A dynamical systems model of unorganised segregation

D. J. Haw, S. J. Hogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)


We consider Schelling's bounded neighbourhood model (BNM) of unorganised segregation of two populations from the perspective of modern dynamical systems theory. We derive a Schelling dynamical system and carry out a complete quantitative analysis of the system for the case of a linear tolerance schedule in both populations. In doing so, we recover and generalise Schelling's qualitative results. For the case of unlimited population movement, we derive exact formulae for regions in parameter space where stable integrated population mixes can occur. We show how neighbourhood tipping can be adequately explained in terms of basins of attraction. For the case of limiting population movement, we derive exact criteria for the occurrence of new population mixes and identify the stable cases. We show how to apply our methodology to nonlinear tolerance schedules, illustrating our approach with numerical simulations. We associate each term in our Schelling dynamical system with a social meaning. In particular we show that the dynamics of one population in the presence of another can be summarised as follows {rate of population change} = {intrinsic popularity of neighbourhood} - {finite size of neighbourhood} - {presence of other population} By approaching the dynamics from this perspective, we have a complementary approach to that of the tolerance schedule.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2017

Bibliographical note

17 pages (inc references), 9 figures

Structured keywords

  • Engineering Mathematics Research Group


  • nlin.AO

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