Swarm Intelligence

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 25–41

Characteristics of ant-inspired traffic flow

Applying the social insect metaphor to traffic models

Authors

    • Institut für Theoretische PhysikUniversität zu Köln
  • Andreas Schadschneider
    • Institut für Theoretische PhysikUniversität zu Köln
    • Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für komplexe Systeme
  • Debashish Chowdhury
    • Department of PhysicsIndian Institute of Technology
  • Katsuhiro Nishinari
    • Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of Tokyo
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11721-008-0010-8

Cite this article as:
John, A., Schadschneider, A., Chowdhury, D. et al. Swarm Intell (2008) 2: 25. doi:10.1007/s11721-008-0010-8

Abstract

We investigate the organization of traffic flow on preexisting uni- and bidirectional ant trails. Our investigations comprise a theoretical as well as an empirical part. We propose minimal models of uni- and bi-directional traffic flow implemented as cellular automata. Using these models, the spatio-temporal organization of ants on the trail is studied. Based on this, some unusual flow characteristics which differ from those known from other traffic systems, like vehicular traffic or pedestrians dynamics, are found. The theoretical investigations are supplemented by an empirical study of bidirectional traffic on a trail of Leptogenys processionalis. Finally, we discuss some plausible implications of our observations from the perspective of flow optimization.

Keywords

Bidirectional ant-trafficCellular automaton model
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008