The Regulation of Ant Colony Foraging Activity without Spatial Information

Welcome to the P2P Connected Economy. Interconnected local interactions can produce a collective image for all participants to see everywhere. See my blog “Power Shifts”.

jaap van till, connectivist

Knowledge Team

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Many dynamical networks, such as the ones that produce the collective behavior of social insects, operate without any central control, instead arising from local interactions among individuals. A well-studied example is the formation of recruitment trails in ant colonies, but many ant species do not use pheromone trails. We present a model of the regulation of foraging by harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) colonies. This species forages for scattered seeds that one ant can retrieve on its own, so there is no need for spatial information such as pheromone trails that lead ants to specific locations. Previous work shows that colony foraging activity, the rate at which ants go out to search individually for seeds, is regulated in response to current food availability throughout the colony’s foraging area. Ants use the rate of brief antennal contacts inside the nest between foragers returning with…

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