Computational Modelling Group

Models of Avian Flocking

Edward Butler

Starlings at Fishlake Meadows, Romsey. Edward Butler, 2010.

This research review project introduces the basic principles of flocking, the early theory on ‘thought transference’ and the seminal model of flocking by Reynolds. Simplified mathematical models that allow robust properties of numerical simulations to be studied in detail using dynamical theory are described, with applications to engineering explored. The results of recent empirical work in producing 3D recreations of natural flocks in Rome are summarised and their implications for existing flocking models discussed. Finally, the idea of an information theoretic approach to flocking research is presented and some personal biological observations of flocking behaviours typically neglected in models are given.


Life sciences simulation: Ecology, Systems biology

Transdisciplinary tags: Complex Systems