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Pages 657-662
First published 2 September 2013

Population dynamics with limited perception establish global swarm topology

Anna Shcherbacheva, Tuomo Kauranne


We simulate the swarming behavior of three synthetic animal species that differ only by the degree of perception they have on their fellow animals. The species are called mosquitoes, birds and fish. The swarms that comprise many individuals of each species in turn move randomly in a rugged potential landscape. The mosquitoes pay no heed to one another. The birds follow a bunch of their nearest neighbours in front, based on strictly limited visibility. The fish, in turn, sense also far-away neighbors through their lateral line, as modeled by an exponentially decaying perception function. The simulations show that such local differences in perception by swarming individuals have global macroscopic consequences to the geometry of the corresponding swarms. These consequences are of persistent nature across many simulations with each species.