Trail formation based on directed pheromone deposition
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- Boissard, E., Degond, P. & Motsch, S. J. Math. Biol. (2013) 66: 1267. doi:10.1007/s00285-012-0529-6
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We propose an Individual-Based Model of ant-trail formation. The ants are modeled as self-propelled particles which deposit directed pheromone particles and interact with them through alignment interaction. The directed pheromone particles intend to model pieces of trails, while the alignment interaction translates the tendency for an ant to follow a trail when it meets it. Thanks to adequate quantitative descriptors of the trail patterns, the existence of a phase transition as the ant–pheromone interaction frequency is increased can be evidenced. We propose both kinetic and fluid descriptions of this model and analyze the capabilities of the fluid model to develop trail patterns. We observe that the development of patterns by fluid models require extra trail amplification mechanisms that are not needed at the Individual-Based Model level.