Swarm dynamics may give rise to Lévy flights

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Reynolds, A. M. and Ouellette, N. T. 2016. Swarm dynamics may give rise to Lévy flights. Scientific Reports. 6, p. 30515. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep30515

AuthorsReynolds, A. M. and Ouellette, N. T.

“Continuous-time correlated random walks” are now gaining traction as models of scale-finite animal movement patterns because they overcome inherent shortcomings with the prevailing paradigm - discrete random walk models. Continuous-time correlated random walk models are founded on the classic Langevin equation that is driven by purely additive noise. The Langevin equation is, however, changed fundamentally by the smallest of multiplicative noises. The inclusion of such noises gives rise to Lévy flights, a popular but controversial model of scale-free movement patterns. Multiplicative noises have not featured prominently in the literature on biological Lévy flights, being seen, perhaps, as no more than a mathematical contrivance. Here we show how Langevin equations driven by multiplicative noises and incumbent Lévy flights arise naturally in the modelling of swarms. Model predictions find some support in three-dimensional, time-resolved measurements of the positions of individual insects in laboratory swarms of the midge Chironomus riparius. We hereby provide a new window on Lévy flights as models of movement pattern data, linking patterns to generative processes.

Year of Publication2016
JournalScientific Reports
Journal citation6, p. 30515
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/srep30515
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderEuropean Research Council
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeDelivering Sustainable Systems (SS) [ISPG]
Movement and spatial ecology in agricultural landscapes
Space use by bees - radar tracking of spatial movements for key pollinators
Publisher's version
Copyright license
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online28 Jul 2016
Publication process dates
Accepted06 Jul 2016
PublisherNature Publishing Group

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