M. San Miguel

Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems, Palma, Balearic Islands, Spain

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Publications (264)392.96 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Human mobility has been traditionally studied using surveys that deliver snapshots of population displacement patterns. The growing accessibility to ICT information obtained from portable digital media has recently opened the possibility of going beyond such fixed pictures, exploring human behavior at high spatio-temporal resolutions. Mobile phone records, geolocated tweets, check-ins from Foursquare or geotagged photos, have contributed to this purpose at different scales from cities to countries and in different areas of the world. Many of these previous works have lacked, however, details on the attributes of the individuals. In this work, we analyze credit-card transaction records as mobility proxies and assess the influence of sociodemographic characteristics on the way people move and spend their money in cities. In particular, we focus on Barcelona and Madrid, the two most populated cities of Spain, and by examining the geolocated credit-card transactions of individuals living in the two provinces, we find that consumption habits and mobility patterns vary according to gender, age and occupation. Differences in distance traveled and travel purpose are observed between younger and older people, but, curiously, either between males and females of similar age. While mobility displays some generic features, here we show that sociodemographic characteristics play a relevant role and must be taken into account for human mobility modelization.
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    ABSTRACT: Coupling dynamics of the states of the nodes of a network to the dynamics of the network topology leads to generic absorbing and fragmentation transitions. The coevolving voter model is a typical system that exhibits such transitions at some critical rewiring. We study the robustness of these transitions under two distinct ways of introducing noise. Noise affecting all the nodes destroys the absorbing-fragmentation transition, giving rise in finite-size systems to two regimes: bimodal magnetisation and dynamic fragmentation. Noise Targeting a fraction of nodes preserves the transitions but introduces shattered fragmentation with its characteristic fraction of isolated nodes and one or two giant components. Both the lack of absorbing state for homogenous noise and the shift in the absorbing transition to higher rewiring for targeted noise are supported by analytical approximations.
    arXiv. 11/2014; arXiv:1411.5181.
  • Haydee Lugo, Maxi San Miguel
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    ABSTRACT: We introduce a two layer network model for social coordination incorporating two relevant ingredients: a) different networks of interaction to learn and to obtain a payoff , and b) decision making processes based both on social and strategic motivations. Two populations of agents are distributed in two layers with intralayer learning processes and playing interlayer a coordination game. We find that the skepticism about the wisdom of crowd and the local connectivity are the driving forces to accomplish full coordination of the two populations, while polarized coordinated layers are only possible for all-to-all interactions. Local interactions also allow for full coordination in the socially efficient Pareto-dominant strategy in spite of being the riskier one.
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    ABSTRACT: We introduce a coevolution voter model in a multilayer by coupling a fraction of nodes across two network layers (the degree of multiplexing) and allowing each layer to evolve according to its own topological temporal scale. When these time scales are the same, the time evolution equations can be mapped to a coevolution voter model in a single layer with an effective average degree. Thus the dynamics preserve the absorbing-fragmentation transition at a critical value that increases with the degree of multiplexing. When the two layers have different topological time scales, we find an anomalous transition, named shattered fragmentation, in which the network in one layer splits into two large components in opposite states and a multiplicity of isolated nodes. We identify the growth of the number of components as a signature of this anomalous transition. We also find the critical level of interlayer coupling needed to prevent the fragmentation in a layer connected to a layer that does not fragment.
    Physical Review E 06/2014; 89:062818. · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The interplay of social and strategic motivations in human interactions is a largely unexplored question in collective social phenomena. Whether individuals' decisions are taken in a pure strategic basis or due to social pressure without a rational background crucially influences the model outcome. Here we study a networked Prisoner's Dilemma in which decisions are made either based on the replication of the most successful neighbor's strategy (unconditional imitation) or by pure social imitation following an update rule inspired by the voter model. The main effects of the voter dynamics are an enhancement of the final consensus, i.e., asymptotic states are generally uniform, and a promotion of cooperation in certain regions of the parameter space as compared to the outcome of purely strategic updates. Thus, voter dynamics acts as an interface noise and has a similar effect to a pure random noise; furthermore, its influence is mostly independent of the network heterogeneity. When strategic decisions are made following other update rules such as the replicator or Moran processes, the dynamic mixed state found under unconditional imitation for some parameters disappears, but an increase of cooperation in certain parameter regions is still observed. Comparing our results with recent experiments on the Prisoner's Dilemma, we conclude that such a mixed dynamics may explain moody conditional cooperation among the agents.
    Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics. 05/2014; 90(2-1).
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the emergence of localized coherent behavior in systems consisting of two populations of social agents possessing a condition for non-interacting states, mutually coupled through global interaction fields. We employ two examples of such dynamics: (i) Axelrod’s model for social influence, and (ii) a discrete version of a bounded confidence model for opinion formation. In each case, the global interac- tion fields correspond to the statistical mode of the states of the agents in each population. In both systems we find localized coherent states for some values of parameters, consisting of one population in a homogeneous state and the other in a disordered state. This situation can be considered as a social analogue to a chimera state arising in two interacting populations of oscillators. In addition, other asymp- totic collective behaviors appear in both systems depending on parameter values: a common homogeneous state, where both populations reach the same state; different homogeneous states, where both population reach homogeneous states different from each other; and a disordered state, where both populations reach inhomogeneous states.
    Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 04/2014; 399:24. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The voter model has been studied extensively as a paradigmatic opinion dynamics model. However, its ability to model real opinion dynamics has not been addressed. We introduce a noisy voter model (accounting for social influence) with recurrent mobility of agents (as a proxy for social context), where the spatial and population diversity are taken as inputs to the model. We show that the dynamics can be described as a noisy diffusive process that contains the proper anisotropic coupling topology given by population and mobility heterogeneity. The model captures statistical features of U.S. presidential elections as the stationary vote-share fluctuations across counties and the long-range spatial correlations that decay logarithmically with the distance. Furthermore, it recovers the behavior of these properties when the geographical space is coarse grained at different scales—from the county level through congressional districts, and up to states. Finally, we analyze the role of the mobility range and the randomness in decision making, which are consistent with the empirical observations.
    Physical Review Letters 04/2014; 112:158701. · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We study a network model that couples the dynamics of link states with the evolution of the network topology. The state of each link, either A or B, is updated according to the majority rule or zero-temperature Glauber dynamics, in which links adopt the state of the majority of their neighboring links in the network. Additionally, a link that is in a local minority is rewired to a randomly chosen node. While large systems evolving under the majority rule alone always fall into disordered topological traps composed by frustrated links, any amount of rewiring is able to drive the network to complete order, by relinking frustrated links and so releasing the system from traps. However, depending on the relative rate of the majority rule and the rewiring processes, the system evolves towards different ordered absorbing configurations: either a one-component network with all links in the same state or a network fragmented in two components with opposite states. For low rewiring rates and finite size networks there is a domain of bistability between fragmented and non-fragmented final states. Finite size scaling indicates that fragmentation is the only possible scenario for large systems and any nonzero rate of rewiring.
    Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics. 03/2014; 89(6-1).
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    Adrián Carro, Raúl Toral, Maxi San Miguel
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    ABSTRACT: A growing part of the behavioral finance literature has addressed some of the stylized facts of financial time series as macroscopic patterns emerging from herding interactions among groups of agents with heterogeneous trading strategies and a limited rationality. We extend a stochastic herding formalism introduced for the modeling of decision making among financial agents, in order to take also into account an external influence. In particular, we study the amplification of an external signal imposed upon the agents by a mechanism of resonance. This signal can be interpreted as an advertising or a public perception in favor or against one of the two possible trading behaviors, thus periodically breaking the symmetry of the system and acting as a continuously varying exogenous shock. The conditions for the ensemble of agents to more accurately follow the periodicity of the signal are studied, finding a maximum in the response of the system for a given range of values of both the noise and the frequency of the input signal.
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    ABSTRACT: Information-communication technology promotes collaborative environments like Wikipedia where, however, controversy and conflicts can appear. To describe the rise, persistence, and resolution of such conflicts, we devise an extended opinion dynamics model where agents with different opinions perform a single task to make a consensual product. As a function of the convergence parameter describing the influence of the product on the agents, the model shows spontaneous symmetry breaking of the final consensus opinion represented by the medium. In the case when agents are replaced with new ones at a certain rate, a transition from mainly consensus to a perpetual conflict occurs, which is in qualitative agreement with the scenarios observed in Wikipedia.
    Physical Review Letters 02/2013; 110(8):088701. · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The recent availability of huge high resolution datasets on human activities has revealed the heavy-tailed nature of the interevent time distributions. In social simulations of interacting agents the standard approach has been to use Poisson processes to update the state of the agents, which gives rise to very homogeneous activity patterns with a well defined characteristic interevent time. As a paradigmatic opinion model we investigate the voter model and review the standard update rules and propose two new update rules which are able to account for heterogeneous activity patterns. For the new update rules each node gets updated with a probability that depends on the time since the last event of the node, where an event can be an update attempt (exogenous update) or a change of state (endogenous update). We find that both update rules can give rise to power law interevent time distributions, although the endogenous one more robustly. Apart from that for the exogenous update rule and the standard update rules the voter model does not reach consensus in the infinite size limit, while for the endogenous update there exist a coarsening process that drives the system toward consensus configurations.
    Temporal Networks, Edited by Petter Holme, Jari Saramäki, 01/2013: chapter Timing interactions in social simulations: The voter model: pages 331-352; Springer Berlin Heidelberg., ISBN: 978-3-642-36460-0 (Print) 978-3-642-36461-7 (Online)
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    ABSTRACT: Motivated by the idea that some characteristics are specific to the relations between individuals and not to the individuals themselves, we study a prototype model for the dynamics of the states of the links in a fixed network of interacting units. Each link in the network can be in one of two equivalent states. A majority link-dynamics rule is implemented, so that in each dynamical step the state of a randomly chosen link is updated to the state of the majority of neighboring links. Nodes can be characterized by a link heterogeneity index, giving a measure of the likelihood of a node to have a link in one of the two states. We consider this link-dynamics model in fully connected networks, square lattices, and Erdös-Renyi random networks. In each case we find and characterize a number of nontrivial asymptotic configurations, as well as some of the mechanisms leading to them and the time evolution of the link heterogeneity index distribution. For a fully connected network and random networks there is a broad distribution of possible asymptotic configurations. Most asymptotic configurations that result from link dynamics have no counterpart under traditional node dynamics in the same topologies.
    Physical Review E 12/2012; 86(6):066113. · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    Adrian Carro, Raul Toral, Maxi San Miguel
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    ABSTRACT: We study a model for continuous-opinion dynamics under bounded confidence. In particular, we analyze the importance of the initial distribution of opinions in determining the asymptotic configuration. Thus, we sketch the structure of attractors of the dynamical system, by means of the numerical computation of the time evolution of the agents density. We show that, for a given bound of confidence, a consensus can be encouraged or prevented by certain initial conditions. Furthermore, a noisy perturbation is added to the system with the purpose of modeling the free will of the agents. As a consequence, the importance of the initial condition is partially replaced by that of the statistical distribution of the noise. Nevertheless, we still find evidence of the influence of the initial state upon the final configuration for a short range of the bound of confidence parameter.
    Journal of Statistical Physics 08/2012; 151(1-2). · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: FuturICT foundations are social science, complex systems science, and ICT. The main concerns and challenges in the science of complex systems in the context of FuturICT are laid out in this paper with special emphasis on the Complex Systems route to Social Sciences. This include complex systems having: many heterogeneous interacting parts; multiple scales; complicated transition laws; unexpected or unpredicted emergence; sensitive dependence on initial conditions; path-dependent dynamics; networked hierarchical connectivities; interaction of autonomous agents; self-organisation; non-equilibrium dynamics; combinatorial explosion; adaptivity to changing environments; co-evolving subsystems; ill-defined boundaries; and multilevel dynamics. In this context, science is seen as the process of abstracting the dynamics of systems from data. This presents many challenges including: data gathering by large-scale experiment, participatory sensing and social computation, managing huge distributed dynamic and heterogeneous databases; moving from data to dynamical models, going beyond correlations to cause-effect relationships, understanding the relationship between simple and comprehensive models with appropriate choices of variables, ensemble modeling and data assimilation, modeling systems of systems of systems with many levels between micro and macro; and formulating new approaches to prediction, forecasting, and risk, especially in systems that can reflect on and change their behaviour in response to predictions, and systems whose apparently predictable behaviour is disrupted by apparently unpredictable rare or extreme events. These challenges are part of the FuturICT agenda.
    The European Physical Journal Special Topics 04/2012; 214(1). · 1.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Identifying key players in collective dynamics remains a challenge in several research fields, from the efficient dissemination of ideas to drug target discovery in biomedical problems. The difficulty lies at several levels: how to single out the role of individual elements in such intermingled systems, or which is the best way to quantify their importance. Centrality measures describe a node's importance by its position in a network. The key issue obviated is that the contribution of a node to the collective behavior is not uniquely determined by the structure of the system but it is a result of the interplay between dynamics and network structure. We show that dynamical influence measures explicitly how strongly a node's dynamical state affects collective behavior. For critical spreading, dynamical influence targets nodes according to their spreading capabilities. For diffusive processes it quantifies how efficiently real systems may be controlled by manipulating a single node.
    Scientific Reports 01/2012; 2:292. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Humans do not always make rational choices, a fact that experimental economics is putting on solid grounds. The social context plays an important role in determining our actions, and often we imitate friends or acquaintances without any strategic consideration. We explore here the interplay between strategic and social imitative behavior in a coordination problem on a social network. We observe that for interactions on 1D and 2D lattices any amount of social imitation prevents the freezing of the network in domains with different conventions, thus leading to global consensus. For interactions on complex networks, the interplay of social and strategic imitation also drives the system towards global consensus while neither dynamics alone does. We find an optimum value for the combination of imitative behaviors to reach consensus in a minimum time, and two different dynamical regimes to approach it: exponential when social imitation predominates, power-law when strategic considerations prevail.
    Scientific Reports 01/2012; 2:686. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the problem of cross-cultural interactions through mass media in a model where two populations of social agents, each with its own internal dynamics, get information about each other through reciprocal global interactions. As the agent dynamics, we employ Axelrod's model for social influence. The global interaction fields correspond to the statistical mode of the states of the agents and represent mass media messages on the cultural trend originating in each population. Several phases are found in the collective behavior of either population depending on parameter values: two homogeneous phases, one having the state of the global field acting on that population, and the other consisting of a state different from that reached by the applied global field; and a disordered phase. In addition, the system displays nontrivial effects: (i) the emergence of a largest minority group of appreciable size sharing a state different from that of the applied global field; (ii) the appearance of localized ordered states for some values of parameters when the entire system is observed, consisting of one population in a homogeneous state and the other in a disordered state. This last situation can be considered as a social analogue to a chimera state arising in globally coupled populations of oscillators.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e51035. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During the last decade, much attention has been paid to language competition in the complex systems community, that is, how the fractions of speakers of several competing languages evolve in time. In this paper, we review recent advances in this direction and focus on three aspects. First, we consider the shift from two-state models to three-state models that include the possibility of bilingual individuals. The understanding of the role played by bilingualism is essential in sociolinguistics. In particular, the question addressed is whether bilingualism facilitates the coexistence of languages. Second, we will analyze the effect of social interaction networks and physical barriers. Finally, we will show how to analyze the issue of bilingualism from a game theoretical perspective.
    Advances in Complex Systems 01/2012; 15:1250048. · 0.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
392.96 Total Impact Points


  • 2007–2014
    • Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems
      Palma, Balearic Islands, Spain
  • 2012
    • Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
      • Instituto de Física
      Porto Alegre, Estado do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
  • 1989–2012
    • University of the Balearic Islands
      • • Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (IFISC)
      • • Department of Physics
      Palma, Balearic Islands, Spain
  • 1997–2007
    • Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA)
      Esporles, Balearic Islands, Spain
  • 2003–2006
    • University of Leipzig
      • Institut für Informatik
      Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
    • Free University of Brussels
      • Applied Physics and Photonics (TONA)
      Brussels, BRU, Belgium
  • 1970–2006
    • University of Barcelona
      • • Department of Structure and Constituents of Matter
      • • Departament de Química Física
      • • Facultad de Física
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2001
    • Polytechnic University of Catalonia
      • Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering (FEN)
      Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
  • 1999
    • Université Libre de Bruxelles
      Bruxelles, Brussels Capital Region, Belgium
  • 1996
    • The University of Arizona
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
  • 1993
    • Universidad de Cantabria
      Santander, Cantabria, Spain
  • 1992
    • Fondazione Ugo Bordoni
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1991
    • Bryn Mawr College
      • Department of Physics
      Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1980–1981
    • Temple University
      • Department of Physics
      Philadelphia, PA, United States