Opinion Formation and Phase Transitions in a Probabilistic Cellular Automaton with Two Absorbing States
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We discuss the process of opinion formation in a completely homogeneous, democratic population using a class of probabilistic cellular automata models with two absorbing states. Each individual can have one of two opinions that can change according to that of his neighbors. It is dominated by an overwhelming majority and can disagree against a marginal one. We present the phase diagram in the mean field approximation and from numerical experiments for the simplest nontrivial case. For arbitrarily large neighborhoods we discuss the mean field results for a non-conformist society, where each individual adheres to the overwhelming majority of its neighbors and choses an opposite opinion in other cases. Mean field results and preliminary lattice simulations with long-range connections among individuals show the presence of coherent temporal oscillations of the population.
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