Kroma-Wiley, Keith A.; Peter J. Mucha and Danielle S. Bassett
A fundamental understanding of synchronized behavior in multiagent systems can be acquired by studying analytically tractable Kuramoto models. However, such models typically diverge from many real systems whose dynamics evolve under nonnegligible resource constraints. Here we construct a system of coupled Kuramoto oscillators that consume or produce resources as a function of their oscillation frequency. At high coupling, we observe strongly synchronized dynamics, whereas at low coupling, we observe independent oscillator dynamics as expected from standard Kuramoto models. For intermediate coupling, which typically induces a partially synchronized state, we empirically observe that (and theoretically explain why) the system can exist in either: (i) a state in which the order parameter oscillates in time, or (ii) a state in which multiple synchronization states are simultaneously stable. Whether (i) or (ii) occurs depends upon whether the oscillators consume or produce resources, respectively. Relevant for systems as varied as coupled neurons and social groups, our paper lays important groundwork for future efforts to develop quantitative predictions of synchronized dynamics for systems embedded in environments marked by sparse resources.