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Partial Shocks on Cooperative Multiplex Networks with Varying Degrees of Noise.


In many cooperative networks, such as alliance and trade networks, abrupt and intense changes to the state of the system (which we call "shocks"), can substantially change the network. We examine how such shocks affect multiplex networks via an agent-based model, in which agents add, drop, or change ties to increase their utility. At a certain time-point, some agents are "shocked" by changing (increasing or decreasing) the cost associated with tie-formation or tie-maintenance. Our model makes several improvements to previous models, including (a) only a fraction of nodes are shocked to simulate small wars or scattered tariff increases or decreases and (b) agents can make both utility-maximizing decisions and randomly rewire ties to explore the utility landscape. Interestingly, we find that randomly rewiring ties increases the utility of agents, for reasons similar to simulated annealing in physics. Furthermore, we create a novel metric to determine how networks change after a shock and find that the size of a shock and noise significantly changes the network, but only when agents' incentives for tie-formation are sufficiently high. Together, these results suggest that adding more realism to cooperation network models can give nuanced understanding to network shocks.

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