Data from: Body size affects the strength of social interactions and spatial organization of a schooling fish (Pseudomugil signifer)
Romenskyy, Maksym et al. (2017), Data from: Body size affects the strength of social interactions and spatial organization of a schooling fish (Pseudomugil signifer), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8g0d0
While a rich variety of self-propelled particle models propose to explain the collective motion of fish and other animals, rigorous statistical comparison between models and data remains a challenge. Plausible models should be flexible enough to capture changes in the collective behaviour of animal groups at their different developmental stages and group sizes. Here, we analyse the statistical properties of schooling fish (Pseudomugil signifer) through a combination of experiments and simulations. We make novel use of a Boltzmann inversion method, usually applied in molecular dynamics, to identify the effective potential of the mean force of fish interactions. Specifically, we show that larger fish have a larger repulsion zone, but stronger attraction, resulting in greater alignment in their collective motion. We model the collective dynamics of schools using a self-propelled particle model, modified to include varying particle speed and a local repulsion rule. We demonstrate that the statistical properties of the fish schools are reproduced by our model, thereby capturing a number of features of the behaviour and development of schooling fish.