How ants move: individual and collective scaling properties

Gallotti,Riccardo; Chialvo,Dante R.
Journal of the Royal Society Interface 15, 20180223 (2018)

The motion of social insects constitute beautiful examples of adaptive collective dynamics born out of apparent purposeless individual behavior. In this paper we revisit the topic of the ruling laws behind burst of activity in ants. The analysis, done over previously reported data, reconsider the proposed causation arrows, not finding any link between the duration of the ants activity and its moving speed. Secondly, synthetic trajectories created from steps of different ants, demonstrate that an additive stochastic process can explain the previously reported speed shape profile. Finally we show that as more ants enter the nest, the faster they move, which implies a collective property. Overall these results provides a mechanistic explanation for the reported behavioral laws, and suggest a formal way to further study the collective properties in these scenarios.

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