School of Mathematics

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Dr Richard P Mann

UAF in Data Analytics

Contact details

Room: 11.09
Tel: +44 (0)113 3438988
Email: R.P.Mann @


Collective behaviour
Gaussian processes
Bayesian inference
Choice models
Social interactions
Collective intelligence

Research interests

My research focuses on the interface between theory and data in human and animal behaviour. My interest areas include decision-making, motion and collective self-organisation. Using Bayesian methods, machine-learning and agent-based models I aim to uncover how and why animals and humans behave the way they do.

Bayesian data analytics

I perform probabilistic model-based inference using Bayesian model selection, Gaussian process models, neural networks and hidden Markov models to test behavioural theories.

Collective behaviour

I study how animals and humans use social interaction rules to produce complex collective behaviour. Themes include collective self-organisation, collective intelligence and collective motion. My current focus is on how heterogeneity among group members contributes to the group's collective properties.

Individuality, crime and segregation

I am interested in why certain individuals commit crime at a much higher rate than others, what the spatial distributions of crimes tell us about the importance of the environment, and how individuals backgrounds, status and preferences play out to create a segregated society.

Useful links

Personal website


Herbert-Read JE, Ward AJW, Sumpter DJT, Mann RP Escape path complexity and its context dependency in Pacific blue-eyes (Pseudomugil signifer) Journal of Experimental Biology, 220, 2076-2081, 2017
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Mann RP, Helbing D Optimal incentives for collective intelligence Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114, 5077-5082, 2017
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Mann RP, Mushtaq F, White AD, Mata-Cervantes G, Pike T, Coker D, Murdoch S, Hiles T, Smith C, Berridge D, Hinchliffe S, Hall G, Smye S, Wilkie RM, Lodge JPA, Mon-Williams M The Problem with Big Data: Operating on Smaller Datasets to Bridge the Implementation Gap Frontiers in Public Health, 4, 2016
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Reid CR, MacDonald H, Mann RP, Marshall JAR, Latty T, Garnier S Decision-making without a brain: How an amoeboid organism solves the two-armed bandit Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 13, 2016
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Mann RP, Garnett R Erratum: The entropic basis of collective behaviour(Journal of the Royal Society Interface (2015) 12( 20150037) 10.1098/rsif.2015.0037) Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 13, 2016

Hart T, Mann R, Coulson T, Pettorelli N, Trathan P Behavioural switching in a central place forager: Patterns of diving behaviour in the macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus) Marine Biology, 157, 1543-1553, 2016
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Müller S; Kapadia M; Frey S; Klinger S; Mann RP; Solenthaler B; Sumner RW; Gross M HeapCraft Social Tools: Understanding and Improving Player Collaboration in MinecraftProceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2015) 2015
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Müller S; Kapadia M; Frey S; Klinger S; Mann RP; Solenthaler B; Sumner RW; Gross M Statistical Analysis of Player Behavior in MinecraftProceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, 39 2015
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Müller S; Frey S; Kapadia M; Klinger S; Mann RP; Solenthaler B; Sumner RW; Gross M HEAPCRAFT: Quantifying and Predicting Collaboration in MinecraftProceedings, The Eleventh AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE 2015), 156-162 2015
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Mueller S; Solenthaler B; Kapadia M; Frey S; Klingler S; Mann RP; Sumner RW; Gross M HeapCraft: Interactive data exploration and visualization tools for understanding and influencing player behavior in MinecraftProceedings of the 8th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games, MIG 2015, 237-241 2015
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Forsman J, Mann RP, Linder C, Van Den Bogaard M Erratum: Sandbox University: Estimating influence of institutional action (PLoS ONE (2014) 9:7 (e103261) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103261) PLoS ONE, 10, 2015

Mann RP, Garnett R The entropic basis of collective behaviour Interface, 12, 2015
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Spaiser V; Ranganathan, S; Mann RP; Sumpter DJT R package bdynsys (Bayesian Dynamical System Model) 2014
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Strömbom D, Mann RP, Wilson AM, Hailes S, Morton AJ, Sumpter DJT, King AJ Solving the shepherding problem: heuristics for herding autonomous, interacting agents Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 11, 2014
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Farine DR, Aplin LM, Garroway CJ, Mann RP, Sheldon BC Collective decision making and social interaction rules in mixed-species flocks of songbirds Animal Behaviour, 95, 173-182, 2014
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Forsman J, Mann RP, Linder C, Van Den Bogaard M Sandbox university: Estimating influence of institutional action PLoS ONE, 9, 2014
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Aplin LM, Farine DR, Mann RP, Sheldon BC Individual-level personality influences social foraging and collective behaviour in wild birds Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281, 2014
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Spaiser V, Ranganathan S, Mann RP, Sumpter DJT The dynamics of democracy, development and cultural values PLoS ONE, 9, 2014
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Perna A, Grégoire G, Mann RP On the duality between interaction responses and mutual positions in flocking and schooling Movement Ecology, 2, 2014
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Ranganathan S, Spaiser V, Mann RP, Sumpter DJT Bayesian dynamical systems modelling in the social sciences PLoS ONE, 9, 2014
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Mann RP, Armstrong C, Meade J, Freeman R, Biro D, Guilford T Landscape complexity influences routememory formation in navigating pigeons Biology Letters, 10, 2014
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Zabzina N, Dussutour A, Mann RP, Sumpter DJT, Nicolis SC Symmetry Restoring Bifurcation in Collective Decision-Making PLoS Computational Biology, 10, 2014
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Mann RP, Herbert-Read JE, Ma Q, Jordan LA, Sumpter DJT, Ward AJW A model comparison reveals dynamic social information drives the movements of humbug damselfish (Dascyllus aruanus) Interface, 11, 2013
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Sasaki T, Granovskiy B, Mann RP, Sumpter DJT, Pratt SC Ant colonies outperform individuals when a sensory discrimination task is difficult but not when it is easy Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110, 13769-13773, 2013
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Mann RP, Faria J, Sumpter DJT, Krause J The dynamics of audience applause Interface, 10, 2013
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Mann RP, Perna A, Strombom D, Garnett R, Herbert-Read JE, Sumpter DJT, Ward AJW Multi-scale Inference of Interaction Rules in Animal Groups Using Bayesian Model Selection PLoS Computational Biology, 9, 2013
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Garnett R; Krishnamurthy Y; Xiong X; Schneider J; Mann R Bayesian optimal active search and surveyingProceedings of the 29th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2012, 1239-1246 2012
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Mann RP Waypoint Detection In Encyclopedia of Nanotechnology, 2821-2828, 2012

Kolm N, Amcoff M, Mann RP, Arnqvist G Diversification of a food-mimicking male ornament via sensory drive Current Biology, 22, 1440-1443, 2012
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Mann RP; Perna A; Strömbom D; Sumpter DJT; Garnett R; Herbert-Read JE; Ward AJW Prawns and probabilityAIP Conference Proceedings, 362-365 2012
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Mann RP, Perna A, Strömbom D, Garnett R, Herbert-Read JE, Sumpter DJT, Ward AJW Multi-scale inference of interaction rules in animal groups using bayesian model selection PLoS Computational Biology, 8, 2012
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Sumpter DJT, Mann RP, Perna A The modelling cycle for collective animal behaviour Interface Focus, 2, 764-773, 2012
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Herbert-Read JE, Perna A, Mann RP, Schaerf TM, Sumpter DJT, Ward AJW Inferring the rules of interaction of shoaling fish Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108, 18726-18731, 2011
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Mann RP Bayesian inference for identifying interaction rules in moving animal groups PLoS ONE, 6, 2011
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Freeman R, Mann R, Guilford T, Biro D Group decisions and individual differences: Route fidelity predicts flight leadership in homing pigeons (Columba livia) Biology Letters, 7, 63-66, 2011
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Mann R, Freeman R, Osborne M, Garnett R, Armstrong C, Meade J, Biro D, Guilford T, Roberts S Objectively identifying landmark use and predicting flight trajectories of the homing pigeon using Gaussian processes Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 8, 210-219, 2011
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Reece S; Mann R; Rezek I; Roberts S Gaussian process segmentation of co-moving animalsAIP Conference Proceedings, 430-437 2010
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Mann R; Freeman R; Osborne M; Garnett R; Meade J; Armstrong C; Biro D; Guilford T; Roberts S Gaussian processes for prediction of homing pigeon flight trajectoriesAIP Conference Proceedings, 360-367 2009
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Clement RJG, Vincente-Page J, Mann RP, Ward AJW, Kurvers RHJM, Ramnarine IW, de Polavieja GG, Krause J Collective decision making in guppies: a cross-population comparison study in the wild Behavioral Ecology

Mann RP, Woolley-Meza O Maintaining intellectual diversity in data science Data Science
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Sasaki T, Mann RP, Warren KN, Herbert T, Wilson T, Biro D Personality and the collective: Exploratory homing pigeons occupy higher leadership ranks in flocks Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Wikström POH, Mann RP, Hardie B Young People’s Differential Vulnerability to Criminogenic Exposure: Bridging The Gap Between People and Place Oriented Approaches in the Study of Crime Causation European Journal of Criminology

Mann RP Towards a fully predictive model of flight paths in pigeons navigating in the familiar area: prediction across differing individualsRIN16 Animal Navigation Conference
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Malkomes G; Lu K; Hoffman B; Garnett R; Moseley B; Mann R Cooperative Set Function Optimization Without Communication or CoordinationProceedings of the 16th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems

Mann RP Prediction of homing pigeon flight paths using Gaussian processes