A continuous model of ant foraging with pheromones and trail formation

Paulo Amorim


We propose and numerically analyze a PDE model of ant foraging behavior. Ant foraging is a prime example of individuals following simple behavioral rules based on local information producing complex, organized and “intelligent” strategies at the population level. One of its main aspects is the widespread use of pheromones, which are chemical compounds laid by the ants used to attract other ants to a food source. In this work, we consider a continuous description of a population of ants and simulate numerically the foraging behavior using a system of PDEs of chemotaxis type. We show that, numerically, this system accurately reproduces observed foraging behavior, such as trail formation and efficient removal of food sources


Ant foraging, Chemotaxis, Pheromones, Numerical simulation, Mechanistic models, Reaction-diffusion equations.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5540/03.2015.003.01.0323


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