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Pages 151-158
First published 2 September 2013

Controlling Ant-Based Construction

Lenka Pitonakova, Seth Bullock


This paper investigates the dynamics of decentralised nest construction in the ant species Leptothorax tuberointerruptus, exploring the contribution of, and interaction between, a pheromone building template and a physical building template (the bodies of the ants themselves). We present a continuous-space model of ant behaviour capable of generating ant-like nest structures, the integrity and shapes of which are non-trivially determined by choice of parameters and the building template(s) employed. We go on to demonstrate that the same behavioural algorithm is capable of generating a somewhat wider range of architectural forms, and discuss its limitations and potential extensions.