Coarse Collective Dynamics of Animal Groups

  • Thomas A. Frewen
  • Iain D. Couzin
  • Allison Kolpas
  • Jeff Moehlis
  • Ronald Coifman
  • Ioannis G. KevrekidisEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computational Science and Engineering book series (LNCSE, volume 75)


The coarse-grained, computer-assisted analysis of models of collective dynamics in animal groups involves (a) identifying appropriate observables that best describe the state of these complex systems and (b) characterizing the dynamics of such observables. We devise “equation-free” simulation protocols for the analysis of a prototypical individual-based model of collective group dynamics. Our approach allows the extraction of information at the macroscopic level via parsimonious usage of the detailed, “microscopic” computational model. Identification of meaningful coarse observables (“reduction coordinates”) is critical to the success of such an approach, and we use a recently-developed dimensionality-reduction approach (diffusion maps) to detect good observables based on data generated by local model simulation bursts. This approach can be more generally applicable to the study of coherent behavior in a broad class of collective systems (e.g., collective cell migration).


Animal Group Reaction Coordinate Group Motion Group Centroid Informed Individual 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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This work was partially supported by the National Science Foundation and by the US AFOSR.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. Frewen
    • 1
  • Iain D. Couzin
    • 3
  • Allison Kolpas
    • 4
  • Jeff Moehlis
    • 5
  • Ronald Coifman
    • 6
  • Ioannis G. Kevrekidis
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.PACM and MathematicsPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Mathematical SciencesUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  5. 5.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  6. 6.Department of MathematicsYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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