Kinetic Description of Social Dynamics: From Consensus to Flocking

Motion coordination and information transmission in bio-groups: From mating mosquitoes to frightened fish

Derek Paley

University of Maryland


This talk will describe recent work on the use of engineering tools to aid in the reconstruction and analysis of two different biological groups. First, I will describe a novel tracking system based on nonlinear filtering for reconstructing the three-dimensional dynamics of individual mosquitoes in wild malarial swarms. Tracking results will be presented from field experiments in Mali in 2009, 2010, and 2011. The reconstructed mosquito trajectories have been used to inform a mechanistic model of male coordinated behavior. I will present new results characterizing the swarming insects as interacting harmonic oscillators driven by white noise. In the second part of the talk, I will present results from the succesful application of nonlinear filtering to the reconstruction of three-dimensional pose, shape, and motion of individual schooling fish. This framework has been used in laboratoary behavior experiments characterizing the collective response to visual startle stimuli in rheotacting fish. I will present the results of modeling these experimental data using a probabilistic framework for information transmission in dynamic, interacting agents.