Aggregation Pattern Transitions by Slightly Varying the Attractive/Repulsive Function

Perc, Matjaz and Cheng, Zhao and Zhang, Hai-Tao and Chen, Michael ZQ and Zhou, Tao and Valeyev, Najl V. (2011) Aggregation Pattern Transitions by Slightly Varying the Attractive/Repulsive Function. PLoS ONE, 6 (7). e22123. ISSN 1932-6203. (Full text available)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0022123

Abstract

Among collective behaviors of biological swarms and flocks, the attractive/repulsive (A/R) functional links between particles play an important role. By slightly changing the cutoff distance of the A/R function, a drastic transition between two distinct aggregation patterns is observed. More precisely, a large cutoff distance yields a liquid-like aggregation pattern where the particle density decreases monotonously from the inside to the outwards within each aggregated cluster. Conversely, a small cutoff distance produces a crystal-like aggregation pattern where the distance between each pair of neighboring particles remains constant. Significantly, there is an obvious spinodal in the variance curve of the inter-particle distances along the increasing cutoff distances, implying a legible transition pattern between the liquid-like and crystal-like aggregations. This work bridges the aggregation phenomena of physical particles and swarming of organisms in nature upon revealing some common mechanism behind them by slightly varying their inter-individual attractive/repulsive functions, and may find its potential engineering applications, for example, in the formation design of multi-robot systems and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Biosciences
Depositing User: Sue Davies
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2012 15:39
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2014 10:35
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/29216 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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