Opinion Dynamics on Networks under Correlated Disordered External Perturbations

Marlon Ramos, Marcus A.M. de Aguiar, Dan Braha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We study an influence network of voters subjected to correlated disordered external perturbations, and solve the dynamical equations exactly for fully connected networks. The model has a critical phase transition between disordered unimodal and ordered bimodal distribution states, characterized by an increase in the vote-share variability of the equilibrium distributions. The fluctuations (variance and correlations) in the external perturbations are shown to reduce the impact of the external influence by increasing the critical threshold needed for the bimodal distribution of opinions to appear. The external fluctuations also have the surprising effect of driving voters towards biased opinions. Furthermore, the first and second moments of the external perturbations are shown to affect the first and second moments of the vote-share distribution. This is shown analytically in the mean field limit, and confirmed numerically for fully connected networks and other network topologies. Studying the dynamic response of complex systems to disordered external perturbations could help us understand the dynamics of a wide variety of networked systems, from social networks and financial markets to amorphous magnetic spins and population genetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-76
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Statistical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Complex networks
  • Critical phenomena
  • Disorder
  • Opinion dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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