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Study shows how consensus is attained in a noisy world

nd how unicellular organisms might organize into multi-cellular structures.

The researchers show that a simple majority rule approach, in which each unit -- a person or a cell -- adopts the state of the majority of its neighbors within an intricate communication network, can efficiently lead to global organization. The model is adaptable and robust -- a real-world system capable of responding to external conditions.

"In real life we use simple rules to decide what to do," said Amaral. "People tend to adjust their opinions based on what the majority is telling them."

In addition to Amaral, other authors on the PNAS paper are Andr A. Moreira, Abhishek Mathur and Daniel Diermeier, from Northwestern University. Diermeier is co-director of Northwestern's Institute for Complex Systems.


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Contact: Megan Fellman
847-491-3115
Northwestern University
4-Aug-2004


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