The paper entitled "The Effects of Communication Burstiness on Consensus Formation and Tipping Points in Social Dynamics,” by C. Doyle, B. K. Szymanski, and G. Korniss was published by Physical Review E, 96:062303 (2017), see link below.

The paper entitled "The Effects of Communication Burstiness on Consensus Formation and Tipping Points in Social Dynamics,” by Casey Doyle, Boleslaw K. Szymanski, and Gyorgy Korniss was published by Physical Review E, 96:062303 (2017). Current models for opinion dynamics typically utilize a Poisson process for speaker selection, making the waiting time between events exponentially distributed. Human interaction tends to be bursty, though, having higher probabilities of either extremely short waiting times or long periods of silence. To quantify the burstiness effects on the dynamics of social models, we place in competition two groups exhibiting different speakers’ waiting-time distributions. These competitions are implemented in the binary Naming Game, and show that the relevant aspect of the waiting time distribution is the density of the head rather than that of the tail. We show that even with identical mean waiting times, a group with a higher density of short waiting times is favored in competition over the other group. This effect remains in the presence of nodes holding a single opinion that never changes, as the fraction of such committed individuals necessary for achieving consensus decreases dramatically when they have a higher head density than the holders of the competing opinion. Finally, to quantify differences in burstiness, we introduce the expected number of small-time activations and use it to characterize the early-time regime of the system.