The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Modelling the role of trail pheromone in the collective construction of termite royal chambers

Modelling the role of trail pheromone in the collective construction of termite royal chambers
Modelling the role of trail pheromone in the collective construction of termite royal chambers
Experiments with worker termites constructing a royal chamber around a termite queen in species Macrotermes subhyalinus (Rambur) have shown that both trail and cement pheromones are involved and necessary for the successful formation of pillars during the building process. However, earlier models of the construction were able to demonstrate stigmergic pillar formation with cement pheromone alone. We present results from a new three-dimensional agent-based model, developed to investigate the role of trail pheromone in the construction process. The model is able to demonstrate how, if the properties of the cement pheromone are altered so that its attractive influence is more localised than in earlier models, termites are unable to produce significant pillar formation. The model shows how the addition of trail deposition and following effectively increases the range of the stigmergic effect so that pillar formation is restored. The presence of trail pheromone also results in pillars which are narrower than those produced by cement pheromone alone, and which show more pronounced lateral extensions. Additionally the paths that the termites take from the termite queen to building sites become more directed with time. These features are in keeping with observation and have not been previously modelled.
43-50
MIT Press
Hill, Nicholas
2dc514af-3a53-45ef-a962-a5df442d7a2c
Bullock, Seth
2ad576e4-56b8-4f31-84e0-51bd0b7a1cd3
Taylor, Tim
2add4572-13c1-4b09-a773-aeacf997e7e8
Timmis, Jon
b68f4b8e-6192-4caf-858d-8185f6e7c66f
Andrews, Paul
Caves, Leo
Doursat, Rene
Hickinbotham, Simon
Polack, Fiona
Stepney, Susan
Hill, Nicholas
2dc514af-3a53-45ef-a962-a5df442d7a2c
Bullock, Seth
2ad576e4-56b8-4f31-84e0-51bd0b7a1cd3
Taylor, Tim
2add4572-13c1-4b09-a773-aeacf997e7e8
Timmis, Jon
b68f4b8e-6192-4caf-858d-8185f6e7c66f
Andrews, Paul
Caves, Leo
Doursat, Rene
Hickinbotham, Simon
Polack, Fiona
Stepney, Susan

Hill, Nicholas, Bullock, Seth, Taylor, Tim and Timmis, Jon (2015) Modelling the role of trail pheromone in the collective construction of termite royal chambers. Andrews, Paul, Caves, Leo, Doursat, Rene, Hickinbotham, Simon, Polack, Fiona and Stepney, Susan (eds.) In Advances in Artificial Life, ECAL 2015. MIT Press. pp. 43-50 . (doi:10.7551/978-0-262-33027-5-ch011).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Experiments with worker termites constructing a royal chamber around a termite queen in species Macrotermes subhyalinus (Rambur) have shown that both trail and cement pheromones are involved and necessary for the successful formation of pillars during the building process. However, earlier models of the construction were able to demonstrate stigmergic pillar formation with cement pheromone alone. We present results from a new three-dimensional agent-based model, developed to investigate the role of trail pheromone in the construction process. The model is able to demonstrate how, if the properties of the cement pheromone are altered so that its attractive influence is more localised than in earlier models, termites are unable to produce significant pillar formation. The model shows how the addition of trail deposition and following effectively increases the range of the stigmergic effect so that pillar formation is restored. The presence of trail pheromone also results in pillars which are narrower than those produced by cement pheromone alone, and which show more pronounced lateral extensions. Additionally the paths that the termites take from the termite queen to building sites become more directed with time. These features are in keeping with observation and have not been previously modelled.

Text
Hill and Bullock ECAL 2015.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
Download (3MB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 28 April 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 July 2015
Venue - Dates: European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL 2015), York, United Kingdom, 2015-07-20 - 2017-07-24
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 376660
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/376660
PURE UUID: f69b8f65-38a8-4504-938d-7f554b412ced
ORCID for Nicholas Hill: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7977-4858

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 May 2015 11:32
Last modified: 07 Jul 2018 00:26

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×