We present a thermodynamic theory for a generic population of M individuals distributed into N groups (clusters). We construct the ensemble of all distributions with fixed M and N, introduce a selection functional that embodies the physics that governs the population, and obtain the distribution that emerges in the scaling limit as the most probable among all distributions consistent with the given physics. We develop the thermodynamics of the ensemble and establish a rigorous mapping to regular thermodynamics. We treat the emergence of a so-called giant component as a formal phase transition and show that the criteria for its emergence are entirely analogous to the equilibrium conditions in molecular systems. We demonstrate the theory by an analytic model and confirm the predictions by Monte Carlo simulation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|State||Published - Aug 14 2014|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics