Law and Order

Authors: Alex Tee Neng Heng, David G. Green

Peer networks have a strong influence on cooperation. In human societies, cooperation and social order are maintained by a combination of laws that govern behavior and peer group pressure to conform. This model of social networks to show that both are needed to achieve conformity. Dishonesty decreases as social interaction increases, but strongly interacting societies can promote either dishonesty as well as honesty. However, in a strongly interacting society, even a small degree of enforcement ensures almost universal conformity.

How to use this simulation

On the control panel on the right, there are four network architectures to choose from:

  • Random network: the distribution of nodes is approximately uniform, the only parameter is the connectivity;
  • Tree: is a network with branches stemming off a single “root”, the main parameter is the number of branches;
  • Small world: is a regular network with a degree of random “long range” connections;
  • Scale free network: is one in which the distribution of links per node follows a power law distribution;

Users can also configure other settings:

  • Number of nodes: the number of individuals in the network
  • Interaction range: the number of interaction events in each time perioud (e.g. day)
  • Economic stress (0 – 1): the degree of economic stress with the system
  • Reform (0 – 1): the probability of criminals reforming
  • Corrupt (0 – 1): the probability of corrupting honest people
  • Peer influence (0 – 1):the probability that during an interaction between agents, one will change to be in the same state as the other
  • % of honest people: Initial percent of people who are honest


Demo screenshot