Onset of collective motion in locusts is captured by a minimal model

Louise Dyson, Christian Yates, Alan McKane, Jerome Buhl

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We present a minimal model to describe the onset of collective motion seen when a population of locusts are placed in an annular arena. At low densities motion is disordered, while at high densities locusts march in a common direction, which may reverse during the experiment. The data is well-captured by an individual-based model, in which demographic noise leads to the observed density-dependent effects. By fitting the model parameters to equation-free coefficients, we give a quantitative comparison, showing time series, stationary distributions and the mean switching times between states.
Original languageEnglish
Article number052708
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
Early online date6 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2015


  • Locusts, inherent, noise, coherence, swarm, motion, collective, switching


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