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A simple mathematical model using centred loops and random perturbations accurately reconstructs search patterns observed in desert ants


Waldner, Franz; Merkle, Tobias (2018). A simple mathematical model using centred loops and random perturbations accurately reconstructs search patterns observed in desert ants. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 204(12):985-998.

Abstract

This paper describes a new mathematical model that is based on centred loops to reconstruct the "Systematic Search" behaviour of Cataglyphis desert ants. The notable advantage of this model is the combination of simplicity, efficiency and performance. All model input is kept to a minimum, using only parameters that previous research has shown to be available to the animals at all times: distance from the origin, direction of the last step and home vector. Outbound and inbound search paths are being combined into loops that return to the origin, sampling this area more intensely. A stochastic element is added by random perturbations during the next step, mimicking unsystematic errors during the process of path integration and yielding the typical search patterns observed in Cataglyphis desert ants. The model output is compared to runs observed in the field.

Abstract

This paper describes a new mathematical model that is based on centred loops to reconstruct the "Systematic Search" behaviour of Cataglyphis desert ants. The notable advantage of this model is the combination of simplicity, efficiency and performance. All model input is kept to a minimum, using only parameters that previous research has shown to be available to the animals at all times: distance from the origin, direction of the last step and home vector. Outbound and inbound search paths are being combined into loops that return to the origin, sampling this area more intensely. A stochastic element is added by random perturbations during the next step, mimicking unsystematic errors during the process of path integration and yielding the typical search patterns observed in Cataglyphis desert ants. The model output is compared to runs observed in the field.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Life Sciences > Physiology
Life Sciences > Animal Science and Zoology
Life Sciences > Behavioral Neuroscience
Uncontrolled Keywords:Animal Science and Zoology, Physiology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Behavioral Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 December 2018
Deposited On:25 Jan 2019 13:50
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 09:33
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0340-7594
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00359-018-1297-6

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