Swarm in a Fly Bottle: Feedback-Based Analysis of Self-organizing Temporary Lock-ins
Self-organizing systems that show processes of pattern formation rely on positive feedback. Especially in swarm systems, positive feedback builds up in a transient phase until maximal positive feedback is reached and the system converges. We investigate alignment in locusts as an example of swarm systems showing time-variant positive feedback. We identify an influencing bias in the spatial distribution of agents compared to a well-mixed distribution and two features, percentage of aligned swarm members and neighborhood size, that allow to model the time variance of feedbacks. We report an urn model that is capable of qualitatively representing all these relevant features. The increase of neighborhood sizes over time enables the swarm to lock in a highly aligned state but also allows for infrequent switching between lock-in states.
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