University of Cambridge > > CUED Control Group Seminars > Regulation of Ant Foraging as a Closed-Loop Excitable System

Regulation of Ant Foraging as a Closed-Loop Excitable System

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Alberto Padoan.

I will present a model-based investigation into the collective behavior that allows colonies of desert harvester ants to regulate foraging in response to environmental conditions. The model uses excitability dynamics to represent response to interactions inside the nest and a random delay distribution to represent foraging time outside the nest. The model exhibits a critical “volatility” of available foragers above which there is sustained foraging and below which foraging stops. To explain how foraging adjusts to temperature and humidity, we propose that foragers modify their volatility after first exposure to the environment. I will briefly discuss of a study of contagion dynamics, motivated by the foraging investigation, in which susceptibility to “infection” is modified after first exposure.

This talk is part of the CUED Control Group Seminars series.

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