Identifying manifolds underlying group motion in Vicsek agents
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Collective motion of animal groups often undergoes changes due to perturbations. In a topological sense, we describe these changes as switching between low-dimensional embedding manifolds underlying a group of evolving agents. To characterize such manifolds, first we introduce a simple mapping of agents between time-steps. Then, we construct a novel metric which is susceptible to variations in the collective motion, thus revealing distinct underlying manifolds. The method is validated through three sample scenarios simulated using a Vicsek model, namely, switching of speed, coordination, and structure of a group. Combined with a dimensionality reduction technique that is used to infer the dimensionality of the embedding manifold, this approach provides an effective model-free framework for the analysis of collective behavior across animal species.
KeywordsManifold European Physical Journal Special Topic Collective Behavior Collective Motion Group Speed
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