Influence of the number of topologically interacting neighbors on swarm dynamics

Yilun Shang, Roland Bouffanais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)
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Recent empirical and theoretical works on collective behaviors based on a topological interaction are beginning to offer some explanations as for the physical reasons behind the selection of a particular number of nearest neighbors locally affecting each individual's dynamics. Recently, flocking starlings have been shown to topologically interact with a very specific number of neighbors, between six to eight, while metric-free interactions were found to govern human crowd dynamics. Here, we use network- and graph-theoretic approaches combined with a dynamical model of locally interacting self-propelled particles to study how the consensus reaching process and its dynamics are influenced by the number k of topological neighbors. Specifically, we prove exactly that, in the absence of noise, consensus is always attained with a speed to consensus strictly increasing with k. The analysis of both speed and time to consensus reveals that, irrespective of the swarm size, a value of k ~ 10 speeds up the rate of convergence to consensus to levels close to the one of the optimal all-to-all interaction signaling. Furthermore, this effect is found to be more pronounced in the presence of environmental noise.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4184
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2014


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