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ekim's picture

on ants and rabbits.

Vivian Cruz, Saskia Guerrier, Eurie Kim

We experimented with an ant colony simulation that dealt with tasks and behavoirs. From the "task" simulations, there were three ant-task-types: foragers, middle workers, patrollers. However, the ants did not stay in the task that they started out with, but were interacting with other ants and switching tasks, as well. There was an obvious pattern of distribution in task allocations: 50% foragers, 25% middle workers, 25% patrollers. Regardless of interactions and switching tasks, this pattern of distribution stayed the same, showing that all ants are created equal. However, what causes this stabilization? What appeared to be the work of a director was actually the case of ants interacting and communicating through chemicals. The chemicals differed according to task; and thus, the more interactions the ants made with a certain chemical, they would switch task, showing the autonomous movement of tasks and the stable pattern of task distribution of 50-25-25.
In respect to those interactions, their behaviors change over time, showing that older colonies interact more and can establish equilibrium (the stable pattern of task distribution) more rapidly due to experience and due to the higher number of interacting elements.

So from the ANT COLONY experiment, we learned that there is always change due to constant interactions, regardless of having similar or different individuals in a populations.

In this experiment, we observed the rabbit population oscillate in accordance to the amount of energy that allowed them to reproduce. So there was a constant cycle of rabbits eating the available grass, gaining energy, reproducing, which depleted the grass resources, which then decreased the rabbit population, which then increased the amount of grass availability, and then more rabbits, and so on and so forth.
This predator-prey system maintains the ecosystem.


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