Toy models and stylized realities
The Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics, Strada Costiera 11, 34014 Trieste, Italy
Corresponding author: a firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: 23 March 2006
Published online: 14 June 2006
I discuss the role of toy models as theoretical tools for understanding complex systems of interacting agents. I review some concrete examples, in order to illustrate how this approach is able to capture, though in an admittedly stylized way, the interactions and non-linearities which are responsible for the rich phenomenology observed in reality. This allows one to interpret the system's behavior in terms of phase transitions and critical phenomena.
PACS: 89.65.-s – Social and economic systems / 05.70.Fh – Phase transitions: general studies / 05.70.Jk – Critical point phenomena / 89.65.Gh – Economics; econophysics, financial markets, business and management
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2006