Toward a general understanding of the scaling laws in human and animal mobility
Department of Systems Science, School of Management and Center for Complexity Research, Beijing Normal University - Beijing 100875, China
2 School of Mathematics, Southwest Jiaotong University - Chengdu 610031, China
Accepted: 14 September 2011
Recent research highlighted the scaling property of human and animal mobility. An interesting issue is that the exponents of scaling law for animals and humans in different situations are quite different. This paper proposes a general optimization model, a random walker following scaling laws (whose traveling distances in each step obey a power law distribution with exponent α) tries to diversify its visiting places under a given total traveling distance with a home-return probability. The results show that different optimal exponents in between 1 and 2 can emerge naturally. Therefore, the scaling property of human and animal mobility can be understood in our framework where the discrepancy of the scaling law exponents is due to the home-return constraint under the maximization of the visiting places diversity.
PACS: 89.75.-k – Complex systems
© EPLA, 2011