Self-organized traffic via priority rules in leaf-cutting ants

by Daniel Strömbom, Audrey Dussutour

Ants, termites and humans often form well-organized and highly efficient trails between different locations. Yet the microscopic traffic rules responsible for this organization and efficiency are not fully understood. In previous experimental studies with leaf-cutting ants (Atta colombica), a set of local priority rules were isolated and it was proposed that these rules govern the temporal and spatial organization of the traffic on the trails. Here we introduce a model based on these priority rules to investigate whether they are sufficient to produce traffic similar to that observed in the experiments on both a narrow and a wider trail. We establish that the model is able to reproduce key characteristics of the traffic on the trails. In particular, we show that the proposed priority rules induce de-synchronization into clusters of inbound and outbound ants on a narrow trail, and that priority-type dependent segregated traffic emerges on a wider trail. Due to the generic nature of the proposed priority rules we speculate that they may be used to model traffic organization in a variety of other ant species.

Tratto da: www.plos.org
Note sul Copyright: Articles and accompanying materials published by PLOS on the PLOS Sites, unless otherwise indicated, are licensed by the respective authors of such articles for use and distribution by you subject to citation of the original source in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

Lascia un commento