Social inequality analysis of fiber bundle model statistics and prediction of materials failure

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Physical Review E


Inequalities are abundant in a society with a number of agents competing for a limited amount of resources. Statistics on such social inequalities are usually represented by the Lorenz function , where fraction of the population possesses fraction of the total wealth, when the population is arranged in ascending order of their wealth. Similarly, in scientometrics, such inequalities can be represented by a plot of the citation count versus the respective number of papers by a scientist, again arranged in ascending order of their citation counts. Quantitatively, these inequalities are captured by the corresponding inequality indices, namely, the Kolkata and the Hirsch indices, given by the fixed points of these nonlinear (Lorenz and citation) functions. In statistical physics of criticality, the fixed points of the renormalization group generator functions are studied in their self-similar limit, where their (fractal) structure converges to a unique form (macroscopic in size and lone). The statistical indices in social science, however, correspond to the fixed points where the values of the generator function (wealth or citation sizes) are commensurately abundant in fractions or numbers (of persons or papers). It has already been shown that under extreme competitions in markets or at universities, the index approaches a universal limiting value, as the dynamics of competition progresses. We introduce and study these indices for the inequalities of (prefailure) avalanches, given by their nonlinear size distributions in fiber bundle models of nonbrittle materials. We show how prior knowledge of the terminal and (almost) universal value of the index for a wide range of disorder parameters can help in predicting an imminent catastrophic breakdown in the model. This observation is also complemented by noting a similar (but not identical) behavior of the Hirsch index (), redefined for such avalanche statistics.



Publication Date



Open Access, Green

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