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Tricritical points in a Vicsek model of self-propelled particles with bounded confidence
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Mathematics. (David Sumpter)
2014 (English)In: Physical Review E. Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, ISSN 1539-3755, E-ISSN 1550-2376, Vol. 90, no 6, 063315Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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 32 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 0.681π. 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
USA: American Physical Society , 2014. Vol. 90, no 6, 063315
Keyword [en]
Vicsek model, bounded confidence, self-propelled particles, nematic transition
National Category
Other Physics Topics
Research subject
Physics; Mathematics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-239439DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.90.063315ISI: 000348873000005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-239439DiVA: diva2:774556
Available from: 2014-12-25 Created: 2014-12-25 Last updated: 2015-03-12Bibliographically approved

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Physical Review E. Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
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