Computational Modelling Group

Controlling Ant-Based Construction

1st November 2012
22nd March 2013
Research Team
Lenka Pitonakova
Seth Bullock

Examples of built structures

Stigmergy allows insect colonies to collectively build structures that no single individual is fully aware of. Since relatively minimal sensory and reasoning capabilities are required of the agents, such building activity could be utilised by robotic swarms if we could learn how to control the shape of the final structures.

This paper investigates dynamics of ant nest building and shows that algorithms capable of generating ant-like structures can also be used to create nests, shapes of which are imposed from outside of the system.

The project was presented at ECAL 2013 in Taormina, Sicily and was published as

Pitonakova, L. & Bullock, S. (2013). Controlling Ant-Based Construction. In Lio, P. et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the Twelfth European Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (ECAL 2013), MIT Press, 151-158.


Life sciences simulation: Swarm Behaviour

Algorithms and computational methods: Agents

Software Engineering Tools: Eclipse, Git

Programming languages and libraries: Java

Computational platforms: Mac OS X

Transdisciplinary tags: Complex Systems, Computer Science, Software Engineering