Anomalous behaviour of mutual information in finite flocks

L. Barnett, J. Brown, T. Bossomaier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


The existing consensus is that flocks are poised at criticality, entailing long correlation lengths and a maximal value of Shannon mutual information in the large-system limit. We show, by contrast, that for finite flocks which do not truly break ergodicity in the long-observation-time limit, mutual information may not only fail to peak at criticality - as observed for other critical systems - but also diverge as noise tends to zero. This result carries implications for other finite-size, out-of-equilibrium systems, where observation times may vary widely compared to time scales of internal system dynamics; thus it may not be assumed that mutual information locates the phase transition.
Original languageEnglish
Article number38005
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEurophysics Letters
Issue number3
Early online date01 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


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