Tricritical points in a Vicsek model of self-propelled particles with bounded confidence

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Title: Tricritical points in a Vicsek model of self-propelled particles with bounded confidence
Authors: Romensky, Maksym
Lobaskin, Vladimir
Ihle, Thomas
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/8422
Date: 24-Dec-2014
Abstract: We study the orientational ordering in systems of self-propelled particles with selective interactions. To introduce the selectivity we augment the standard Vicsek model with a bounded-confidence collision rule: a given particle only aligns to neighbors who have directions quite similar to its own. Neighbors whose directions deviate more than a fixed restriction angle α are ignored. The collective dynamics of this system is studied by agent-based simulations and kinetic mean-field theory. We demonstrate that the reduction of the restriction angle leads to a critical noise amplitude decreasing monotonically with that angle, turning into a power law with exponent 3/2 for small angles. Moreover, for small system sizes we show that upon decreasing the restriction angle, the kind of the transition to polar collective motion changes from continuous to discontinuous. Thus, an apparent tricritical point with different scaling laws is identified and calculated analytically. We investigate the shifting and vanishing of this point due to the formation of density bands as the system size is increased. Agent-based simulations in small systems with large particle velocities show excellent agreement with the kinetic theory predictions. We also find that at very small interaction angles, the polar ordered phase becomes unstable with respect to the apolar phase. We derive analytical expressions for the dependence of the threshold noise on the restriction angle. We show that the mean-field kinetic theory also permits stationary nematic states below a restriction angle of 0.681 π. We calculate the critical noise, at which the disordered state bifurcates to a nematic state, and find that it is always smaller than the threshold noise for the transition from disorder to polar order. The disordered-nematic transition features two tricritical points: At low and high restriction angle, the transition is discontinuous but continuous at intermediate α. We generalize our results to systems that show fragmentation into more than two groups and obtain scaling laws for the transition lines and the corresponding tricritical points. A numerical method to evaluate the nonlinear Fredholm integral equation for the stationary distribution function is also presented. This method is shown to give excellent agreement with agent-based simulations, even in strongly ordered systems at noise values close to zero.
Funding Details: Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: American Physical Society
Copyright (published version): 2014 American Physical Society
Keywords: Self-propelled particles;Swarming;Vicsek model
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.90.063315
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Physics Research Collection
CASL Research Collection

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