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PODC
2015
ACM

Distributed House-Hunting in Ant Colonies

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Distributed House-Hunting in Ant Colonies
We introduce the study of the ant colony house-hunting problem from a distributed computing perspective. When an ant colony’s nest becomes unsuitable due to size constraints or damage, the colony relocates to a new nest. The task of identifying and evaluating the quality of potential new nests is distributed among all ants. They must additionally reach consensus on a final nest choice and transport the full colony to this single new nest. Our goal is to use tools and techniques from distributed computing theory in order to gain insight into the house-hunting process. We develop a formal model for the house-hunting problem inspired by the behavior of the Temnothorax genus of ants. We then show a Ω(log n) lower bound on the time for all n ants to agree on one of k candidate nests. We also present two algorithms that solve the house-hunting problem in our model. The first algorithm solves the problem in optimal O(log n) time but exhibits some features not characteristic of natural ...
Mohsen Ghaffari, Cameron Musco, Tsvetomira Radeva,
Added 16 Apr 2016
Updated 16 Apr 2016
Type Journal
Year 2015
Where PODC
Authors Mohsen Ghaffari, Cameron Musco, Tsvetomira Radeva, Nancy A. Lynch
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