Friday, February 21, 2014

Collective motion model

This is a collective motion simulation that I have done while working in Biophysics. It is based upon the Vicsek model (Wikipedia article). Essentially each particle (fish, locust, bird...) adjusts its movement direction to its neighbours while always retaining the same speed. This is similar to a ferromagnet where particles adjust their spins but don't change position. As the magnet, the moving system can show a "phase transition" from unordered to swarm-like, depending on the strength of the random perturbations. Interestingly a similar effect of organized motion can be observed if particles repel each other (Grossman, Aranson and Jacob 2008)
I started the code based upon an example by Daniel Puhe (

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