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vol. 154, no. 5 the american naturalist november 1999 Task Partitioning in Insect Societies. I. Effect of Colony Size on
 

Summary: vol. 154, no. 5 the american naturalist november 1999
Task Partitioning in Insect Societies. I. Effect of Colony Size on
Queueing Delay and Colony Ergonomic Efficiency
Carl Anderson1,* and Francis L. W. Ratnieks2
1. Probability and Statistics Section, School of Mathematics and
Statistics, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7RH, United
Kingdom;
2. Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of
Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, United Kingdom
Submitted December 1, 1997; Accepted June 17, 1999
abstract: The collection and handling of colony resources such as
food, water, and nest construction material is often divided into
subtasks in which the material is passed from one worker to another.
This is known as task partitioning. When material is transferred
directly from one individual to another, queueing delays frequently
occur because individuals must sometimes wait for a transfer partner.
A stochastic simulation model was written to study the effect of
colony size on these delays. Queueing delay decreases roughly ex-
ponentially with colony size because stochastic fluctuations in the
arrival of individuals are lower in larger colonies. These results sup-

  

Source: Anderson, Carl - Synthetic Intelligence, Qbit, LLC, Bethesda, MD
Ratnieks, Francis - Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield

 

Collections: Engineering; Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Mathematics