Reproductive Division of Labor in a Colony of Artificial Ants

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Conference Proceeding


We simulate an ant colony in which an ant's genetics can determine behavioral, morphological and physiological differences between workers and queens. We show that depending on the benefits conferred to workers and queens different reproductive division of labor strategies evolve. In particular, we observe both generalist colonies and colonies with specialized worker and queen castes. Generalist colonies were subject to selection for optimal response thresholds. Colonies with castes evolved a discrete queen caste and either a discrete or continuous worker caste. As a secondary experiment we expose our evolved colonies to a changing environment to test their ability to adapt cooperative foraging strategies and we find all reproductive division of labor strategies were effective at cooperative foraging. Copyright © ALIFE 2019.All rights reserved.

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Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Artificial Life: How Can Artificial Life Help Solve Societal Challenges, ALIFE 2019

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