Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Collective motion in biological systems: from data to models

Date: November 5 - 9

Convenors: Andreas Deutsch (Dresden), Guy Théraulaz (Toulouse) und Tamas Vicsek (Budapest)

Collective motion is an emergent phenomenon observed when systems consisting of many moving and locally interacting units self-organize. Scientific activity has recently grown very quickly both in data acquisition and modeling of collective behavior in multi-cellular systems and animal groups as well as in developing and analyzing generic concepts and models of collective motion. Therefore, the workshop was intended to promote a fast exchange of ideas and the establishment of fruitful interdisciplinary collaborations between experts in the field. We addressed two main topics: first, the presentation of experimental data and methods used for reverse-engineering and modeling interactions between units from their trajectories. Understanding how the particular nature of information conveyed during interactions (e.g. visual, chemical and vibratory) may give rise to specific or similar dynamical collective patterns is of particular importance. Complementing the case studies by theory, the second focus was put on the characterization of unifying principles behind the diverse manifestations of collective motion phenomena on the basis of mathematical models. There are many important issues: (1) to what level of description one has to go in order to build explanatory models that make the link between individual and collective behaviors? (2) do all these models belong to the same universality class?
This workshop brought together over 70 researchers from different disciplines (especially mathematics, physics, computer science, and biology) coming from, amongst others, Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Sweden, and the United States. Biological examples of collective motion included ants (S. Garnier), bacteria (M. Alber, J. Tailleur), fish (A. Bottinelli, A. Chicoli, J. Gautrais, C. P. Heisenberg, C. Hemelrijk, A. Perna, K. Tunstrøm), penguins (D. Zitterbart), pigeons (B. Pettit, M. Nagy), ), sheep (H. Chate), and starlings (A. Jelic). Organisational principles in biological development, interacting cell systems and cancer were discussed by A. Czirok, H. Meinhardt, S. Maree, A. Stevens, C. Surulescu, and A. Voss-Böhme. Problems of individuality, coordination, decision making, learning and social leadership were introduced by J. Herbert-Read, A. King, N. Peroni, and G. de Polavieja. A. Zafeiris discussed group performance as maximization of a hierarchical competence distribution. Algorithmic and mathematical aspects were introduced by N. Fatès (From models to data: how should we use cellular automata and other discrete systems?), J. Halloy (From trajectories to automated ethograms: using robots and machine learning techniques to classify behaviors), J. Haskovec (Flocking dynamics and mean-field limit in the Cucker-Smale-type model with topological interactions), R. Mann (Machine-learning in collective animal behavior), S. Melillo (Individual tracking in three dimensional animal groups), D. Strömbom (The shape and dynamics of local attraction), and M. van Kreveld (An algorithmic view on moving object analysis). The workshop was an important ingredient in a cycle of meetings on Collective motion that has attracted a large community and that will continue in the future.


Zsuzsa Ákos (Budapest, HUN), Mark Alber (Notre Dame, USA), Markus Bär (Berlin, GER), Aparna Baskaran (Waltham, USA), Sepideh Bazazi (Toulouse, FRA), Christopher Bock (München, GER), Arianna Bottinelli (Uppsala, SWE), Daniel Schardosim Calovi (Toulouse, FRA), Hugues Chaté (Gif-sur-Yvette, FRA), Amanda Chicoli (College Park, USA), András Czirók (Kansas City, USA), Gila Dinter (Hamburg, GER), Nazim Fatés (Villers-les-Nancy, FRA), Simon Garnier (Newark, USA), Jacques Gautrais (Toulouse, FRA), José Halloy (Paris, FRA), Carl-Philipp Heisenberg (Klosterneuburg, AUT), Charlotte K. Hemelrijk (Groningen, NED), James Herbert-Read (Uppsala, SWE), Robert Hinz (Madrid, ESP), Asja Jelic (Rom, ITA), Ugo Lopez (Toulouse, FRA), Andrew J. King (Swansea, GBR), Markus Knappitsch (Münster, GER), Marc van Kreveld (Utrecht, NED), Richard Mann (Uppsala, SWE), Stan Marée (Norwich, GBR), Hans Meinhardt (Tübingen, GER), Stefania Melillo (Rom, ITA), Mehdi Moussaïd (Berlin, GER), Mate Nagy (Oxford, GBR), Sandrine Ngo (Gif-sur-Yvette, FRA), Alfonso Pérez-Escudero (Madrid, ESP), Andrea Perna (Uppsala, SWE), Nicolas Perony (Zürich, SUI), Fernando Peruani (Nizza, FRA), Benjamin Pettit (Oxford, GBR), Len Pismen (Haifa, ISR), Oliver Pohl (Berlin, GER), Gonzalo G. de Polavieja (Madrid, ESP), Angel-Carlos Román (Madrid, ESP), Tim Otto Roth (Oppenau, GER), Sudipta Saha (Dresden, GER), Michael Smutny (Klosterneuburg, AUT), Jörn Starruß (Dresden, GER), Angela Stevens (Münster, GER), Daniel Strömbom (Uppsala, SWE), Christina Surulescu (Kaiserslautern, GER), Julien Tailleur (Paris, FRA), Florian Thüroff (München, GER), Stefan Thurner (Wien, AUT), Sylvain Toulet (Toulouse, FRA), Kolbjørn Tunstrøm (Princeton, USA), Julián Vicente-Page (Madrid, ESP), Nikolaos Vlassopoulos (Athen, GRE), Anja Voss-Böhme (Dresden, GER), Christoph A. Weber (München, GER), Sebastian Weitz (Dresden, GER), Rik Wensink (Orsay, FRA), Sven Willner (Leipzig, GER), Carina Wollnik (Göttingen, GER), Jamie A. Wood (York, GBR), Anna Zafeiris (Budapest, HUN), Daniel P. Zitterbart (Erlangen, GER)

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