A while back Mazir gave an interesting talk whose abstract is below. One of the directions of future research is to model the spread of rumours in a web of trust. That might be of interest to some of us.

Rumours are an important form of social communications, and their

spreading plays a significant role in a variety of human affairs. Standard

models of rumours do not take into account the topology of the

underlying social interaction networks along which rumours spread. In

this talk I introduce a new stochastic model for the spread of rumours

in large-scale online social networks which are characterized by highly

complex connectivity patterns. I derive a set of mean-field equations

for the dynamics of the model on such networks and use analytical and

numerical solutions of these equations to examine the critical

properties and dynamics of rumour spreading on several models of

complex social networks.

Interesting model – the rate of rumour spreading is the same for every link, so a node’s “rumour bandwidth” is proportional to its degree. That might be realistic – maybe people with more friends do spend more time talking – but I wonder what would happen if all nodes had the same bandwidth, ie if the rate of rumour spreading on each link was divided by the node’s degree. Would that reduce the influence of high-degree nodes, making the results in scale-free networks more similar to the results in random networks?

That’s the link to the slides of the talk:

http://www.adastral.ucl.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=70&Itemid=2