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Modes of information flow in collective cohesion.


Pairwise interactions are fundamental drivers of collective behavior-responsible for group cohesion. The abiding question is how each individual influences the collective. However, time-delayed mutual information and transfer entropy, commonly used to quantify mutual influence in aggregated individuals, can result in misleading interpretations. Here, we show that these information measures have substantial pitfalls in measuring information flow between agents from their trajectories. We decompose the information measures into three distinct modes of information flow to expose the role of individual and group memory in collective behavior. It is found that decomposed information modes between a single pair of agents reveal the nature of mutual influence involving many-body nonadditive interactions without conditioning on additional agents. The pairwise decomposed modes of information flow facilitate an improved diagnosis of mutual influence in collectives.

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