Volume 114, Number 6, June 2016
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||20 July 2016|
Switching hierarchical leadership mechanism in homing flight of pigeon flocks
1 The Guangdong HUST Industrial Technology Research Institute, Guangdong Province Key Lab of Digital Manufacturing Equipment, School of Automation, the State Key Lab of Digital Manufacturing Equipment and Technology, and the Key Lab of Imaginag Processing and Intelligence Control, Huazhong University of Science and Technology - Wuhan 430074, PRC
2 Department of Biological Physics, Eötvös Loránd University - Budapest, Hungary
3 MTA-ELTE Statistical and Biological Physics Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Budapest, Hungary
4 Web Sciences Center, University of Electronics Science and Technology of China - Chengdu 610054, PRC
Received: 12 March 2016
Accepted: 21 June 2016
To explore the fascinating inter-individual interaction mechanism governing the abundant biological grouping behaviors, more and more efforts have been devoted to collective motion investigation in recent years. Therein, bird flocking is one of the most intensively studied behaviors. A previous study (Nagy M. et al., Nature, 464 (2010) 890.) claims the existence of a well-defined hierarchical structure in pigeon flocks, which implies that a multi-layer leadership network leads to the occurrence of highly coordinated pigeon flock movements. However, in this study, by using high-resolution GPS data of homing flight of pigeon flocks, we reveal an explicit switching hierarchical mechanism underlying the group motions of pigeons. That is, a pigeon flock has a long-term leader for smooth moving trajectories, whereas the leading tenure passes to a temporary one upon sudden turns or zigzags. Therefore, the present observation helps explore more deeply into the principle of a huge volume of bird flocking dynamics. Meanwhile, from the engineering point of view, it may shed some light onto industrial multi-robot coordination and unmanned air vehicle formation control.
PACS: 05.65.+b – Self-organized systems / 89.75.-k – Complex systems
© EPLA, 2016
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.