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Agents in echo chambers: When will they change their mind?

Onnes, Annet (2018) Agents in echo chambers: When will they change their mind? Bachelor's Thesis, Artificial Intelligence.

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Abstract

Echo chambers are a politically current and interesting information phenomenon. They are epistemic networks which through belief polarization and limited exposure to information have become impregnable to outside information. In this bachelor’s project, I have looked at the resolution of these epistemic structures by developing two multi-agent models in NetLogo: DIALx and DIALx2. I based both on DIAL, an existing model created by Dykstra et al. In order to differentiate between epistemic bubbles and echo chambers I added belief entrenchment to the models. Belief entrenchment is an idea by Baumgaertner. Results showed that the DIALx implementation did not allow resolution of echo chambers or bubbles. The limited movement of the agents restricts their exposure to opposing evidence, thereby upholding the belief entrenchment values. DIALx2 is a response to this behavior. In this implementation, the movement of agents depends on their belief entrenchment, allowing resolution. Both models provide telling results about the resolution and constitution of echo chambers and other epistemic structures. A comparison between DIAL, DIALx and DIALx2 contributes to the field by reviewing existing models and ideas. The succession of DIALx and DIALx2 shows the strong influence of agents’ movements within topic space, bringing up new research questions.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Supervisor:
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Verbrugge, L.C.L.C.Verbrugge@rug.nl
Kooi, B.P.B.P.Kooi@rug.nl
Degree programme: Artificial Intelligence
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2018
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2018 13:45
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/16611

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