Search algorithms

Ant foragers searching for food

Individual foragers may employ systematic search strategies (such as moving in a spiral) or a random walk; but even if a random walk is used, searchers face a trade-off between searching an area more thoroughly, potentially searching the same area twice, or moving further during search, potentially finding food further from the home base than necessary, and thus having to invest more energy in transport later. In addition, group foragers, even when not communicating by recruitment, may divide up search areas or adapt their search in other ways.

Schmolke A, Dornhaus A ‘Ants foraging for food: individual strategies in solitary and group foragers’, in revision

Schmolke A, Miguelena-Bada J, Dornhaus A ‘Search and foraging strategies in the ant Temnothorax rugatulus’, in revision

Schmolke A, Pratt C, Dornhaus A ‘Polydomous colonies divide up foraging areas’, in revision