Interdisciplinary Physics Regular Article

The European Physical Journal B

, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 301-318

First online:

Nonlinear voter models: the transition from invasion to coexistence

  • F. SchweitzerAffiliated withChair of Systems Design, ETH Zurich, Kreuzplatz 5 Email author 
  • , L. BeheraAffiliated withDepartment of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology

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In nonlinear voter models the transitions between two states depend in a nonlinear manner on the frequencies of these states in the neighborhood. We investigate the role of these nonlinearities on the global outcome of the dynamics for a homogeneous network where each node is connected to m = 4 neighbors. The paper unfolds in two directions. We first develop a general stochastic framework for frequency dependent processes from which we derive the macroscopic dynamics for key variables, such as global frequencies and correlations. Explicit expressions for both the mean-field limit and the pair approximation are obtained. We then apply these equations to determine a phase diagram in the parameter space that distinguishes between different dynamic regimes. The pair approximation allows us to identify three regimes for nonlinear voter models: (i) complete invasion; (ii) random coexistence; and – most interestingly – (iii) correlated coexistence. These findings are contrasted with predictions from the mean-field phase diagram and are confirmed by extensive computer simulations of the microscopic dynamics.


87.23.Cc Population dynamics and ecological pattern formation 87.23.Ge Dynamics of social systems