Effects of anisotropic interactions on the structure of animal groups

Emiliano Cristiani, Paolo Frasca, Benedetto Piccoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This paper proposes an agent-based model which reproduces different structures of animal groups. The shape and structure of the group is the effect of simple interaction rules among individuals: each animal deploys itself depending on the position of a limited number of close group mates. The proposed model is shown to produce clustered formations, as well as lines and V-like formations. The key factors which trigger the onset of different patterns are argued to be the relative strength of attraction and repulsion forces and, most important, the anisotropy in their application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-588
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Mathematical Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Agent-based models
  • Animal groups
  • Anisotropic interactions
  • Coordinated behavior
  • Self-organization


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