From nonlinearity to optimality : pheromone trail foraging by ants

  title={From nonlinearity to optimality : pheromone trail foraging by ants},
  author={David J. T. Sumpter and Madeleine Beekman},
Pheromone trails laid by foraging ants serve as a positive feedback mechanism for the sharing of information about food sources. This feedback is nonlinear, in that ants do not react in a proportionate manner to the amount of pheromone deposited. Instead, strong trails elicit disproportionately stronger responses than weak trails. Such nonlinearity has important implications for how a colony distributes its workforce, when confronted with a choice of food sources. We investigated how colonies… CONTINUE READING
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