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Natural ComplexityA Modeling Handbook$
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Paul Charbonneau

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176840

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176840.001.0001

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Flocking

Flocking

Chapter:
(p.224) 10 Flocking
Source:
Natural Complexity
Author(s):

Paul Charbonneau

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691176840.003.0010

This chapter examines the complex nature of flocking. Many living creatures have evolved flocking as a behavioral strategy, including herds, birds, and insects. Models of flocking have been used to understand and control the movement of dense human crowds in socially extreme situations. The chapter begins with a discussion of the flocking model, defined in two spatial dimensions on the periodic unit square in which N agents are moving, under the influence of four forces: repulsion, flocking, self-propulsion, and random forces. It then describes the numerical implementation of the model using the Python code, along with the range of global behaviors generated by the the model. It also considers the spontaneous segregation of active and passive flockers before concluding with an analysis of the perturbing effects of panicked individuals on collective, ordered motion, focusing on two types of agents: strongly flocking “calm” agents and small random force.

Keywords:   flocking, agents, repulsion, self-propulsion, Python code, segregation, active flockers, passive flockers, panic

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