Information Acquisition and Communication and its Impact on Social Structure

A. J. Fedorec

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Abstract

Aggregation into groups is common in many species in the animal kingdom. Pressures on individuals to aggregate range from predation avoidance to thermo-regulation. The information centre hypothesis proposes that information sharing was the main pressure in the evolution of colonial social structures. We build an agent-based model to explore how
variations in the environment affect how individuals within a colony acquire information. Our model shows that as resources become more patchily distributed and more ephemeral, social acquisition of information becomes more beneficial. These results show under what circumstances the ability to acquire information socially may benefit those in aggregate
social structures. However, further work needs to be done in order to explain the information centre hypothesis’ main point of contention, the motivation for successful foragers to return to the colony.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBath, U. K.
PublisherDepartment of Computer Science, University of Bath
Number of pages74
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Publication series

NameDepartment of Computer Science Technical Report Series
No.CSBU-2013-06
ISSN (Print)1740-9497

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