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Communication and Collective Consensus Making in Animal Groups via Mechanical Interactions

Várkonyi, Péter L. (2011) Communication and Collective Consensus Making in Animal Groups via Mechanical Interactions. Journal of Nonlinear Science, 21 (3). pp. 387-401. ISSN 0938-8974.

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Mechanical constraints have a strong influence on the dynamics and structure of granular aggregations. The contact forces within dense suspensions of active particles may give rise to intriguing phenomena, including anomalous density fluctuations, long-range orientational ordering, and spontaneous pattern formation. Various authors have proposed that these physical phenomena contribute to the ability of animal groups to move coherently. Our systematic numerical simulations confirm that spontaneous interactions of elongated individuals can trigger oriented motion in small groups. They are, however, insufficient in larger ones, despite their significant imprint on the group’s internal structure. It is also demonstrated that preferred directions of motion of a minority of group members can be communicated to others solely by mechanical interactions. These findings strengthen the link between pattern formation in active nematics and the collective decision making of social animals.

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Additional Information:© 2011 Springer Science+Business Media. Received: 8 April 2010; Accepted: 21 October 2010; Published online: 17 November 2010. I thank Günther Rote for his introduction to the Principle of Least Constraint, as well as Gábor Vásárhelyi, and Tamás Vicsek for their helpful comments. A part of this work was done while I enjoyed the hospitality of the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at Caltech as a HAESF Senior Fellow. This work was also supported by the OTKA grant 72368 of the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Hungarian Scientific Research Fund OTKA72368
Subject Keywords:Collective motion; Flocking; Polar order; Contact
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110822-140519155
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:24983
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:22 Aug 2011 23:06
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:01

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