Excerpt from the UC Davis Egghead Blog:
When a flock of birds or a school of fish turn and act as one, they are exhibiting collective behavior. The same kind of behavior can be seen in something as simple as a group of cancer cells. Understanding how individuals can spontaneously act together in this way can give insights into biology from animal behavior to disease processes, as well as into phenomena such as traffic patterns.
Now researchers at Hokkaido University, Japan and UC Davis have found new ways to investigate this behavior. In work published Feb. 9 in Science Advances, they show that it is possible to understand the behavior of a network of individuals based on studying how pairs interact. ... The new work builds on earlier work by Professor James Crutchfield, UC Davis Department of Physics and Complexity Sciences Center, and postdoctoral researcher Ryan James.
Please see the full article on the UC Davis Egghead blog post here.
The published paper in Science Advances can be found here.