QUANTITATIVE BIOLOGY SEMINAR
The Role of Randomness in Collective Behavior of Ants
Colonies of ants are remarkable interacting living systems in which the distribution of roles of ants and interactions among individuals with an environment produce a reliable performance of complex tasks. Particularly remarkable is the process of formation of narrow paths between nests and food sources that is essential for successful foraging. I will present a simple mathematical off-grid model of ant foraging in the absence of direct communication. The motion of ants is governed by two components - a random change in direction of motion that improves ability to explore the environment and to find food, and a non-random global indirect interaction component based on pheromone signalling. The main goals are to show how are essential real-ant-world problems solved within the system and how the system acquires a partial synchrony, that is very similar and yet quite different to behaviour observed for seemingly unrelated neuronal networks. This is a joint work with my student, Miriam Malickova (Comenius University).