Interaction ruling animal collective behavior depends on topological rather than metric distance: Evidence from a field study

@article{Ballerini2008InteractionRA,
  title={Interaction ruling animal collective behavior depends on topological rather than metric distance: Evidence from a field study},
  author={Michele Ballerini and Nicola Cabibbo and Rapha{\"e}l Candelier and Andrea Cavagna and Evaristo Cisbani and Irene Giardina and Vivien Lecomte and Alberto Orlandi and Giorgio Parisi and Andrea Procaccini and Massimiliano Viale and Vladimir Zdravkovic},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  year={2008},
  volume={105},
  pages={1232 - 1237}
}
Numerical models indicate that collective animal behavior may emerge from simple local rules of interaction among the individuals. However, very little is known about the nature of such interaction, so that models and theories mostly rely on aprioristic assumptions. By reconstructing the three-dimensional positions of individual birds in airborne flocks of a few thousand members, we show that the interaction does not depend on the metric distance, as most current models and theories assume, but… 

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