MBI Videos

Videos by Workshop 4: Insect Self-organization and Swarming

  • Optimality theory in collective behaviour
    James Marshall
    Twenty years ago, the case for optimality theory in evolutionary biology was set out in a review by Geoff Parker and John Maynard Smith. Thinking of what idealised animals should do if they are behaving optimally has informed behavioural ecology since its inception. With some exceptions, the study and theory of collective behaviour seems to be much more more mechanistic. T...
  • No Title Available
    Jean-Louis Deneubourg
    No description available....
  • Workshop 4: Insect Self-organization and Swarming Lecture 5
    Craig Tovey
    No description Available....
  • Moving in the crowd: Ants hold the key to traffic chaos
    Audrey Dussutour
    Many animals take part in flow-like collective movements. In most species, however, the flow is unidirectional. Ants are one of the rare group of organisms in which flow-like movements are predominantly bidirectional. This adds to the difficulty of the task of maintaining a smooth, efficient movement. Yet, ants seem to fare well at this task. Do they really? And if so, how...
  • Swarms as smart architects: understanding construction dynamics in ant colonies
    Guy Theraulaz
    The amazing abilities of social insects to solve their everyday-life problems, also known as swarm intelligence, have received a considerable attention the past twenty years. Among their collective behaviors, nest building is certainly the most spectacular. Not only the characteristic scale of the nests is typically much larger than the size of the individuals, but some of...
  • Audience and information transfer in ant societies
    Claire Detrain
    The ant society is a dynamic network of interacting nestmates of which individual decision rules lead to adaptive and functional patterns at the collective level. The non-linearity of relationships between workers makes those societies displaying properties characterizing other complex systems such as a high sensitivity to the number and/or rates of interactions between sy...
  • Evolutionary Constraints on Social Organization from Disease Risks
    Nina Fefferman
    As social insects have evolved division of labor and colony organization to accomplish tasks necessary to their survival, their social and collaborative environment should make them more and more susceptible to risk from infectious disease. Since they haven't been forced to extinction yet, they're clearly doing something right. Some have evolved individual physio...
  • Organization and regulation of work in the social insect colony
    Jennifer Fewell
    Division of labor, the way in which social groups distribute work among their individual members, is a product of self organization and selection. A basic system of division of labor can be produced even in artificial associations of normally solitary individuals and fits simple rules of interaction. In social insect colonies, however, the process of division of labor refl...
  • Cohesive Swarm Behavior With Information Flow Constraints
    Kevin Passino
    Bacteria, bees, and birds often work together in groups to find food. A group of mobile wheeled robots can be designed to coordinate their activities to achieve a goal. Networked cooperative autonomous air vehicles are being developed for commercial and military applications. In order for such multiagent systems to succeed it is often critical that they can both maintain c...
  • Swarm guidance in Apis florea: making decisions on the fly?
    Mary Myerscough
    Nest site selection and swarm guidance in swarms of Apis mellifera are well studied, both observationally and theoretically, but not nearly so much is known about decision-making behaviour in other species of Apis. The Asian red dwarf honey bee, Apis florea, is an open-nesting honey bee, found in Southeast Asia, India and parts of the Middle East whose nest is a single com...
  • Collective decision making by honey bees
    Thomas Seeley
    I will review what is known about one of the most enchanting forms of collective animal behavior: the skillful choice of a new home by a swarm of honey bees. The challenge has been to understand how the 1.5 kilograms of bees in a swarm, like the 1.5 kilograms of neurons in a brain, are organized so that even though each individual has limited information and limited intell...
  • Adaptive network models of swarm dynamics
    Cristian Huepe
    I will present a simple adaptive network model describing recent insect swarming experiments. By exploiting an analogy with human decision-making models and considering network-like interactions, this model captures the experimental dynamics using a low dimensional system of equations that permits analytical investigation. It reproduces several characteristic features of s...
  • The Road from Individual to Group Position to Emergence in Whirligig Swarms
    William Romey
    Emergent patterns of flocks and swarms are at once beautiful and mysterious. We ask ourselves: "How and why do individuals coordinate these complicated maneuvers?" More specifically: how does self organization at lower levels influence emergent properties at higher levels? I will present the results of some of my studies addressing these questions using whirligig...
  • A Primer of Swarm Equilibria
    Andrew Bernoff
    We study equilibrium configurations of swarming biological organisms subject to exogenous and pairwise endogenous forces. Beginning with a discrete dynamical model, we derive a variational description of the continuum population density. Equilibrium solutions are extrema of an energy functional, and satisfy a Fredholm integral equation. We find conditions for the extrema t...
  • Variational Principles and Control of Collective Behavior
    P. S. Krishnaprasad
    Geometric methods in control theory have had a useful role in the investigation of dynamics of collectives. In this talk, we build on models from this theory to sketch recent progress in understanding small networks governed by interaction strategies associated with pursuit. We extend these ideas to a broader array of variational principles in networks of interacting syste...
  • From swarms to cannibalism to obesity: lessons from locusts
    Stephen Simpson
    Locust plagues are one of the most infamous insect scourges, invading vast areas of Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The reason that locusts form plagues is that they have an extraordinary capacity to change from shy, green, harmless grasshoppers into brightly coloured, swarming creatures when they experience crowding. This remarkable change can occur within the l...
  • Multi-Level Modeling and Distributed Control for Miniature Robotic Swarms
    Alcherio Martinoli
    In this talk, I will first highlight the challenges related to the design, control, modeling, performance evaluation, and optimization of distributed, mobile, resource-constrained robotic systems. In particular, I will describe a specific distributed control method based on multiple modeling levels which has provided up to date interesting results in several case studies c...
  • Modeling flocks and swarms
    Leah Edelstein-Keshet
    I will summarize some work on the link between individual behaviour and the dynamics of the swarm/flock. I will highlight two projects:

    1. The behaviour of a 2D flock of aquatic birds, and how Ryan Lukeman (former PhD student, now at St FX University) figured out the underlying individual rules
    2. models for social foraging, an ongoing project i...
  • Engineering Self-Organizing Systems
    Radhika Nagpal
    Biological systems, from embryos to social insects, get tremendous mileage by having vast numbers of cheap and unreliable individuals cooperate to achieve complex goals. We are also rapidly building new kinds of distributed systems with similar characteristics, from multi-modular robots and robot swarms, to vast sensor networks. Can we engineer collective systems to achiev...
  • Parallel Work and Parallel Play
    Fred Adler
    In human children, parallel play describes two or more children playing side by side, perhaps using the same toy but for different purposes, and only occasionally modifying their behavior in response to the other. It forms an early stage of social development, following solitary play and generally preceding social and cooperative play.

    If a group of ants wer...
  • Network topology and the evolution of collective migration
    Naomi Leonard
    Agent-based dynamical models have been used successfully to reproduce a range of observed collective behaviors in biological groups. In these models, agents interact with one another and it has been shown that the topology of the interaction network plays a significant role in emergent outcomes and performance at the level of the group. An important challenge is to underst...
  • Self-organization in Insect Societies: past, present and future
    Nigel Franks
    The application of self-organization theory to social insect studies is, for the most part, barely 20 years old. It has been remarkably successful because much of the new thinking and modelling that self-organization theory has brought to social insect studies has been very provocative, sometimes naive, and often oversimplifying; yet it has, almost invariably, lead to new ...