The Wisdom of the Network: How Adaptive Networks Promote Collective Intelligence

Alejandro Noriega-Campero, Abdullah Almaatouq, Peter Krafft, Abdulrahman Alotaibi, Mehdi Moussaid and Alex Pentland

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Received: 11th May 18

Social networks continuously change as people create new ties and break existing ones. It is widely noted that our social embedding exerts an influence on what information we receive, and on how we form beliefs and make decisions. However, studies on collective intelligence overlook the dynamic nature of social networks. It remains unknown (1) how network structures adapt to the performances of individuals, and (2) whether this adaptation promotes the accuracy of individual and collective decisions. Here, we answer these questions through a series of behavioral experiments and simulations. Our results reveal that groups of people embedded in dynamic social networks can adapt to non-stationary information environments. As a result, individual and collective accuracy is substantially improved over static networks and unconnected groups. Moreover, we show that groups in dynamic networks far outperform their best-performing member and that even the best member’s judgment substantially benefits from group engagement. Thereby, our findings demonstrate the role of dynamic social networks as adaptive mechanisms for refining individual judgments and harnessing groups' collective intelligence.

Read in full at arXiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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