[cs-talks] Upcoming Seminar: Diane H. Theriault, PhD Defense (Monday, July 13)

Greenwald, Faith fgreen1 at bu.edu
Tue Jun 30 11:06:07 EDT 2015


PhD Defense
Diane H. Theriault
"AN OPTIMIZATION-BASED MODEL OF COLLECTIVE MOTION"
Monday, July 13, 2015 at 1:00pm in MCS 148

Abstract: Computational models of collective motion  have  yielded   many  insights  about  the way that groups of animals or simulated particles may move together and self-organize. Recent literature has compared predictions of models with large datasets of detailed observations of animal behavior, and found that there are important discrepancies, lead­ ing researchers to reexamine some of the  most widely used assumptions. We  introduce FlockOpt, an optimization-based, variable-speed, self-propelled particle model of col­ lective motion that addresses important  shortcomings  of  earlier  models.  In  our  model, each particle adjusts its velocity by performing a constrained optimization of a locally­ defined objective  function,  which  is  computed  at  each  time  step  over  the  kinematics of the particle and the  relative  position  of  neighboring  particles.  Our  model  explains how ordered motion can arise in the absence of an explicitly  prescribed  alignment  term and simulations performed with our model exhibit a wide variety of patterns of motion, including several not possible  with  popular  constant-speed  models.  Our model  predicts that variations  in speed and heading of particles are coupled due to costs associated with changes  in relative  position.   We have  found  that  a similar  coupling  effect  may  also be present in the flight of groups of gregarious bats. The Mexican Free-tailed bat ( Tadarida brasiliensis )  is a gregarious bat  that  forms large maternity colonies, containing hundreds of thousands to millions of individuals, in the southwestern United States in the summer. We have developed a protocol for calibrating cameras used in stereo videography and developed guidelines for data collection. Our field protocol can be deployed in a single afternoon, requiring only short video segments  of  light ,  portable  calibration  objects. These protocols  have  allowed  us to reconstruct  the  three-dimensional  flight  trajectories of hundreds of thousands of bats in order to use their flight  as a biological  study system for our  model.

EXAMINING COMMITTEE

First Reader: Margrit Betke

Second Reader: Stan Sclaroff

Third Reader: Tyson L. Hedrick

Chair of the Examining Committee: Mark Crovella

Additional Committee Members: Evimaria Terzi

Members of the committee are asked to confirm attendance by replying directly to the Chair of the Examining Committee

All Members Of The Graduate School Faculty Are Invited To Attend
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