A New Model for Self-organized Dynamics and Its Flocking Behavior

Sebastien Motsch, Eitan Tadmor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

298 Scopus citations


We introduce a model for self-organized dynamics which, we argue, addresses several drawbacks of the celebrated Cucker-Smale (C-S) model. The proposed model does not only take into account the distance between agents, but instead, the influence between agents is scaled in term of their relative distance. Consequently, our model does not involve any explicit dependence on the number of agents; only their geometry in phase space is taken into account. The use of relative distances destroys the symmetry property of the original C-S model, which was the key for the various recent studies of C-S flocking behavior. To this end, we introduce here a new framework to analyze the phenomenon of flocking for a rather general class of dynamical systems, which covers systems with non-symmetric influence matrices. In particular, we analyze the flocking behavior of the proposed model as well as other strongly asymmetric models with "leaders". The methodology presented in this paper, based on the notion of active sets, carries over from the particle to kinetic and hydrodynamic descriptions. In particular, we discuss the hydrodynamic formulation of our proposed model, and prove its unconditional flocking for slowly decaying influence functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-947
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Statistical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Active sets
  • Flocking
  • Hydrodynamic formulation
  • Kinetic formulation
  • Moments
  • Self-organized dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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