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Interacting particle systems as stochastic social dynamics

Abstract

The style of mathematical models known to probabilists as Interacting Particle Systems and exemplified by the Voter, Exclusion and Contact processes have found use in many academic disciplines. In many such disciplines the underlying conceptual picture is of a social network, where individuals meet pairwise and update their "state" (opinion, activity etc) in a way depending on the two previous states. This picture motivates a precise general setup we call Finite Markov Information Exchange (FMIE) processes. We briefly describe a few less familiar models (Averaging, Compulsive Gambler, Deference, Fashionista) suggested by the social network picture, as well as a few familiar ones. © 2013 ISI/BS.

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