Flocking System Breakdown

Flocking Systems | Boids | Geometric Flight | Flocking Behaviour | Collision Avoidance | Velocity Matching | Flock Centring | Examples | Steering Behaviours | Seek and Flee | Pursuit and Evasion | Arrival | Wander | Path Following | Wall Following and Containment

Flocking Systems

A flocking system is very similar to a particle system. Both flocking and particle systems have an arbitrary number of members, that all move about their environments, based on computed forces that are generated either internally or externally of the particle.

The main difference between a flocking system and a particle system is the autonomous behaviour of the flocking agents. Each member of a flocking system is given a set of rules/behaviours that it tries to follow. These rules can be as simple or as complex as the programmer intends them to be. In the majority of cases, the autonomous agents of a flocking system are actually very dumb, and blindly follow a set of very basic rules, which create a perceived sense of intelligence. In fact the agents are nothing more than particles with simple motion physics and a number of constraints that either force or prevent them from performing certain tasks.

There are other methods to model flocking behaviour, which entail using specific external force fields rather than making the flock members autonomous, but by controlling the behaviour of each individual group member, the final flock behaves in a much more intuitive manner and simulates better the way flocks behave in the real world.

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