The bulletin of mathematical biophysics

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 7–17

Outline of a probabilistic approach to animal sociology: III

  • Anatol Rapoport

DOI: 10.1007/BF02477340

Cite this article as:
Rapoport, A. Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics (1950) 12: 7. doi:10.1007/BF02477340


The probabilities of the emergence of the two kinds of social structure in a 3-bird flock (chain and cycle) are deduced under the assumption of certain biases acting on the social dynamics of the flock. In particular a bias against the reversal of peck order and a bias against encounters of individuals of disparate social rank are considered. Like-wise a distribution of an “inherent” fighting ability is considered which influences the outcomes of encounters. A functional relation is derived between the importance of this ability and the initial probability of a chain structure.

Copyright information

© The University of Chicago Press 1950

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anatol Rapoport
    • 1
  1. 1.Committee on Mathematical BiologyThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA