Persistent individual bias in a voter model with quenched disorder

Baron, Joseph William
Submitted (2021)

Many theoretical studies of the voter model (or variations thereupon) involve order parameters that are population-averaged. While enlightening, such quantities may obscure important statistical features that are only apparent on the level of the individual. In this work, we ask which factors contribute to a single voter maintaining a long-term statistical bias for one opinion over the other in the face of social influence. To this end, a modified version of the network voter model is proposed, which also incorporates quenched disorder in the interaction strengths between individuals and the possibility of antagonistic relationships. We find that a sparse interaction network and heterogeneity in interaction strengths give rise to the possibility of arbitrarily long-lived individual biases, even when there is no population-averaged bias for one opinion over the other. This is demonstrated by calculating the eigenvalue spectrum of the weighted network Laplacian using the theory of sparse random matrices.

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