Dynamics of evolving social groups

Noga Alon, Michal Feldman, Yishay Mansour, Sigal Oren, Moshe Tennenholtz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Exclusive social groups are ones in which the group members decide whether or not to admit a candidate to the group. Examples of exclusive social groups include academic departments and fraternal organizations. In the present paper we introduce an analytic framework for studying the dynamics of exclusive social groups. In our model, every group member is characterized by his opinion, which is represented as a point on the real line. The group evolves in discrete time steps through a voting process carried out by the group's members. Due to homophily, each member votes for the candidate who is more similar to him (i.e., closer to him on the line). An admission rule is then applied to determine which candidate, if any, is admitted. We consider several natural admission rules including majority and consensus. We ask: how do different admission rules affect the composition of the group in the long term? We study both growing groups (where new members join old ones) and fixed-size groups (where new members replace those who quit). Our analysis reveals intriguing phenomena and phase transitions, some of which are quite counterintuitive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEC 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Economics and Computation
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781450339360
StatePublished - Jul 21 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event17th ACM Conference on Economics and Computation, EC 2016 - Maastricht, Netherlands
Duration: Jul 24 2016Jul 28 2016

Publication series

NameEC 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Economics and Computation


Other17th ACM Conference on Economics and Computation, EC 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Computational Mathematics


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