Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Computational and robotic modeling reveal parsimonious combinations of interactions between individuals in schooling fish

Abstract : Coordinated motion and collective decision-making in fish schools result from complex interactions by which individuals integrate information about the behavior of their neighbors. However, little is known about how individuals integrate this information to take decisions and control their motion. Here, we combine experiments with computational and robotic approaches to investigate the impact of different strategies for a fish to interact with its neighbors on collective swimming in groups of rummy-nose tetra (Hemigrammus rhodostomus). By means of a data-based agent model describing the interactions between pairs of H. rhodostomus (Calovi et al., 2018), we show that the simple addition of the pairwise interactions with two neighbors quantitatively reproduces the collective behavior observed in groups of five fish. Increasing the number of interacting neighbors does not significantly improve the simulation results. Remarkably, and even without confinement, we find that groups remain cohesive and polarized when each agent interacts with only one of its neighbors: the one that has the strongest contribution to the heading variation of the focal agent, dubbed as the “most influential neighbor”. However, group cohesion is lost when each agent only interacts with its nearest neighbor. We then investigate by means of a robotic platform the collective motion in groups of five robots. Our platform combines the implementation of the fish behavioral model and a control system to deal with real-world physical constraints. A better agreement with experimental results for fish is obtained for groups of robots only interacting with their most influential neighbor, than for robots interacting with one or even two nearest neighbors. Finally, we discuss the biological and cognitive relevance of the notion of “most influential neighbors”. Overall, our results suggest that fish have to acquire only a minimal amount of information about their environment to coordinate their movements when swimming in groups
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Guy Theraulaz Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Saturday, October 2, 2021 - 5:24:14 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 6:49:36 AM


Files produced by the author(s)



Liu Lei, Ramón Escobedo, Clément Sire, Guy Théraulaz. Computational and robotic modeling reveal parsimonious combinations of interactions between individuals in schooling fish. PLoS Computational Biology, Public Library of Science, 2020, 16 (3), pp.e1007194. ⟨10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007194⟩. ⟨hal-03363016⟩



Record views


Files downloads