Mining and modeling complex leadership-followership dynamics of movement data

Leadership and followership are essential parts of collective decision and organization in social animals, including humans. In nature, relationships of leaders and followers are dynamic and vary with context or temporal factors. Understanding dynamics of leadership and followership, such as how leaders and followers change, emerge, or converge, allows scientists to gain more insight into group decision-making and collective behavior in general. However, given only data of individual activities, it is challenging to infer the dynamics of leaders and followers. In this paper, we focus on mining and modeling frequent patterns of leading and following. We formalize new computational problems and propose a framework that can be used to address several questions regarding group movement. We use the leadership inference framework, mFLICA, to infer the time series of leaders and their factions from movement datasets and then propose an approach to mine and model frequent patterns of both leadership and followership dynamics. We evaluate our framework performance by using several simulated datasets, as well as the real-world dataset of baboon movement to demonstrate the applications of our framework. These are novel computational problems and, to the best of our knowledge, there are no existing comparable methods to address them. Thus, we modify and extend an existing leadership inference framework to provide a non-trivial baseline for comparison. Our framework performs better than this baseline in all datasets. Our framework opens the opportunities for scientists to generate testable scientific hypotheses about the dynamics of leadership in movement data.


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