Opinion dynamics involves the mathematical modelling of how groups of agents (people) influence one anothers’ opinions. Crucially, the agents are assumed to act "freely". There is another perspective, taken by robotics engineers, in which one wants to program the agents to act in a way which achieves a desired outcome. In this case, agents do not act "freely", but their actions are still decentralised in the sense that every agent takes decisions based only on its awareness of its immediate surroundings, but nevertheless they manage to achieve some global outcome. The ultimate goal here is to understand, for example, how what we call "intelligence" can arise from (unintelligent) microscopic processes. This is very much a cross-disciplinary field, involving work by physicists, computer scientists, robotics engineers and, of course, social scientists. Mathematically, it is still very young, with a shortage of rigorous
theorems even at a very basic level. However, interest from mathematicians is slowly growing, and there are several people at this department working on various aspects of the field.
Some more detail on the kinds of mathematical models we are actually working with, and ideas for specific projects can be found in the following two pdf files. The first was written for an audience of math students and emphasises the opinion dynamics perspective. The second was written for automation engineering students and emphasises more the control engineering aspects.
File 1 File 2
Depending on students' interests, projects may involve anything from purely mathematical work, to computer simulations to actual construction and programming of robots. Indeed, there is room for at least two different projects.
For more detailed information contact supervisor.
Projekt rekommenderas för Chalmers program F, TM, I, Z, D.
Obs! För GU-studenter räknas projektet som ett projekt i Matematik eller Tillämpad Matematik (MMG900/MMG910/MMG920).
Examinator Maria Roginskaya
Institution Matematiska vetenskaper