Monday, May 27, 2013

1305.5707 (Oleksandr Chepizhko et al.)

Optimal noise maximizes collective motion in heterogeneous media    [PDF]

Oleksandr Chepizhko, Eduardo G. Altmann, Fernando Peruani
We study the effect of spatial heterogeneity on the collective motion of self-propelled particles (SPPs). The heterogeneity is modeled as a random distribution of either static or diffusive obstacles, which the SPPs avoid while trying to align their movements. We find that such obstacles have a dramatic effect on the collective dynamics of usual SPP models. In particular, we report about the existence of an optimal (angular) noise amplitude that maximizes collective motion. We also show that while at low obstacle densities the system exhibits long-range order, in strongly heterogeneous media collective motion is quasi-long-range and exists only for noise values in between two critical noise values, with the system being disordered at both, large and low noise amplitudes. Since most real system have spatial heterogeneities, the finding of an optimal noise intensity has immediate practical and fundamental implications for the design and evolution of collective motion strategies.
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