Selected Publications

  1. N. Djurdjevac Conrad, J. Köppl and  A. Djurdjevac. Feedback Loops in Opinion Dynamics of Agent-Based Models with Multiplicative Noise. Entropy 24(10), 2022.
  2. L. Helfmann, N. Djurdjevac Conrad, P. Lorenz-Spreen and C. Schütte. Modelling opinion dynamics under the impact of influencer and media strategies. Scientific Reports 13(19375), 2023.
  3. L. Helfmann, N. Djurdjevac Conrad, P. Lorenz-Spreen and C. Schütte. Implementation of the model for the paper “Modelling opinion dynamics under the impact of influencer and media strategies”. Zenodo, 2024.
  4. N. Djurdjevac Conrad, N. Quang Vu and S. Nagel. Coevolving networks for opinion and social dynamics in agent-based models. In preparation.
  5. S. Zimper, F. Cornalba, N. Djurdjevac Conrad and A. Djurdjevac. On reduced intertial PDE models for Cucker-Smale flocking dynamics. In preparation.

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