Modeling Ant Behavior Under a Variable Environment

  • Karla Vittori
  • Jacques Gautrais
  • Aluizio F. R. Araújo
  • Vincent Fourcassié
  • Guy Theraulaz
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3172)


This paper studies the behavior of ants when moving in an artificial network composed of several interconnected paths linking their nest to a food source. The ant responses when temporarily blocking the access to some branches of the maze were observed in order to study which factors influenced their local decisions about the paths to follow. We present a mathematical model based on experimental observations that simulates the motion of ants through the network. In this model, ants communicate through the deposition of a trail pheromone that attracts other ants. In addition to the trail laying/following process, several other aspects of ant behavior were modeled. The paths selected by ants in the simulations were compared to those selected by ants in the experiments. The results of the model were encouraging, indicating that the same behavioral rules can lead ants to find the shortest paths under different environmental conditions.


Short Path Food Source Control Situation Trail Pheromone Behavioral Rule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karla Vittori
    • 1
  • Jacques Gautrais
    • 2
  • Aluizio F. R. Araújo
    • 1
  • Vincent Fourcassié
    • 2
  • Guy Theraulaz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of São PauloSão CarlosBrazil
  2. 2.Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition AnimaleUniversité Paul SabatierToulouse cedex 4

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