Skip to main content
Cornell University
LASSP -  Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics

Cornell Laboratory for Atomic and Solid State Physics

Tomas Arias and Itai Cohen Predict Behavior of Crowds

Tomas Arias, professor of physics, is corresponding author of “Density-Functional Fluctuation Theory of Crowds,” which published Aug. 30 in Nature Communications. Co-authors include Itai Cohen, professor of physics; lead authors Yunus A. Kinkhabwala, a doctoral student in the field of engineering, and J. Felipe Méndez-Valderrama, a doctoral student in the field of physics; and Jeffrey Silver, senior analyst at Metron Inc.


Interactions among individuals in a crowd can be complex and difficult to quantify mathematically; the large number of actors in a crowd results in a complex mathematical problem. The researchers sought to predict the behavior of crowds by using simple measurements of density to infer underlying interactions and to use those interactions to predict new behaviors.

Read More