Modeling the Emergence of Modular Leadership Hierarchy During the Collective Motion of Herds Made of Harems

Katalin Ozogány, Tamás Vicsek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gregarious animals need to make collective decisions in order to keep their cohesiveness. Several species of them live in multilevel societies, and form herds composed of smaller communities. We present a model for the development of a leadership hierarchy in a herd consisting of loosely connected sub-groups (e.g. harems) by combining self organization and social dynamics. It starts from unfamiliar individuals without relationships and reproduces the emergence of a hierarchical and modular leadership network that promotes an effective spreading of the decisions from more capable individuals to the others, and thus gives rise to a beneficial collective decision. Our results stemming from the model are in a good agreement with our observations of a Przewalski horse herd (Hortobágy, Hungary). We find that the harem-leader to harem-member ratio observed in Przewalski horses corresponds to an optimal network in this approach regarding common success, and that the observed and modeled harem size distributions are close to a lognormal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-646
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Statistical Physics
Volume158
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Collective animal behaviour
  • Collective decision making
  • Leadership hierarchy
  • Modular hierarchy
  • Multilevel societies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics

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