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Continuous versus Discontinuous Transitions in the D-Dimensional Generalized Kuramoto Model: Odd D is Different

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Journal Article - Open Access

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University of Maryland College Park United States

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The Kuramoto model, originally proposed to model the dynamics of many interacting oscillators, has been used and generalized for a wide range of applications involving the collective behavior of large heterogeneous groups of dynamical units whose states are characterized by a scalar angle variable. One such application in which we are interested is the alignment of orientation vectors among members of a swarm. Despite being commonly used for this purpose, the Kuramoto model can only describe swarms in two dimensions, and hence the results obtained do not apply to the often relevant situation of swarms in three dimensions. Partly based on this motivation, as well as on relevance to the classical, mean-field, zero temperature Heisenberg model with quenched site disorder, in this paper we study the Kuramoto model generalized to D dimensions. We show that in the important case of three dimensions, as well as for any odd number of dimensions, the D-dimensional generalized Kuramoto model for heterogeneous units has dynamics that are remarkably different from the dynamics in two dimensions. In particular, for odd D the transition to coherence occurs discontinuously as the interunit coupling constant K is increased through zero, as opposed to the D 2 case and, as we show, also the case of even D for which the transition to coherence occurs continuously as K increases through a positive critical value Kc. We also demonstrate the qualitative applicability of our results to related models constructed specifically to capture swarming and flocking dynamics in three dimensions.

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  • Numerical Mathematics

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