, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 25-41
Date: 19 Apr 2008

Characteristics of ant-inspired traffic flow

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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.