# Murmurations - Smarter Every Day 234 | Summary and Q&A

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April 27, 2020
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SmarterEveryDay
Murmurations - Smarter Every Day 234

## TL;DR

Birds exhibit fascinating flock behavior, which is driven by the mathematical algorithm called the Boids Algorithm.

## Key Insights

• 🐦 Flock behavior in birds is a result of simple individual bird decisions that create emergent behavior at the group level.
• 🐦 The Boids Algorithm simulates bird flocking behavior by combining rules of attraction, avoidance, and velocity matching.
• 👥 The algorithm can be applied to other animal groups and represents a complex system arising from simple rules.
• 🐦 Flocking behavior differs between bird species based on their maneuverability and size.
• 🐦 The Boids Algorithm offers a mathematical explanation for the mesmerizing and coordinated movement of bird flocks.
• 👱 Flocking behavior can also be observed among migratory birds, such as cranes, which exhibit similar patterns both in the air and on the ground.
• 🐦 Flock behavior in birds can be a nuisance due to their droppings and urine.

## Transcript

I don't know why but every day in that tree right there Birds congregate together and then at some point they lift off and they start flying together in a flop you got all these birds that are just moving almost like they're a macro organism you've got like one individual bird and it'll be leading the pack and then when it turns the other one's tur... Read More

### Q: What is the Boids Algorithm?

The Boids Algorithm is a mathematical algorithm that simulates flocking behavior in birds. It involves three rules: flying towards the center of mass, avoiding other birds, and matching velocity with neighboring birds.

### Q: How does the Boids Algorithm create flocking behavior?

The Boids Algorithm creates flocking behavior by combining the three rules. Birds are attracted to each other, but also try to avoid collisions. They also try to match their velocity with neighboring birds, resulting in the cohesive movement of the flock.

### Q: Can the Boids Algorithm be applied to other animal groups?

Yes, the principles of the Boids Algorithm can be applied to other animals such as fish and insects. The algorithm simulates emergent behavior and can represent group dynamics in various species.

### Q: What factors affect flock behavior in birds?

Maneuverability plays a role in the overall shape of the flock. Larger birds, which are less maneuverable, tend to fly in a single direction, while smaller birds exhibit more intricate flocking patterns.

## Summary & Key Takeaways

• Birds demonstrate flock behavior, where they come together and fly as a cohesive unit, resembling a macro organism.

• The flocking behavior is a result of simple individual bird decisions that create emergent behavior at the group level.

• The Boids Algorithm, developed by computer scientist Ben Eater, simulates bird flocking behavior and demonstrates the principles behind it.