Frank Schweitzer, Kenneth Lao, Fereydoon Family:

Active Random Walkers Simulate Trunk Trail Formation by Ants
BioSystems 41 (1997) 153-166

A simple model for interactive structure formation is studied to simulate the trail formation by ants based on local chemical communication. In our model, active random walkers, which do not have the ability of visual navigation or storage of information, first have to discover different distributions of food sources and then have to link these sources to a central place by forming a trail, using no other guidance than the chemical markings produced by themselves. The simulations show the spontaneous emergence of a collective trail system due to self-organization, which is both stable and flexible to include newly discovered sources. The typical dendritic foraging patterns of desert ants, reported by Hölldobler and Möglich (1980), are reproduced by the simulations.

trail formation, foraging patters, self-organizing systems



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