Voter model perturbations and reaction diffusion equations

J. Theodore Cox, Richard Durrett, Edwin A. Perkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We consider particle systems that are perturbations of the voter model and show that when space and time are rescaled the system converges to a solution of a reaction diffusion equation in dimensions d ≥ 3. Combining this result with properties of the P.D.E., some methods arising from a low density super-Brownian limit theorem, and a block construction, we give general, and often asymptotically sharp, conditions for the existence of non-trivial stationary distributions, and for extinction of one type. As applications, we describe the phase diagrams of four systems when the parameters are close to the voter model: (i) a stochastic spatial Lotka-Volterra model of Neuhauser and Pacala, (ii) a model of the evolution of cooperation of Ohtsuki, Hauert, Lieberman, and Nowak, (iii) a continuous time version of the non-linear voter model of Molofsky, Durrett, Dushoff, Griffeath, and Levin, (iv) a voter model in which opinion changes are followed by an exponentially distributed latent period during which voters will not change again. The first application confirms a conjecture of Cox and Perkins [8] and the second confirms a conjecture of Ohtsuki et al. [34] in the context of certain infinite graphs. An important feature of our general results is that they do not require the process to be attractive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-127
Number of pages127
Issue number349
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics


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