Phase transitions in models of bird flocking

H. Christodoulidi, K. Van Der Weele, Ch G. Antonopoulos, T. Bountis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present paper is to elucidate the transition from collective to random behavior exhibited by various mathematical models of bird flocking. In particular, we compare Vicsek’s model [Vicsek et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 1226-1229 (1995)] with one based on topological considerations. The latter model is found to exhibit a first order phase transition from flocking to decoherence, as the "noise parameter" of the problem is increased, whereas Vicsek’s model gives a second order transition. Refining the topological model in such a way that birds are influenced mostly by the birds in front of them, less by the ones at their sides and not at all by those behind them (because they do not see them), we find a behavior that lies in between the two models. Finally, we propose a novel mechanism for preserving the flock’s cohesion, without imposing artificial boundary conditions or attractive forces.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChaos, Information Processing and Paradoxical Games
Subtitle of host publicationThe Legacy of John S. Nicolis
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789814602136
ISBN (Print)9789814602129
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Mathematics(all)

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