New Assisi | bf blog post.
For group living animals, collective behaviors often depend on perception of environmental cues and social interactions among group members. As large animal societies often lack a global communication system, one of the most challenging problems faced by these groups is probably the coordination of all group members. It requires gathering the information about the environmental opportunities, information transfer between group members and information processing by individuals. In large groups, individuals mostly respond to local information since they only have access to limited knowledge and are unable to directly compare the different environmental opportunities. Thus, collective pattern displayed by such groups frequently rely on decentralized processes based on amplifying loops that are base on direct interactions between individuals or through intermediate signals. Such mechanisms have been shown to rule various collective activities in numerous species, including humans (Figure 1, Bonabeau et al., 1997, Camazine et al., 2001, Couzin and Krause, 2003, Sumpter, 2006 and Moussaïd et al., 2009).
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