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Moving through a crowd

Supplementary information for the paper titled,

'Moving efficiently through a crowd: a nature inspired traffic rule'

Danny Raj M and Kumaran V

When we probe the dynamics of the movement of the elite agent (intruder) through a crowd of inert agents, in the 2D parameter space, Density of packing and Strength of traffic rule, we find four regions exhibiting distinct characteristics. 

  1. A free-flow region corresponding to low packing densities, where motion of the elite is possible even in the absence of the dipole force,

  2. Motion under cooperation region where the dipole traffic rule is essential for movement of the elite,

  3. Frozen region where motion of the elite is insignificant and

  4. Collective drift region where the local frozen micro structure determines the flow direction and speed of drift of the entire assembly

In this video, we show the dynamics of the motion of the elite and the inert agents in the assembly in these four distinct regions in the parameter space.

At fairly large densities of packing, the motion observed is intermittent. Agent moves through the inert assembly in short bursts of motion followed by time windows where motion relative to the inert assembly is zero. When the strength of the dipole traffic rule is large, agents exhibit what is called, a collective drift, where all the agents drift in a certain direction determined by the configuration of agents around the elite. 

In this video, we show how this direction of drift changes as agents around the elite rearrange during intermittent motion of the elite through the inert crowd.

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