Can Spin Glasses be Used to Study Opinion Formation?

Helmut Katzgraber will present a talk at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 26 in the Medium Conference Room at the Santa Fe Institute.

Katzgraber works at the Department of Physics & Astronomy, Texas A&M University and ETH Zurich.

His talk is, Boolean Decision Problems with Competing Interactions on Scale-Free Networks: Can Spin Glasses be Used to Study Opinion Formation?

Abstract: Spin glasses are paradigmatic models that deliver concepts relevant for a variety of systems.

However, despite ongoing research spanning several decades in the area of glassy systems, there remain many fundamental open questions.

Rigorous analytical results are difficult to obtain for spin-glass models, in particular for realistic short-range systems.

Therefore large-scale numerical simulations are the tool of choice.

Concepts from the solution of the mean-field model, such as ergodicity breaking, aging and ultrametricity have been applied to realistic short-range spin-glass models as well as to fields as diverse as structural biology, geology, computer science and even financial analysis.

We study the critical behavior of Ising spin glasses—i.e., Boolean decision problems with competing interactions—on scale-free networks using large-scale Monte Carlo simulations and compare to analytical results.

Our results show that these systems are remarkably stable to thermal (local) perturbations.

Work done in collaboration with C.K. Thomas and K. Janzen.

SFI Host: Jon Machta

The Santa Fe Institute‘s mission is to foster a transdisciplinary research community that endeavors to expand the boundaries of scientific understanding.

Its aim is to discover and comprehend the common fundamental principles in physical, computational, biological, and social systems that underlie many of the most profound problems facing science and society today.