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Rhythmic behavior of social insects from single to multibody

Hayashi, Y., Yuki, M., Sugawara, K., Kikuchi, T. and Tsuji, K. (2012) Rhythmic behavior of social insects from single to multibody. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 60 (5). pp. 714-721. ISSN 0921-8890

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.robot.2011.06.016


Revealing the evolution of well-organized social behavior requires understanding a mechanism by which collective behavior is produced. A well-organized group may be produced by two possible mechanisms, namely, a central control and a distributed control. In the second case, local interactions between interchangeable components function at the bottom of the collective behavior. We focused on a simple behavior of an individual ant and analyzed the interactions between a pair of ants. In an experimental set-up, we placed the workers in a hemisphere without a nest, food, and a queen, and recorded their trajectories. The temporal pattern of velocity of each ant was obtained. From this bottom-up approach, we found the characteristic behavior of a single worker and a pair of workers as follows: (1) Activity of each individual has a rhythmic component. (2) Interactions between a pair of individuals result in two types of coupling, namely the anti-phase and the in-phase coupling. The direct physical contacts between the pair of workers might cause a phase shift of the rhythmic components in individual ants. We also build up a simple model based on the coupled oscillators toward the understanding of the whole colony behavior.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
ID Code:30812
Uncontrolled Keywords:rhythmic behavior; coupled oscillator; Diacamma sp.; physical contact

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