Simulating Schools

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In nature, fish school for many reasons: protection from predators, increased sensing, and hydrodynamic advantages. To capture this complex behavior, researchers are building their own digital fish, governed by known rules. Here, scientists give each fish social rules — based on vision range and preferred distance from a neighbor — and hydrodynamic rules — based on a fish’s wake. With the rules in place, they can then observe the schooling behaviors of their digital fish. Like their real counterparts, these schools show different flocking based on apparent “moods”. (Image and video credit: J. Zhou et al.)

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