Modelling Peloton Dynamics in Competitive Cycling: A Quantitative Approach
We propose an agent-based model for peloton dynamics in competitive cycling. It aims to generate the very complex behaviour observed in real-life competitive cycling from a collection of agents with simple rules of behaviour. Cyclists in a peloton try to minimize their energy expenditure by riding behind other cyclists, in areas of reduced air resistance. Drafting cyclists spend considerably less energy than frontrunners, making the strategies in the sport to be based around trailing as much as possible. We quantify energy expenditure and recovery in relation to cyclists’ positions in the peloton. Finally, we analyse the results and try to compare them to real-life behaviour of competitive pelotons.
KeywordsAgent-based modelling Computer simulation Peloton dynamics Flocking Emerging complexity
Many thanks to Prof. René Doursat (Institut des Systèmes Complexes Paris Île-de-France) for the teachings about agent-based models and for supporting his students’ ideas. Thanks to James Newling, for the insightful discussions during the development of the model. This work was supported by an Erasmus Mundus Masters scholarship for the Complex Systems Science program.
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