2014, pp 27-49
Date: 24 Jan 2014

In the Dance Studio: An Art and Engineering Exploration of Human Flocking

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Abstract

Flock Logic was developed as an art and engineering project to explore how the feedback laws used to model flocking translate when applied by dancers. The artistic goal was to create choreographic tools that leverage multiagent system dynamics with designed feedback and interaction. The engineering goal was to provide insights and design principles for multiagent systems, such as human crowds, animal groups, and robotic networks, by examining what individual dancers do and what emerges at the group level. We describe our methods to create dance and investigate collective motion. We analyze video of an experiment in which dancers moved according to simple rules of cohesion and repulsion with their neighbors. Using the prescribed interaction protocol and tracked trajectories, we estimate the time-varying graph that defines who is responding to whom. We compute status of nodes in the graph and show the emergence of leaders. We discuss results and further directions.

This effort was supported in part by Princeton University’s Essig Enright Fund, Lewis Center for the Arts, Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, and by NSF grant ECCS-1135724, AFOSR grant FA9550-07-1-0-0528 and ONR grant N00014-09-1-1074.