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Type: Journal article
Title: Information transfer in moving animal groups
Author: Sumpter, D.
Buhl, J.
Biro, D.
Couzin, I.
Citation: Theory in Biosciences, 2008; 127(2):177-186
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 1431-7613
Statement of
David Sumpter, Jerome Buhl, Dora Biro, Iain Couzin
Abstract: Moving animal groups provide some of the most intriguing and difficult to characterise examples of collective behaviour. We review some recent (and not so recent) empirical research on the motion of animal groups, including fish, locusts and homing pigeons. An important concept which unifies our understanding of these groups is that of transfer of directional information. Individuals which change their direction of travel in response to the direction taken by their near neighbours can quickly transfer information about the presence of a predatory threat or food source. We show that such information transfer is optimised when the density of individuals in a group is close to that at which a phase transition occurs between random and ordered motion. Similarly, we show that even relatively small differences in information possessed by group members can lead to strong collective-level decisions for one of two options. By combining the use of self-propelled particle and social force models of collective motion with thinking about the evolution of flocking we aim to better understand how complexity arises within these groups.
Keywords: Animals; Behavior, Animal; Animal Communication; Social Behavior; Cooperative Behavior; Population Dynamics; Locomotion; Models, Biological; Computer Simulation; Information Storage and Retrieval
Rights: © Springer-Verlag 2008
RMID: 0030009501
DOI: 10.1007/s12064-008-0040-1
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications

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