Exact dynamics of stochastic linear delayed systems: Application to spatiotemporal coordination of comoving agents

Thomas John McKetterick, Luca Giuggioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Delayed dynamics result from finite transmission speeds of a signal in the form of energy, mass, or information. In stochastic systems the resulting lagged dynamics challenge our understanding due to the rich behavioral repertoire encompassing monotonic, oscillatory, and unstable evolution. Despite the vast literature, quantifying this rich behavior is limited by a lack of explicit analytic studies of high-dimensional stochastic delay systems. Here we fill this gap for systems governed by a linear Langevin equation of any number of delays and spatial dimensions with additive Gaussian noise. By exploiting Laplace transforms we are able to derive an exact time-dependent analytic solution of the Langevin equation. By using characteristic functionals we are able to construct the full time dependence of the multivariate probability distribution of the stochastic process as a function of the delayed and nondelayed random variables. As an application we consider interactions in animal collective movement that go beyond the traditional assumption of instantaneous alignment. We propose models for coordinated maneuvers of comoving agents applicable to recent empirical findings in pigeons and bats whereby individuals copy the heading of their neighbors with some delay. We highlight possible strategies that individual pairs may adopt to reduce the variance in their velocity difference and/or in their spatial separation. We also show that a minimum in the variance of the spatial separation at long times can be achieved with certain ratios of measurement to reaction delay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)042135
JournalPhysical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4-1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Structured keywords

  • Engineering Mathematics Research Group


Dive into the research topics of 'Exact dynamics of stochastic linear delayed systems: Application to spatiotemporal coordination of comoving agents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this