Ben-Naim, E. and P. L. Krapivsky

We investigate an averaging process that describes how interacting agents approach consensus through binary interactions. In each elementary step, two agents are selected at random and they reach compromise by adopting their opinion average. We show that the fraction of agents with a monotonically decreasing opinion decays as e−αt, and that the exponent α = 1/2 − 1+ln ln 2/4 ln 2 Is selected as the extremum from a continuous spectrum of possible values. The opinion distribution of monotonic agents is asymmetric, and it becomes self-similar at large times. Furthermore, the tails of the opinion distribution are algebraic, and they are characterized by two distinct and nontrivial exponents. We also explore statistical properties of agents with an opinion strictly above average.