Stochastic models of collective motion

Applied and Computational Mathematics Seminar
Monday, November 16, 2015 - 14:05
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 005
Bar-Ilan University
Collective movement is one of the most prevailing observations in nature. Yet, despite considerable progress, many of the theoretical principles underlying the emergence of large scale synchronization among moving individuals are still poorly understood. For example, a key question in the study of animal motion is how the details of locomotion, interaction between individuals and the environment contribute to the macroscopic dynamics of the hoard, flock or swarm. The talk will present some of the prevailing models for swarming and collective motion with emphasis on stochastic descriptions. The goal is to identify some generic characteristics regarding the build-up and maintenance of collective order in swarms. In particular, whether order and disorder correspond to different phases, requiring external environmental changes to induce a transition, or rather meta-stable states of the dynamics, suggesting that the emergence of order is kinetic. Different aspects of the phenomenon will be presented, from experiments with locusts to our own attempts towards a statistical physics of collective motion.