Royal Society Publishing

The workings of the maximum entropy principle in collective human behaviour

A. Hernando, R. Hernando, A. Plastino, A. R. Plastino


We present an exhaustive study of the rank-distribution of city-population and population-dynamics of the 50 Spanish provinces (more than 8000 municipalities) in a time-window of 15 years (1996–2010). We exhibit compelling evidence regarding how well the MaxEnt principle describes the equilibrium distributions. We show that the microscopic dynamics that governs population growth is the deciding factor that originates the observed macroscopic distributions. The connection between microscopic dynamics and macroscopic distributions is unravelled via MaxEnt.

  • Received September 19, 2012.
  • Accepted October 24, 2012.
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