August 2010
Volume 10, Issue 7
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2010
Follow the leader: Behavioral dynamics of following
Author Affiliations
  • Kevin Rio
    Department of Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences, Brown University
  • Christopher Rhea
    Department of Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences, Brown University
  • William Warren
    Department of Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences, Brown University
Journal of Vision August 2010, Vol.10, 1047. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Kevin Rio, Christopher Rhea, William Warren; Follow the leader: Behavioral dynamics of following. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):1047.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Can human crowd behavior be explained as an emergent property of local rules, as in flocking (Reynolds 1987) and fish schooling (Huth & Wissel 1992)? Here we derive one such possible ‘rule:’ a dynamical model of following another pedestrian. We collected position data from pairs of pedestrians walking in a 12m x 12m room, using an inertial/ultrasonic tracking system (IS-900, 60 Hz). The ‘leader’ (a confederate) walked in a straight path. After 3 steps at a constant speed, the leader would (a) speed up, (b) slow down, or (c) remain at the same speed for a variable number of steps (3, 4, or 5), and then return to his original speed. The ‘follower’ (a subject) was instructed to maintain a constant distance from the leader (1m or 3m). We evaluate several candidate following models, in which the follower's acceleration is controlled by (a) nulling change in distance, (b) nulling change in relative speed, or (c) more complex functions of these variables, drawing inspiration from studies of vehicle-following in traffic (Brackstone 1999). For each model, we cross-correlate the predicted acceleration of the follower with the observed acceleration in the tracking data. Future work will investigate the visual information that serves as input to the model. Once a control law for following is characterized, it can be integrated with other components for steering toward goals, avoiding obstacles, and intercepting moving targets (Fajen & Warren 2003, 2007). This will allow us to empirically determine whether human crowd behavior does indeed emerge from such local interactions.

Rio, K. Rhea, C. Warren, W. (2010). Follow the leader: Behavioral dynamics of following [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 10(7):1047, 1047a,, doi:10.1167/10.7.1047. [CrossRef]
 NIH R01 EY10923.

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.