Collective motion phenomena in large groups of social organisms have long fascinated the observer, especially in cases, such as bird flocks or fish schools, where large-scale highly coordinated actions emerge in the absence of obvious leaders. However, the mechanisms involved in this self-organized behavior are still poorly understood, because the… (More)
We derive a new method to infer from data the out-of-equilibrium alignment dynamics of collectively moving animal groups, by considering the maximum entropy model distribution consistent with temporal and spatial correlations of flight direction. When bird neighborhoods evolve rapidly, this dynamical inference correctly learns the parameters of the model,… (More)
Among the many fascinating examples of collective behavior exhibited by animal groups, some species are known to alternate slow group dispersion in space with rapid aggregation phenomena induced by a sudden behavioral shift at the individual level. We study this phenomenon quantitatively in large groups of grazing Merino sheep under controlled experimental… (More)
The most conspicuous trait of collective animal behavior is the emergence of highly ordered structures. Less obvious to the eye, but perhaps more profound a signature of self-organization, is the presence of long-range spatial correlations. Experimental data on starling flocks in 3D show that the exponent ruling the decay of the velocity correlation… (More)
The correlated motion of large bird flocks is an instance of self-organization where global order emerges from local interactions. Despite the analogy with ferromagnetic systems, a major difference is that flocks are active – animals move relative to each other, thereby dynamically rearranging their interaction network. Although the theoretical importance… (More)
A Comment on the Letter by M. Aldana et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 095702 (2007)10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.095702.
The correlated motion of flocks is an instance of global order emerging from local interactions. An essential difference with analogous ferromagnetic systems is that flocks are active: animals move relative to each other, dynamically rearranging their interaction network. The effect of this off-equilibrium element is well studied theoretically, but its… (More)