The Royal Society

Supplementary material from "Characterization of bird formations using fuzzy modelling"

Posted on 2023-02-02 - 11:25
The investigation of the emergent collective behaviour in flying birds is a challenging task, yet it has always fascinated scientists from different disciplines. In the attempt of studying and modelling line formation, we collected high-precision position data of 29 free-flying Northern bald ibises (Geronticus eremita) using Global Navigation Satellite System loggers, to investigate whether the spatial relationships within a flock can be explained by birds maintaining energetically advantageous positions. Specifically, we exploited domain knowledge and available literature information to model by means of fuzzy logic where the air vortexes lie behind a flying bird. This allowed us to determine when a leading bird provides the upwash to a following bird, reducing its overall effort. Our results show that the fuzzy model allows to easily distinguish which bird is flying in the wake of another individual, provides a clear indication about flying flock dynamics and also gives a hint about birds' social relationships.


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Journal of the Royal Society Interface


Elisa Perinot
Johannes Fritz
Leonida Fusani
Bernhard Voelkl
Marco S. Nobile
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