Collective decision-making in ideal networks: The speed-accuracy tradeoff

Vaibhav Srivastava, Naomi Ehrich Leonard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


We study collective decision-making in a model of human groups, with network interactions, performing two alternative choice tasks. We focus on the speed-accuracy tradeoff, i.e., the tradeoff between a quick decision and a reliable decision, for individuals in the network. We model the evidence aggregation process across the network using a coupled drift-diffusion model (DDM) and consider the free response paradigm in which individuals take their time to make the decision. We develop a reduced DDM as a decoupled approximation to the coupled DDM and characterize its efficiency. We determine high probability bounds on the error rate and the expected decision time for the reduced DDM. We show the effect of the decision-maker's location in the network on their decision-making performance under several threshold selection criteria. Finally, we extend the coupled DDM to the coupled Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model for decision-making in two alternative choice tasks with recency effects, and to the coupled race model for decision-making in multiple alternative choice tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6763053
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Control and Optimization


  • Coupled drift-diffusion model (DDM)
  • coupled Orhstein-Uhlenbeck (O-U) model
  • coupled race model
  • decision time
  • distributed decision-making
  • distributed sequential hypothesis testing
  • error rate


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