The Role of Reinformcement on Social Dynamics

Sidney Redner 

Wednesdays@NICO Seminar, Noon, March 7 2012, Chambers Hall, Lower Level

Prof. Sidney Redner, Boston University


In social dynamics models, an individual attribute typically changes due to a single interaction between two agents. We address the issue of happens if such an attribute change requires multiple interactions from neighboring agents. We first treat a fad propagation model, in which an agent adopts the fad only after receiving K inputs to adopt from other already-committed agents. For a population of size N, the time until the fad is adopted scales as ln N for K=1 (no reinforcement), and N^{(K-1)/K} for K>1. For the voter model with K inputs needed for an individual state change, a two-time scale approach to consensus occurs, with rich temporal and spatial dynamics.


Sid Redner works in non-equilibrium statistical physics and its applications. He has published 235 articles and two books: "A Guide First-Passage Process-es" (Cambridge, 2001) and "A Kinetic View of Statistical Physics” with P.L. Krapivsky and E. Ben-Naim (Cambridge, 2010). Redner is a Fellow of the APS and was a visiting scientist at Schlumberger Research in 1984-85, the Ulam Scholar at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2004-05 and visiting professor at Universite' Paul Sabatier (Toulouse) and Universite' Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris). He is also Chair of the Physics Department. Additional Information can be found on his website