Kinetic Description of Social Dynamics: From Consensus to Flocking

Opinion Dynamics: Rise and Fall of Political Parties

Eli Ben-Naim

Los Alamos National Laboratory


A widely-used opinion dynamics model, the compromise process, will be introduced and analyzed using pattern formation and scaling methods. In the compromise process, two agents may interact and reach consensus, and additionally, individual agents may spontaneously change their opinions by a random, diffusive process. There are three distinct scenarios. For strong diffusion, the distribution of opinions is uniform and no political organizations (parties) are formed. For weak diffusion, parties do form and furthermore, the political landscape continually evolves as small parties merge into larger ones. Without diffusion, a pattern develops: parties have the same size and they possess equal niches.