Limit sets for natural extensions of Schelling's segregation model

Abhinav Singh, Dmitri Vainchtein, Howard Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Thomas Schelling developed an influential demographic model that illustrated how, even with relatively mild assumptions on each individual's nearest neighbor preferences, an integrated city would likely unravel to a segregated city, even if all individuals prefer integration. Individuals in Schelling's model cities are divided into two groups of equal number and each individual is " happy" or " unhappy" when the number of similar neighbors cross a simple threshold. In this manuscript we consider natural extensions of Schelling's original model to allow the two groups have different sizes and to allow different notions of happiness of an individual. We observe that differences in aggregation patterns of majority and minority groups are highly sensitive to the happiness threshold; for low threshold, the differences are small, and when the threshold is raised, striking new patterns emerge. We also observe that when individuals strongly prefer to live in integrated neighborhoods, the final states exhibit a new tessellated-like structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2822-2831
Number of pages10
JournalCommunications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Applied Mathematics


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