By Deborah M. Gordon
How do ant colonies get whatever performed, while nobody is accountable? An ant colony operates with no important regulate or hierarchy, and no ant directs one other. in its place, ants come to a decision what to do in line with the speed, rhythm, and trend of person encounters and interactions--resulting in a dynamic community that coordinates the features of the colony. Ant Encounters offers a revealing and available investigate ant habit from this advanced platforms perspective.
targeting the moment-to-moment habit of ant colonies, Deborah Gordon investigates the function of interplay networks in regulating colony habit and family members between ant colonies. She indicates how ant habit inside and among colonies arises from neighborhood interactions of people, and the way interplay networks boost as a colony grows older and bigger. The extra speedily ants react to their encounters, the extra sensitively the total colony responds to altering stipulations. Gordon explores no matter if such reactive networks aid a colony to outlive and reproduce, how typical choice shapes colony networks, and the way those constructions examine to different analogous complicated platforms.
Ant Encounters sheds mild at the organizational habit, ecology, and evolution of those assorted and ubiquitous social insects.
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Additional resources for Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior
5 To form a directed process, whether a stream of water or a trail of ants, all it takes is first some random movement and second a relation among the molecules, droplets, or ants such that one follows another. 6 Most are related to the formation of a trail in a certain direction or to the choice of a nest—if one ant follows another one, or follows a chemical it puts down, then a trail will form. 7 If the ants are more likely to put a corpse where there is already a pile of corpses, and if ants are more likely to take a corpse to the nearest pile, then scattered corpses will end up in piles, and the more scattered the corpses are to begin with, the more different piles there will be.
In the late 1980s, models from statistical mechanics began to be used in artificial intelligence, beginning with the use of the Hopfield net to model neural networks. A ‘Hopfield net’ is a way to predict how changes in the orientation of electrons lead to phase transitions, such as from a liquid to a solid. Such models rely on a distributed process, in which any component responds the same way to particular conditions. ‘Collective intelligence’ is sometimes used to describe Colony Organization the phenomena described by this class of models.
Cuticular hydrocarbons are greasy, and probably their original function is to keep the insect from drying out. Now these chemicals also function as labels. In social insects, each colony has a characteristic cuticular hydrocarbon profile, a set of many different chemicals in quantities particular to a certain colony. This odor makes it possible for one worker to identify whether another one is of the same colony. A graphic demonstration that ants use cuticular hydrocarbons comes from work on Argentine ants, who are unusually reluctant to fight with ants from another colony.