Collective decision making with a mix of majority and minority seekers

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We study a model of a population making a binary decision based on information spreading within the population, which is fully connected or covering a square grid. We assume that a fraction of the population wants to make the choice of the minority, whereas the rest want to make the majority choice. This resembles opinion spreading with "contrarian" agents but has the game theoretic aspect that agents try to optimize their own situation in ways that are incompatible with the common good. When this fraction is less than 1/2, the population can efficiently self-organize to a state where agents get what they want - the majority (i.e., the majority seekers) have one opinion, the minority seekers have the other. If the fraction is larger than 1/2, there is a frustration in the population that dramatically changes the dynamics. In this region, the population converges, through some distinct phases, to a state of approximately equal-sized opinions. Just over the threshold the state of the population is furthest from the collectively optimal solution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number052308
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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