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First published 20 July 2015

How social networks shape collective behaviours

Daniel W. Franks, A. Jamie Wood, and Nikolai W.F. Bode

Abstract (Excerpt)

Collective motion or swarm behaviour is the synchronized motion of groups of animals such as fish shoals or bird flocks that appear to behave as one body, continually changing shape and direction (Sumpter 2006). The first simulation model of collective motion (Aoki 1982) showed that it could emerge from local interactions between individuals. Several seminal models have since followed this principle (e.g. Reynolds 1987; Couzin et al. 2002). Agent-based models have been important for discerning the simple local rules of individuals that produce emergent group patterns. Such models assume that agents have a sensory range that is limited to a fixed number of nearest individuals or to a perception region of fixed extent. Agents react to the movement of others that are within their sensory range. Interactions often depend on the distance between individuals and can include collision avoidance at short distances, alignment at intermediate distances, and attractive tendencies at long distances.