Simplicial models of social contagion


Complex networks have been successfully used to describe the spreading of a disease between the individuals of a population. Conversely, pairwise interactions are often not enough to characterize processes of social contagion, such as opinion formation or the adoption of novelties, where a more complex dynamics of peer influence and reinforcement mechanisms is at work. We introduce here a high-order model of social contagion in which a social system is represented by a simplicial complex and the contagion can occur, with different transmission rates, over the links or through interactions in groups of different sizes. Numerical simulations of the model on synthetic simplicial complexes and analytical results highlight the emergence of novel phenomena, such as the appearance of an explosive transition induced by the high-order interactions.