The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

A mathematical model for the dynamics and synchronization of cows

Sun, J and Bollt, E M and Porter, M A and Dawkins, M S (2011) A mathematical model for the dynamics and synchronization of cows. Physica D, 240 (19). pp. 1497-1509.



We formulate a mathematical model for the daily activities of a cow (eating, lying down, and standing) in terms of a piecewise linear dynamical system. We analyze the properties of this bovine dynamical system representing the single animal and develop an exact integrative form as a discrete-time mapping. We then couple multiple cow “oscillators” together to study synchrony and cooperation in cattle herds. We comment on the relevant biology and discuss extensions of our model. With this abstract approach, we not only investigate equations with interesting dynamics but also develop biological predictions. In particular, our model illustrates that it is possible for cows to synchronize less when the coupling is increased.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Piecewise smooth dynamical systems; Animal behavior; Synchronization; Cows
Subjects:A - C > Biology and other natural sciences
Research Groups:Centre for Mathematical Biology
ID Code:1810
Deposited By: Sara Jolliffe
Deposited On:26 Feb 2014 08:45
Last Modified:29 May 2015 19:30

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