Jim has also worked on models of social systems. This has included using extensions to pedestrian models (specifically the active walker model) to investigate the spontaneous formation of switchbacks patterns in mountain trails. Results from our model of mountain trail formation can be seen below. In the active walker model, walkers are attracted to existing paths, reinforcing them. On inclines, walkers can only descend at a maximum angle, above which they risk falling over. The combination of the reinforcement of paths and maximum descent angles leads to spontaneous switchback formation.
- Mountain trail formation and the active walker model
S.J.Gilks and J.P.Hague
Int. J. Mod. Phys. C 20 (2009) 869 (22 pages)