Food Searching Model for Ants

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Suppose that ants can sense chemical signals instantaneously up to a certain distance (sensing range ). As a consequence, if the distance between ant and ant satisfies then they can directly communicate. If , and there is another ant whose position satisfies and , then ants and can still communicate with the help of ant , which can instantaneously play the role of a relay server.

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The food (represented as a locator originally at the center) has an odor range . If the distance between an ant and the food satisfies , then the ant can directly sense the food, otherwise it cannot.

The model is as follows.

1. Any ant that can directly sense the food will move toward it and keep moving around it to get fed.

2. Ants that cannot directly sense the food but still know its location by communicating with those ants that do sense it will show the same behavior.

3. Other ants will do a random walk to search for the food.

Ants that can sense the food (directly or indirectly) are represented as points with a blue sensing area; while ants that cannot sense the food are represented as points with a salmon sensing area. The panel "n/m ants" (at the bottom) means that ants of a total of ants currently sense the food.

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Contributed by: Yiyang Li (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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