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Competition between collective and individual dynamics.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publisher
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
Dec 08, 2009
Volume
106
Issue
49
Pages
20622–20626
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906263106
PMID: 19934061
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Linking microscopic and macroscopic behavior is at the heart of many natural and social sciences. This apparent similarity conceals essential differences across disciplines: Although physical particles are assumed to optimize the global energy, economic agents maximize their own utility. Here, we solve exactly a Schelling-like segregation model, which interpolates continuously between cooperative and individual dynamics. We show that increasing the degree of cooperativity induces a qualitative transition from a segregated phase of low utility toward a mixed phase of high utility. By introducing a simple function that links the individual and global levels, we pave the way to a rigorous approach of a wide class of systems, where dynamics are governed by individual strategies.

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