Interactive knowledge exchanges under complex social relations: A simulation model

Robin Cowan & Anant Kamath


This is a model of knowledge exchange by means of informal interaction among agents in low technology clusters. What this study seeks to do is to colour these exchanges by placing them in an environment of complex social relations, test whether the small-world network structure is the most favourable for knowledge exchanges in these environments, and explore the influence of social relations and network distance. These enquiries are the contribution of this model to the existing series of studies on efficient network structures for knowledge diffusion. We find that the small-world network structure may not be the best network structure for highest and most equitable knowledge distribution, when knowledge exchanges are undertaken in environments of complex social relations. Also, we confirm that the highest and most equitable knowledge distribution is achieved when there is perfect affinity among the agents.

Keyword: Knowledge Exchanges, Small-Worlds, Social Networks, Complex Social Relations

JEL Classification: O33, Z13

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