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Decision making dynamics with non spatially embedded networks and superimposed information layers

Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

About the Project

Deciding between available alternatives, each more or less appealing than others depending on the proportion of people choosing it, is a classical decision and control problem.

However, in today’s hyperconnected world, each decision maker is exposed to a wealth of easily available information, with either low reliability or filtered through cultural characteristics. Moreover, the individuals social networks are not spatially constrained, which means individuals capture information through the network from peers that potentially experience a completely different environment.

This project aims at producing a new understanding of the decision dynamics through a multilayer network approach where the perception of the option rewards is perceived and transmitted through direct exposure, through an imperfect information layer and a non spatially embedded social network. The preference for one choice over the others does not directly depends on the individuals experience of that option, nor solely on the experience of one node immediate neighbours. The project will relate the new insights in decision dynamics to the dynamics of information spreading, to the structure of the social network and the characteristic of the information layer.

Funding Notes

Self-funded applicants may apply all year round. Applicants can also apply for a scholarship from the University of Sheffield but should note that competition for these scholarships is highly competitive. Scholarship applications should be made in the autumn with a strict deadline in late January. Specific information is available at: View Website


Ideally, students should have a background in computing, engineering, physics or mathematic. Excellent mathematical skills are expected and, possibly some knowledge and interest in graph theory and dynamical systems theory.

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