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Sample records for ant colony recognition

  1. A seismic fault recognition method based on ant colony optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lei; Xiao, Chuangbai; Li, Xueliang; Wang, Zhenli; Huo, Shoudong

    2018-05-01

    Fault recognition is an important section in seismic interpretation and there are many methods for this technology, but no one can recognize fault exactly enough. For this problem, we proposed a new fault recognition method based on ant colony optimization which can locate fault precisely and extract fault from the seismic section. Firstly, seismic horizons are extracted by the connected component labeling algorithm; secondly, the fault location are decided according to the horizontal endpoints of each horizon; thirdly, the whole seismic section is divided into several rectangular blocks and the top and bottom endpoints of each rectangular block are considered as the nest and food respectively for the ant colony optimization algorithm. Besides that, the positive section is taken as an actual three dimensional terrain by using the seismic amplitude as a height. After that, the optimal route from nest to food calculated by the ant colony in each block is judged as a fault. Finally, extensive comparative tests were performed on the real seismic data. Availability and advancement of the proposed method were validated by the experimental results.

  2. Blending of heritable recognition cues among ant nestmates creates distinct colony gestalt odours but prevents within-colony nepotism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Zweden, Jelle Stijn; Brask, Josefine B.; Christensen, Jan H.

    2010-01-01

    members to create a Gestalt odour. Although earlier studies have established that hydrocarbon profiles are influenced by heritable factors, transfer among nestmates and additional environmental factors, no studies have quantified these relative contributions for separate compounds. Here, we use the ant...... discrimination or as nestmate recognition cues. These results indicate that heritable compounds are suitable for establishing a genetic Gestalt for efficient nestmate recognition, but that recognition cues within colonies are insufficiently distinct to allow nepotistic kin discrimination....

  3. The scent of supercolonies: the discovery, synthesis and behavioural verification of ant colony recognition cues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sulc Robert

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ants form highly social and cooperative colonies that compete, and often fight, against other such colonies, both intra- and interspecifically. Some invasive ants take sociality to an extreme, forming geographically massive 'supercolonies' across thousands of kilometres. The success of social insects generally, as well as invasive ants in particular, stems from the sophisticated mechanisms used to accurately and precisely distinguish colonymates from non-colonymates. Surprisingly, however, the specific chemicals used for this recognition are virtually undescribed. Results Here, we report the discovery, chemical synthesis and behavioural testing of the colonymate recognition cues used by the widespread and invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile. By synthesizing pure versions of these chemicals in the laboratory and testing them in behavioural assays, we show that these compounds trigger aggression among normally amicable nestmates, but control hydrocarbons do not. Furthermore, behavioural testing across multiple different supercolonies reveals that the reaction to individual compounds varies from colony to colony -- the expected reaction to true colony recognition labels. Our results also show that both quantitative and qualitative changes to cuticular hydrocarbon profiles can trigger aggression among nestmates. These data point the way for the development of new environmentally-friendly control strategies based on the species-specific manipulation of aggressive behaviour. Conclusion Overall, our findings reveal the identity of specific chemicals used for colonymate recognition by the invasive Argentine ants. Although the particular chemicals used by other ants may differ, the patterns reported here are likely to be true for ants generally. As almost all invasive ants display widespread unicoloniality in their introduced ranges, our findings are particularly relevant for our understanding of the biology of these damaging

  4. Blending of heritable recognition cues among ant nestmates creates distinct colony gestalt odours but prevents within-colony nepotism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Zweden, J S; Brask, J B; Christensen, J H; Boomsma, J J; Linksvayer, T A; d'Ettorre, P

    2010-07-01

    The evolution of sociality is facilitated by the recognition of close kin, but if kin recognition is too accurate, nepotistic behaviour within societies can dissolve social cohesion. In social insects, cuticular hydrocarbons act as nestmate recognition cues and are usually mixed among colony members to create a Gestalt odour. Although earlier studies have established that hydrocarbon profiles are influenced by heritable factors, transfer among nestmates and additional environmental factors, no studies have quantified these relative contributions for separate compounds. Here, we use the ant Formica rufibarbis in a cross-fostering design to test the degree to which hydrocarbons are heritably synthesized by young workers and transferred by their foster workers. Bioassays show that nestmate recognition has a significant heritable component. Multivariate quantitative analyses based on 38 hydrocarbons reveal that a subset of branched alkanes are heritably synthesized, but that these are also extensively transferred among nestmates. In contrast, especially linear alkanes are less heritable and little transferred; these are therefore unlikely to act as cues that allow within-colony nepotistic discrimination or as nestmate recognition cues. These results indicate that heritable compounds are suitable for establishing a genetic Gestalt for efficient nestmate recognition, but that recognition cues within colonies are insufficiently distinct to allow nepotistic kin discrimination.

  5. Incomplete homogenization of chemical recognition labels between Formica sanguinea and Formica rufa ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) living in a mixed colony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Włodarczyk, Tomasz; Szczepaniak, Lech

    2014-01-01

    Formica sanguinea Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is a slave-making species, i.e., it raids colonies of host species and pillages pupae, which are taken to develop into adult workers in a parasite colony. However, it has been unclear if the coexistence of F. sanguinea with slave workers requires uniformity of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), among which those other than n-alkanes are believed to be the principal nestmate recognition cues utilized by ants. In this study, a mixed colony (MC) of F. sanguinea and Formica rufa L. as a slave species was used to test the hypothesis that CHCs are exchanged between the species. Chemical analysis of hexane extracts from ants' body surfaces provided evidence for interspecific exchange of alkenes and methyl-branched alkanes. This result was confirmed by behavioral tests during which ants exhibited hostility toward conspecific individuals from the MC but not toward ones from homospecific colonies of their own species. However, it seems that species-specific differences in chemical recognition labels were not eliminated completely because ants from the MC were treated differently depending on whether they were con- or allospecific to the individuals whose behavioral reactions were tested. These findings are discussed in the context of mechanisms of colony's odor formation and effective integration of slaves into parasite colony. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  6. Ant Colony Optimization for Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ast, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    The very basis of this thesis is the collective behavior of ants in colonies. Ants are an excellent example of how rather simple behavior on a local level can lead to complex behavior on a global level that is beneficial for the individuals. The key in the self-organization of ants is communication

  7. Ant- and Ant-Colony-Inspired ALife Visual Art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

    Ant- and ant-colony-inspired ALife art is characterized by the artistic exploration of the emerging collective behavior of computational agents, developed using ants as a metaphor. We present a chronology that documents the emergence and history of such visual art, contextualize ant- and ant-colony-inspired art within generative art practices, and consider how it relates to other ALife art. We survey many of the algorithms that artists have used in this genre, address some of their aims, and explore the relationships between ant- and ant-colony-inspired art and research on ant and ant colony behavior.

  8. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nehring, Volker; Evison, Sophie E F; Santorelli, Lorenzo A

    2011-01-01

    behaviour is thought to be rare in one of the classic examples of cooperation--social insect colonies--because the colony-level costs of individual selfishness select against cues that would allow workers to recognize their closest relatives. In accord with this, previous studies of wasps and ants have...... found little or no kin information in recognition cues. Here, we test the hypothesis that social insects do not have kin-informative recognition cues by investigating the recognition cues and relatedness of workers from four colonies of the ant Acromyrmex octospinosus. Contrary to the theoretical...... prediction, we show that the cuticular hydrocarbons of ant workers in all four colonies are informative enough to allow full-sisters to be distinguished from half-sisters with a high accuracy. These results contradict the hypothesis of non-heritable recognition cues and suggest that there is more potential...

  9. Adaptive multimodal continuous ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Qiang; Chen, Wei-Neng; Yu, Zhengtao; Gu, Tianlong; Li, Yun; Zhang, Huaxiang; Zhang, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Seeking multiple optima simultaneously, which multimodal optimization aims at, has attracted increasing attention but remains challenging. Taking advantage of ant colony optimization algorithms in preserving high diversity, this paper intends to extend ant colony optimization algorithms to deal with multimodal optimization. First, combined with current niching methods, an adaptive multimodal continuous ant colony optimization algorithm is introduced. In this algorithm, an adaptive parameter a...

  10. Measuring activity in ant colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noda, C.; Fernández, J.; Pérez-Penichet, C.; Altshuler, E.

    2006-12-01

    Ants, as paradigm of social insects, have become a recurrent example of efficient problem solvers via self-organization. In spite of the simple behavior of each individual, the colony as a whole displays "swarm intelligence:" the organization of ant trails for foraging is a typical output of it. But conventional techniques of observation can hardly record the amount of data needed to get a detailed understanding of self-organization of ant swarms in the wild. Here we are presenting a measurement system intended to monitor ant activity in the field comprising massive data acquisition and high sensitivity. A central role is played by an infrared sensor devised specifically to monitor relevant parameters to the activity of ants through the exits of the nest, although other sensors detecting temperature and luminosity are added to the system. We study the characteristics of the activity sensor and its performance in the field. Finally, we present massive data measured at one exit of a nest of Atta insularis, an ant endemic to Cuba, to illustrate the potential of our system.

  11. Recognition of social identity in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nick; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

    Recognizing the identity of others, from the individual to the group level, is a hallmark of society. Ants, and other social insects, have evolved advanced societies characterized by efficient social recognition systems. Colony identity is mediated by colony specific signature mixtures, a blend...... of hydrocarbons present on the cuticle of every individual (the “label”). Recognition occurs when an ant encounters another individual, and compares the label it perceives to an internal representation of its own colony odor (the “template”). A mismatch between label and template leads to rejection...... of the encountered individual. Although advances have been made in our understanding of how the label is produced and acquired, contradictory evidence exists about information processing of recognition cues. Here, we review the literature on template acquisition in ants and address how and when the template...

  12. Runtime analysis of the 1-ANT ant colony optimizer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk

    2011-01-01

    are investigated. The influence of the evaporation factor in the pheromone update mechanism and the robustness of this parameter w.r.t. the runtime behavior have been determined for the example function OneMax.This work puts forward the rigorous runtime analysis of the 1-ANT on the example functions Leading......The runtime analysis of randomized search heuristics is a growing field where, in the last two decades, many rigorous results have been obtained. First runtime analyses of ant colony optimization (ACO) have been conducted only recently. In these studies simple ACO algorithms such as the 1-ANT......Ones and BinVal. With respect to Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs), such analyses were essential to develop methods for the analysis on more complicated problems. The proof techniques required for the 1-ANT, unfortunately, differ significantly from those for EAs, which means that a new reservoir of methods has...

  13. Ant colony optimization and constraint programming

    CERN Document Server

    Solnon, Christine

    2013-01-01

    Ant colony optimization is a metaheuristic which has been successfully applied to a wide range of combinatorial optimization problems. The author describes this metaheuristic and studies its efficiency for solving some hard combinatorial problems, with a specific focus on constraint programming. The text is organized into three parts. The first part introduces constraint programming, which provides high level features to declaratively model problems by means of constraints. It describes the main existing approaches for solving constraint satisfaction problems, including complete tree search

  14. Ant Larval Demand Reduces Aphid Colony Growth Rates in an Ant-Aphid Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Cook

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Ants often form mutualistic interactions with aphids, soliciting honeydew in return for protective services. Under certain circumstances, however, ants will prey upon aphids. In addition, in the presence of ants aphids may increase the quantity or quality of honeydew produced, which is costly. Through these mechanisms, ant attendance can reduce aphid colony growth rates. However, it is unknown whether demand from within the ant colony can affect the ant-aphid interaction. In a factorial experiment, we tested whether the presence of larvae in Lasius niger ant colonies affected the growth rate of Aphis fabae colonies. Other explanatory variables tested were the origin of ant colonies (two separate colonies were used and previous diet (sugar only or sugar and protein. We found that the presence of larvae in the ant colony significantly reduced the growth rate of aphid colonies. Previous diet and colony origin did not affect aphid colony growth rates. Our results suggest that ant colonies balance the flow of two separate resources from aphid colonies- renewable sugars or a protein-rich meal, depending on demand from ant larvae within the nest. Aphid payoffs from the ant-aphid interaction may change on a seasonal basis, as the demand from larvae within the ant colony waxes and wanes.

  15. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    Personal relationships are the cornerstone of vertebrate societies, but insect societies are either too large for individual recognition, or their members were assumed to lack the necessary cognitive abilities 1 and 2 . This paradigm has been challenged by the recent discovery that paper wasps...... recognize each other's unique facial color patterns [3] . Individual recognition is advantageous when dominance hierarchies control the partitioning of work and reproduction 2 and 4 . Here, we show that unrelated founding queens of the ant Pachycondyla villosa use chemical cues to recognize each other...... perception, was prevented and in tests with anaesthetized queens. The cuticular chemical profiles of queens were neither associated with dominance nor fertility and, therefore, do not represent status badges 5 and 6 , and nestmate queens did not share a common odor. Personal recognition facilitates...

  16. Improving Emergency Management by Modeling Ant Colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    neighboring cell than on the master plan, DNA .21 Johnson describes emergence as a means of self-organizing from the bottom-up. In emergent systems...carrying undesirable goods, such as bird poop, back to the nest. In the event poop makes it back to the nest, the poop is rejected near the entrance of the...by Army Ants,” 1124–5. 26 migrating to a colony raiding.98 A daily traffic jam is not indicative of organizational efficiency. Also, as the

  17. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Clustering analysis is used in many disciplines and applications; it is an important tool that descriptively identifies homogeneous groups of objects based on attribute values. The ant colony clustering algorithm is a swarm-intelligent method used for clustering problems that is inspired by the behavior of ant colonies that cluster their corpses and sort their larvae. A new abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm using a data combination mechanism is proposed to improve the computational efficiency and accuracy of the ant colony clustering algorithm. The abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm is used to cluster benchmark problems, and its performance is compared with the ant colony clustering algorithm and other methods used in existing literature. Based on similar computational difficulties and complexities, the results show that the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm produces results that are not only more accurate but also more efficiently determined than the ant colony clustering algorithm and the other methods. Thus, the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm can be used for efficient multivariate data clustering. PMID:26839533

  18. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Gao

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Clustering analysis is used in many disciplines and applications; it is an important tool that descriptively identifies homogeneous groups of objects based on attribute values. The ant colony clustering algorithm is a swarm-intelligent method used for clustering problems that is inspired by the behavior of ant colonies that cluster their corpses and sort their larvae. A new abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm using a data combination mechanism is proposed to improve the computational efficiency and accuracy of the ant colony clustering algorithm. The abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm is used to cluster benchmark problems, and its performance is compared with the ant colony clustering algorithm and other methods used in existing literature. Based on similar computational difficulties and complexities, the results show that the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm produces results that are not only more accurate but also more efficiently determined than the ant colony clustering algorithm and the other methods. Thus, the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm can be used for efficient multivariate data clustering.

  19. Colony Fusion in a Parthenogenetic Ant, Pristomyrmex punctatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satow, Show; Satoh, Toshiyuki; Hirota, Tadao

    2013-01-01

    In the ant Pristomyrmex punctatus Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), all young workers lay a small number of eggs parthenogenetically. Some colonies consist of monoclonal individuals that provide high inclusive fitness, according to the kin selection theory. However, in some populations, a majority of the colonies contain multiple lineages. Intracolonial genetic variation of parthenogenetic ants cannot be explained by the multiple mating of single founderesses or by the foundation of a colony by multiple foundresses, which are the usual causes of genetically diverse colonies in social insects. Here, we hypothesized that the fusion of established colonies might facilitate the formation of multiclonal colonies. Colony fusion decreases indirect benefits because of the reduction in intracolonial relatedness. However, when suitable nesting places for overwintering are scarce, colony fusion provides a strategy for the survival of colonies. Here, ants derived from different colonies were allowed to encounter one another in a container with just one nesting place. Initially, high aggression was observed; however, after several days, no aggression was observed and the ants shared the nest. When the fused colonies were allowed to transfer to two alternative nests, ants from different colonies occupied the same nest. This study highlights the importance of limiting the number of nesting places in order to understand the genetic diversity of parthenogenetic ant colonies. PMID:23895053

  20. Loading pattern optimization using ant colony algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoareau, Fabrice

    2008-01-01

    Electricite de France (EDF) operates 58 nuclear power plants (NPP), of the Pressurized Water Reactor type. The loading pattern optimization of these NPP is currently done by EDF expert engineers. Within this framework, EDF R and D has developed automatic optimization tools that assist the experts. LOOP is an industrial tool, developed by EDF R and D and based on a simulated annealing algorithm. In order to improve the results of such automatic tools, new optimization methods have to be tested. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithms are recent methods that have given very good results on combinatorial optimization problems. In order to evaluate the performance of such methods on loading pattern optimization, direct comparisons between LOOP and a mock-up based on the Max-Min Ant System algorithm (a particular variant of ACO algorithms) were made on realistic test-cases. It is shown that the results obtained by the ACO mock-up are very similar to those of LOOP. Future research will consist in improving these encouraging results by using parallelization and by hybridizing the ACO algorithm with local search procedures. (author)

  1. Edge detection in digital images using Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjan Kuchaki Rafsanjani

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Ant Colony Optimization (ACO is an optimization algorithm inspired by the behavior of real ant colonies to approximate the solutions of difficult optimization problems. In this paper, ACO is introduced to tackle the image edge detection problem. The proposed approach is based on the distribution of ants on an image; ants try to find possible edges by using a state transition function. Experimental results show that the proposed method compared to standard edge detectors is less sensitive to Gaussian noise and gives finer details and thinner edges when compared to earlier ant-based approaches.

  2. Multiple Levels of Recognition in Ants: A Feature of Complex Societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2008-01-01

    Communication and recognition are essential for social life. Social insects are good model systems to study social behavior and complexity because their societies are evolutionarily stable and ecologically successful. Ants, in particular, show a large variety of adaptations and are extremely...... diverse. In ants, social interactions are regulated by at least three levels of recognition. Nestmate recognition occurs between colonies, is very effective, and involves fast processing. Within a colony, division of labor is enhanced by recognition of different classes of individuals. Ultimately......, in particular circumstances, such as cooperative colony founding with stable dominance hierarchies, ants are capable of individual recognition. The underlying recognition cues and mechanisms appear to be specific to each recognition level, and their integrated understanding could contribute...

  3. An Improved Ant Colony Routing Algorithm for WSNs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tan Zhi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Ant colony algorithm is a classical routing algorithm. And it are used in a variety of application because it is economic and self-organized. However, the routing algorithm will expend huge amounts of energy at the beginning. In the paper, based on the idea of Dijkstra algorithm, the improved ant colony algorithm was proposed to balance the energy consumption of networks. Through simulation and comparison with basic ant colony algorithms, it is obvious that improved algorithm can effectively balance energy consumption and extend the lifetime of WSNs.

  4. Warehouse stocking optimization based on dynamic ant colony genetic algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Xiaoxu

    2018-04-01

    In view of the various orders of FAW (First Automotive Works) International Logistics Co., Ltd., the SLP method is used to optimize the layout of the warehousing units in the enterprise, thus the warehouse logistics is optimized and the external processing speed of the order is improved. In addition, the relevant intelligent algorithms for optimizing the stocking route problem are analyzed. The ant colony algorithm and genetic algorithm which have good applicability are emphatically studied. The parameters of ant colony algorithm are optimized by genetic algorithm, which improves the performance of ant colony algorithm. A typical path optimization problem model is taken as an example to prove the effectiveness of parameter optimization.

  5. The adaptive significance of phasic colony cycles in army ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garnier, Simon; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2017-09-07

    Army ants are top arthropod predators in tropical forests around the world. The colonies of many army ant species undergo stereotypical behavioral and reproductive cycles, alternating between brood care and reproductive phases. In the brood care phase, colonies contain a cohort of larvae that are synchronized in their development and have to be fed. In the reproductive phase larvae are absent and oviposition takes place. Despite these colony cycles being a striking feature of army ant biology, their adaptive significance is unclear. Here we use a modeling approach to show that cyclic reproduction is favored under conditions where per capita foraging costs decrease with the number of larvae in a colony ("High Cost of Entry" scenario), while continuous reproduction is favored under conditions where per capita foraging costs increase with the number of larvae ("Resource Exhaustion" scenario). We argue that the former scenario specifically applies to army ants, because large raiding parties are required to overpower prey colonies. However, once raiding is successful it provides abundant food for a large cohort of larvae. The latter scenario, on the other hand, will apply to non-army ants, because in those species local resource depletion will force workers to forage over larger distances to feed large larval cohorts. Our model provides a quantitative framework for understanding the adaptive value of phasic colony cycles in ants. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Nestmate recognition in ants is possible without tactile interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Endler, Annett; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes

    2008-07-01

    Ants of the genus Camponotus are able to discriminate recognition cues of colony members (nestmates) from recognition cues of workers of a different colony (non-nestmates) from a distance of 1 cm. Free moving, individual Camponotus floridanus workers encountered differently treated dummies on a T-bar and their behavior was recorded. Aggressive behavior was scored as mandibular threat towards dummies. Dummies were treated with hexane extracts of postpharyngeal glands (PPGs) from nestmates or non-nestmates which contain long-chain hydrocarbons in ratios comparable to what is found on the cuticle. The cuticular hydrocarbon profile bears cues which are essential for nestmate recognition. Although workers were prevented from antennating the dummies, they showed significantly less aggressive behavior towards dummies treated with nestmate PPG extracts than towards dummies treated with non-nestmate PPG extracts. In an additional experiment, we show that cis-9-tricosene, an alkene naturally not found in C. floridanus’ cuticular profile, is behaviorally active and can interfere with nestmate recognition when presented together with a nestmate PPG extract. Our study demonstrates for the first time that the complex multi-component recognition cues can be perceived and discriminated by ants at close range. We conclude that contact chemosensilla are not crucial for nestmate recognition since tactile interaction is not necessary.

  7. Model for social interaction, competition and dominance in ant colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anggriani, N.; Aryani, I.; Darmawati, Supriatna, A. K.

    2014-02-01

    It has been known that characteristic of social life within ant colonies includes efficient class division, harmonious appearance, but also competition within nestmates. Conflict between queens, male and female labors frequently occurs due to different interest among class members. A mathematical model for interaction between queens, male and female workers in ant colonies is discussed here. Interesting phenomena such as male-male competition and queen dominance are analyzed and stable coexistence is shown. It is also shown that heavy competition is even necessary to maintain a certain level of coexistence in the colonies.

  8. Tuning PID Controller Using Multiobjective Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibtissem Chiha

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper treats a tuning of PID controllers method using multiobjective ant colony optimization. The design objective was to apply the ant colony algorithm in the aim of tuning the optimum solution of the PID controllers (Kp, Ki, and Kd by minimizing the multiobjective function. The potential of using multiobjective ant algorithms is to identify the Pareto optimal solution. The other methods are applied to make comparisons between a classic approach based on the “Ziegler-Nichols” method and a metaheuristic approach based on the genetic algorithms. Simulation results demonstrate that the new tuning method using multiobjective ant colony optimization has a better control system performance compared with the classic approach and the genetic algorithms.

  9. Using pleometrosis (multiple queens) and pupae transplantation to boost weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) colony growth in ant nurseries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim; Nielsen, Mogens Gissel; Peng, Renkang

    2011-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are increasingly being used for biocontrol and are targeted for future production of insect protein in ant farms. An efficient production of live ant colonies may facilitate the utilization of these ants but the production of mature colonies is hampered by the long t...

  10. Hierarchy length in orphaned colonies of the ant Temnothorax nylanderi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinze, J.

    2008-08-01

    Workers of the ant Temnothorax nylanderi form dominance orders in orphaned colonies in which only one or a few top-ranking workers begin to produce males from unfertilized eggs. Between one and 11 individuals initiated 80% of all aggression in 14 queenless colonies. As predicted from inclusive fitness models (Molet M, van Baalen M, Monnin T, Insectes Soc 52:247 256, 2005), hierarchy length was found to first increase with colony size and then to level off at larger worker numbers. The frequency and skew of aggression decreased with increasing size, indicating that rank orders are less pronounced in larger colonies.

  11. Ant colony search algorithm for optimal reactive power optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenin K.

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents an (ACSA Ant colony search Algorithm for Optimal Reactive Power Optimization and voltage control of power systems. ACSA is a new co-operative agents’ approach, which is inspired by the observation of the behavior of real ant colonies on the topic of ant trial formation and foraging methods. Hence, in the ACSA a set of co-operative agents called "Ants" co-operates to find good solution for Reactive Power Optimization problem. The ACSA is applied for optimal reactive power optimization is evaluated on standard IEEE, 30, 57, 191 (practical test bus system. The proposed approach is tested and compared to genetic algorithm (GA, Adaptive Genetic Algorithm (AGA.

  12. PARAMETER ESTIMATION OF VALVE STICTION USING ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kalaivani

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a procedure for quantifying valve stiction in control loops based on ant colony optimization has been proposed. Pneumatic control valves are widely used in the process industry. The control valve contains non-linearities such as stiction, backlash, and deadband that in turn cause oscillations in the process output. Stiction is one of the long-standing problems and it is the most severe problem in the control valves. Thus the measurement data from an oscillating control loop can be used as a possible diagnostic signal to provide an estimate of the stiction magnitude. Quantification of control valve stiction is still a challenging issue. Prior to doing stiction detection and quantification, it is necessary to choose a suitable model structure to describe control-valve stiction. To understand the stiction phenomenon, the Stenman model is used. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO, an intelligent swarm algorithm, proves effective in various fields. The ACO algorithm is inspired from the natural trail following behaviour of ants. The parameters of the Stenman model are estimated using ant colony optimization, from the input-output data by minimizing the error between the actual stiction model output and the simulated stiction model output. Using ant colony optimization, Stenman model with known nonlinear structure and unknown parameters can be estimated.

  13. Application of ant colony optimization in NPP classification fault location

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xie Chunli; Liu Yongkuo; Xia Hong

    2009-01-01

    Nuclear Power Plant is a highly complex structural system with high safety requirements. Fault location appears to be particularly important to enhance its safety. Ant Colony Optimization is a new type of optimization algorithm, which is used in the fault location and classification of nuclear power plants in this paper. Taking the main coolant system of the first loop as the study object, using VB6.0 programming technology, the NPP fault location system is designed, and is tested against the related data in the literature. Test results show that the ant colony optimization can be used in the accurate classification fault location in the nuclear power plants. (authors)

  14. Core Business Selection Based on Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Lan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Core business is the most important business to the enterprise in diversified business. In this paper, we first introduce the definition and characteristics of the core business and then descript the ant colony clustering algorithm. In order to test the effectiveness of the proposed method, Tianjin Port Logistics Development Co., Ltd. is selected as the research object. Based on the current situation of the development of the company, the core business of the company can be acquired by ant colony clustering algorithm. Thus, the results indicate that the proposed method is an effective way to determine the core business for company.

  15. Dynamic Network Formation Using Ant Colony Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-03-01

    Problem (DVRP) ............................................ 36 2.7.2 Dynamic Traveling Salesman Problem (DTSP) ....................................... 41...47 2.8.3 Distributed Traveling Salesman Problem ................................................. 48 2.8.4 FIRE Ant...uses the fixed cost of the network in its calculation and commodities are not included in the problem formulation . Using a probabilistic undirected

  16. Application of ant colony optimisation in distribution transformer sizing

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study proposes an optimisation method for transformer sizing in power system using ant colony optimisation and a verification of the process by MATLAB software. The aim is to address the issue of transformer sizing which is a major challenge affecting its effective performance, longevity, huge capital cost and power ...

  17. application of ant colony optimisation in distribution transformer sizing

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    HP

    This study proposes an optimisation method for transformer sizing in power system using ant colony optimisation and a verification of the process by MATLAB software. The aim is to address the issue of transformer sizing which is a major challenge affecting its effective performance, longevity, huge capital cost and power ...

  18. Ant Colony Optimization and the Minimum Cut Problem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kötzing, Timo; Lehre, Per Kristian; Neumann, Frank

    2010-01-01

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is a powerful metaheuristic for solving combinatorial optimization problems. With this paper we contribute to the theoretical understanding of this kind of algorithm by investigating the classical minimum cut problem. An ACO algorithm similar to the one that was proved...

  19. GIS-BASED ROUTE FINDING USING ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION AND URBAN TRAFFIC DATA FROM DIFFERENT SOURCES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Davoodi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays traffic data is obtained from multiple sources including GPS, Video Vehicle Detectors (VVD, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR, Floating Car Data (FCD, VANETs, etc. All such data can be used for route finding. This paper proposes a model for finding the optimum route based on the integration of traffic data from different sources. Ant Colony Optimization is applied in this paper because the concept of this method (movement of ants in a network is similar to urban road network and movements of cars. The results indicate that this model is capable of incorporating data from different sources, which may even be inconsistent.

  20. Gis-Based Route Finding Using ANT Colony Optimization and Urban Traffic Data from Different Sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davoodi, M.; Mesgari, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Nowadays traffic data is obtained from multiple sources including GPS, Video Vehicle Detectors (VVD), Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), Floating Car Data (FCD), VANETs, etc. All such data can be used for route finding. This paper proposes a model for finding the optimum route based on the integration of traffic data from different sources. Ant Colony Optimization is applied in this paper because the concept of this method (movement of ants in a network) is similar to urban road network and movements of cars. The results indicate that this model is capable of incorporating data from different sources, which may even be inconsistent.

  1. ADAPTIVE ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION BASED GRADIENT FOR EDGE DETECTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Febri Liantoni

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Ant Colony Optimization (ACO is a nature-inspired optimization algorithm which is motivated by ants foraging behavior. Due to its favorable advantages, ACO has been widely used to solve several NP-hard problems, including edge detection. Since ACO initially distributes ants at random, it may cause imbalance ant distribution which later affects path discovery process. In this paper an adaptive ACO is proposed to optimize edge detection by adaptively distributing ant according to gradient analysis. Ants are adaptively distributed according to gradient ratio of each image regions. Region which has bigger gradient ratio, will have bigger number of ant distribution. Experiments are conducted using images from various datasets. Precision and recall are used to quantitatively evaluate performance of the proposed algorithm. Precision and recall of adaptive ACO reaches 76.98 % and 96.8 %. Whereas highest precision and recall for standard ACO are 69.74 % and 74.85 %. Experimental results show that the adaptive ACO outperforms standard ACO which randomly distributes ants.

  2. Recognition in ants: social origin matters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joël Meunier

    Full Text Available The ability of group members to discriminate against foreigners is a keystone in the evolution of sociality. In social insects, colony social structure (number of queens is generally thought to influence abilities of resident workers to discriminate between nestmates and non-nestmates. However, whether social origin of introduced individuals has an effect on their acceptance in conspecific colonies remains poorly explored. Using egg-acceptance bioassays, we tested the influence of social origin of queen-laid eggs on their acceptance by foreign workers in the ant Formica selysi. We showed that workers from both single- and multiple-queen colonies discriminated against foreign eggs from single-queen colonies, whereas they surprisingly accepted foreign eggs from multiple-queen colonies. Chemical analyses then demonstrated that social origins of eggs and workers could be discriminated on the basis of their chemical profiles, a signal generally involved in nestmate discrimination. These findings provide the first evidence in social insects that social origins of eggs interfere with nestmate discrimination and are encoded by chemical signatures.

  3. Emigration of a colony of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex heyeri Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariane Aparecida Nickele

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Emigration of a colony of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex heyeri Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Colony migration is a poorly studied phenomenon in leaf-cutting ants. Here we report on the emigration of a colony of the leaf-cutting ant A. heyeri in Brazil. The colony emigrated to a new location 47.4 m away from the original nest site, possibly because it had undergone considerable stress due to competitive interactions with a colony of Acromyrmex crassispinus.

  4. Minimum Cost Multicast Routing Using Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Min Hu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Multicast routing (MR is a technology for delivering network data from some source node(s to a group of destination nodes. The objective of the minimum cost MR (MCMR problem is to find an optimal multicast tree with the minimum cost for MR. This problem is NP complete. In order to tackle the problem, this paper proposes a novel algorithm termed the minimum cost multicast routing ant colony optimization (MCMRACO. Based on the ant colony optimization (ACO framework, the artificial ants in the proposed algorithm use a probabilistic greedy realization of Prim’s algorithm to construct multicast trees. Moving in a cost complete graph (CCG of the network topology, the ants build solutions according to the heuristic and pheromone information. The heuristic information represents problem-specific knowledge for the ants to construct solutions. The pheromone update mechanisms coordinate the ants’ activities by modulating the pheromones. The algorithm can quickly respond to the changes of multicast nodes in a dynamic MR environment. The performance of the proposed algorithm has been compared with published results available in the literature. Results show that the proposed algorithm performs well in both static and dynamic MCMR problems.

  5. Friends and foes from an ant brain's point of view--neuronal correlates of colony odors in a social insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Rössler, Wolfgang; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes

    2011-01-01

    Successful cooperation depends on reliable identification of friends and foes. Social insects discriminate colony members (nestmates/friends) from foreign workers (non-nestmates/foes) by colony-specific, multi-component colony odors. Traditionally, complex processing in the brain has been regarded as crucial for colony recognition. Odor information is represented as spatial patterns of activity and processed in the primary olfactory neuropile, the antennal lobe (AL) of insects, which is analogous to the vertebrate olfactory bulb. Correlative evidence indicates that the spatial activity patterns reflect odor-quality, i.e., how an odor is perceived. For colony odors, alternatively, a sensory filter in the peripheral nervous system was suggested, causing specific anosmia to nestmate colony odors. Here, we investigate neuronal correlates of colony odors in the brain of a social insect to directly test whether they are anosmic to nestmate colony odors and whether spatial activity patterns in the AL can predict how odor qualities like "friend" and "foe" are attributed to colony odors. Using ant dummies that mimic natural conditions, we presented colony odors and investigated their neuronal representation in the ant Camponotus floridanus. Nestmate and non-nestmate colony odors elicited neuronal activity: In the periphery, we recorded sensory responses of olfactory receptor neurons (electroantennography), and in the brain, we measured colony odor specific spatial activity patterns in the AL (calcium imaging). Surprisingly, upon repeated stimulation with the same colony odor, spatial activity patterns were variable, and as variable as activity patterns elicited by different colony odors. Ants are not anosmic to nestmate colony odors. However, spatial activity patterns in the AL alone do not provide sufficient information for colony odor discrimination and this finding challenges the current notion of how odor quality is coded. Our result illustrates the enormous challenge

  6. Testing the adjustable threshold model for intruder recognition on Myrmica ants in the context of a social parasite

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürst, Matthias Alois; Durey, Maëlle; Nash, David Richard

    2012-01-01

    gains access to the ants' nests by mimicking their cuticular hydrocarbon recognition cues, which allows the parasites to blend in with their host ants. Myrmica rubra may be particularly susceptible to exploitation in this fashion as it has large, polydomous colonies with many queens and a very viscous...... population structure. We studied the mutual aggressive behaviour of My. rubra colonies based on predictions for recognition effectiveness. Three hypotheses were tested: first, that aggression increases with distance (geographical, genetic and chemical); second, that the more queens present in a colony...... and therefore the less-related workers within a colony, the less aggressively they will behave; and that colonies facing parasitism will be more aggressive than colonies experiencing less parasite pressure. Our results confirm all these predictions, supporting flexible aggression behaviour in Myrmica ants...

  7. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley

    2014-01-01

    During colony relocation, the selection of a new nest involves exploration and assessment of potential sites followed by colony movement on the basis of a collective decision making process. Hygiene and pathogen load of the potential nest sites are factors worker scouts might evaluate, given...... the high risk of epidemics in group-living animals. Choosing nest sites free of pathogens is hypothesized to be highly efficient in invasive ants as each of their introduced populations is often an open network of nests exchanging individuals (unicolonial) with frequent relocation into new nest sites...... and low genetic diversity, likely making these species particularly vulnerable to parasites and diseases. We investigated the nest site preference of the invasive pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis, through binary choice tests between three nest types: nests containing dead nestmates overgrown...

  8. Response Ant Colony Optimization of End Milling Surface Roughness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed N. Abd Alla

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Metal cutting processes are important due to increased consumer demands for quality metal cutting related products (more precise tolerances and better product surface roughness that has driven the metal cutting industry to continuously improve quality control of metal cutting processes. This paper presents optimum surface roughness by using milling mould aluminium alloys (AA6061-T6 with Response Ant Colony Optimization (RACO. The approach is based on Response Surface Method (RSM and Ant Colony Optimization (ACO. The main objectives to find the optimized parameters and the most dominant variables (cutting speed, feedrate, axial depth and radial depth. The first order model indicates that the feedrate is the most significant factor affecting surface roughness.

  9. Symbiont recognition of mutualistic bacteria by Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Mingzi; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R

    2007-01-01

    Symbiont choice has been proposed to play an important role in shaping many symbiotic relationships, including the fungus-growing ant-microbe mutualism. Over millions of years, fungus-growing ants have defended their fungus gardens from specialized parasites with antibiotics produced...... by an actinomycete bacterial mutualist (genus Pseudonocardia). Despite the potential of being infected by phylogenetically diverse strains of parasites, each ant colony maintains only a single Pseudonocardia symbiont strain, which is primarily vertically transmitted between colonies by the founding queens....... In this study, we show that Acromyrmex leaf-cutter ants are able to differentiate between their native actinomycete strain and a variety of foreign strains isolated from sympatric and allopatric Acromyrmex species, in addition to strains originating from other fungus-growing ant genera. The recognition...

  10. Predicting Flood in Perlis Using Ant Colony Optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabri, Syaidatul Nadia; Saian, Rizauddin

    2017-01-01

    Flood forecasting is widely being studied in order to reduce the effect of flood such as loss of property, loss of life and contamination of water supply. Usually flood occurs due to continuous heavy rainfall. This study used a variant of Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm named the Ant-Miner to develop the classification prediction model to predict flood. However, since Ant-Miner only accept discrete data, while rainfall data is a time series data, a pre-processing steps is needed to discretize the rainfall data initially. This study used a technique called the Symbolic Aggregate Approximation (SAX) to convert the rainfall time series data into discrete data. As an addition, Simple K-Means algorithm was used to cluster the data produced by SAX. The findings show that the predictive accuracy of the classification prediction model is more than 80%. (paper)

  11. Predicting Flood in Perlis Using Ant Colony Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadia Sabri, Syaidatul; Saian, Rizauddin

    2017-06-01

    Flood forecasting is widely being studied in order to reduce the effect of flood such as loss of property, loss of life and contamination of water supply. Usually flood occurs due to continuous heavy rainfall. This study used a variant of Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm named the Ant-Miner to develop the classification prediction model to predict flood. However, since Ant-Miner only accept discrete data, while rainfall data is a time series data, a pre-processing steps is needed to discretize the rainfall data initially. This study used a technique called the Symbolic Aggregate Approximation (SAX) to convert the rainfall time series data into discrete data. As an addition, Simple K-Means algorithm was used to cluster the data produced by SAX. The findings show that the predictive accuracy of the classification prediction model is more than 80%.

  12. Ant colony optimization approach to estimate energy demand of Turkey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duran Toksari, M.

    2007-01-01

    This paper attempts to shed light on the determinants of energy demand in Turkey. Energy demand model is first proposed using the ant colony optimization (ACO) approach. It is multi-agent systems in which the behavior of each ant is inspired by the foraging behavior of real ants to solve optimization problem. ACO energy demand estimation (ACOEDE) model is developed using population, gross domestic product (GDP), import and export. All equations proposed here are linear and quadratic. Quadratic A COEDE provided better-fit solution due to fluctuations of the economic indicators. The ACOEDE model plans the energy demand of Turkey until 2025 according to three scenarios. The relative estimation errors of the ACOEDE model are the lowest when they are compared with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR) projection

  13. Improved Ant Colony Optimization for Seafood Product Delivery Routing Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baozhen Yao

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with a real-life vehicle delivery routing problem, which is a seafood product delivery routing problem. Considering the features of the seafood product delivery routing problem, this paper formulated this problem as a multi-depot open vehicle routing problem. Since the multi-depot open vehicle routing problem is a very complex problem, a method is used to reduce the complexity of the problem by changing the multi-depot open vehicle routing problem into an open vehicle routing problem with a dummy central depot in this paper. Then, ant colony optimization is used to solve the problem. To improve the performance of the algorithm, crossover operation and some adaptive strategies are used. Finally, the computational results for the benchmark problems of the multi-depot vehicle routing problem indicate that the proposed ant colony optimization is an effective method to solve the multi-depot vehicle routing problem. Furthermore, the computation results of the seafood product delivery problem from Dalian, China also suggest that the proposed ant colony optimization is feasible to solve the seafood product delivery routing problem.

  14. Are you my mother? Kin recognition in the ant Formica fusca

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    El-Showk, S; van Zweden, J S; d'Ettorre, P

    2010-01-01

    and nonkin regardless of colony affiliation. We investigated whether workers of the ant Formica fusca can identify their mother when fostered with their mother, their sisters, a hetero-colonial queen or hetero-colonial workers. We found that workers always displayed less aggression towards both their mother......In social insects, workers trade personal reproduction for indirect fitness returns from helping their mother rear collateral kin. Colony membership is generally used as a proxy for kin discrimination, but the question remains whether recognition allows workers to discriminate between kin...... and their foster queen, as compared to an unfamiliar hetero-colonial queen. In support of this finding, workers maintain their colony hydrocarbon profile regardless of foster regime, yet show modifications when exposed to different environments. This indicates that recognition entails environmental and genetic...

  15. Disentangling environmental and heritable nestmate recognition cues in a carpenter ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Zweden, Jelle S; Dreier, Stephanie; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    variation in cuticular hydrocarbons, which can include heritable cues from the workers, as well as acquired cues from the environment or queen-derived cues. We tracked the profile of six colonies of the ant Camponotus aethiops for a year under homogeneous laboratory conditions. We performed chemical...... and behavioral analyses. We show that nestmate recognition was not impaired by constant environment, even though cuticular hydrocarbon profiles changed over time and were slightly converging among colonies. Linear hydrocarbons increased over time, especially in queenless colonies, but appeared to have weak...... diagnostic power between colonies. The presence of a queen had little influence on nestmate discrimination abilities. Our results suggest that heritable cues of workers are the dominant factor influencing nestmate discrimination in these carpenter ants and highlight the importance of colony kin structure...

  16. Queen regulates biogenic amine level and nestmate recognition in workers of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Meer, Robert K.; Preston, Catherine A.; Hefetz, Abraham

    2008-12-01

    Nestmate recognition is a critical element in social insect organization, providing a means to maintain territoriality and close the colony to parasites and predators. Ants detect the colony chemical label via their antennae and respond to the label mismatch of an intruder with aggressive behavior. In the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, worker ability to recognize conspecific nonnestmates decreases if the colony queen is removed, such that they do not recognize conspecific nonnestmates as different. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the presence of the colony queen influences the concentration of octopamine, a neuromodulator, in worker ants, which in turn has an effect on nestmate recognition acuity in workers. We demonstrate that queenless workers exhibit reduced brain octopamine levels and reduced discriminatory acuteness; however, feeding queenless workers octopamine restored both. Dopamine levels are influenced by honeybee queen pheromones; however, levels of this biogenic amine were unchanged in our experiments. This is the first demonstration of a link between the presence of the colony queen, a worker biogenic amine, and conspecific nestmate recognition, a powerful expression of colony cohesion and territoriality.

  17. Dealing with water deficit in Atta ant colonies: large ants scout for water while small ants transport it

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Carlos Da-Silva

    2012-07-01

    Leafcutter ants (Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Forel 1908 have an elaborate social organization, complete with caste divisions. Activities carried out by specialist groups contribute to the overall success and survival of the colony when it is confronted with environmental challenges such as dehydration. Ants detect variations in humidity inside the nest and react by activating several types of behavior that enhance water uptake and decrease water loss, but it is not clear whether or not a single caste collects water regardless of the cost of bringing this resource back to the colony. Accordingly, we investigated water collection activities in three colonies of Atta sexdens rubropilosa experimentally exposed to water stress. Specifically, we analyzed whether or not the same ant caste foraged for water, regardless of the absolute energetic cost (distance of transporting this resource back to the colony. Our experimental design offered water sources at 0 m, 1 m and 10 m from the nest. We studied the body size of ants near the water sources from the initial offer of water (time  =  0 to 120 min, and tested for specialization. We observed a reduction in the average size and variance of ants that corroborated the specialization hypothesis. Although the temporal course of specialization changed with distance, the final outcome was similar among distances. Thus, we conclude that, for this species, a specialist (our use of the word “specialist” does not mean exclusive task force is responsible for collecting water, regardless of the cost of transporting water back to the colony.

  18. Generating and prioritizing optimal paths using ant colony optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mukesh Mann

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The assurance of software reliability partially depends on testing. Numbers of approaches for software testing are available with their proclaimed advantages and limitations, but accessibility of any one of them is a subject dependent. Time is a critical factor in deciding cost of any project. A deep insight has shown that executing test cases are time consuming and tedious activity. Thus stress has been given to develop algorithms which can suggest better pathways for testing. One such algorithm called Path Prioritization -Ant Colony Optimization (PP-ACO has been suggested in this paper which is inspired by real Ant's foraging behavior to generate optimal paths sequence of a decision to decision (DD path of a graph. The algorithm does full path coverage and suggests the best optimal sequences of path in path testing and prioritizes them according to path strength.

  19. JOB SHOP METHODOLOGY BASED ON AN ANT COLONY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    OMAR CASTRILLON

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to reduce the total process time (Makespan and to increase the machines working time, in a job shop environment, using a heuristic based on ant colony optimization. This work is developed in two phases: The first stage describes the identification and definition of heuristics for the sequential processes in the job shop. The second stage shows the effectiveness of the system in the traditional programming of production. A good solution, with 99% efficiency is found using this technique.

  20. What are the Mechanisms Behind a Parasite-Induced Decline in Nestmate Recognition in Ants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beros, Sara; Foitzik, Susanne; Menzel, Florian

    2017-09-01

    Social insects have developed sophisticated recognition skills to defend their nests against intruders. They do this by aggressively discriminating against non-nestmates with deviant cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) signatures. Studying nestmate recognition can be challenging as individual insects do not only vary in their discriminatory abilities, but also in their motivation to behave aggressively. To disentangle the influence of signaling and behavioral motivation on nestmate recognition, we investigated the ant Temnothorax nylanderi, where the presence of tapeworm-infected nestmates leads to reduced nestmate recognition among uninfected workers. The parasite-induced decline in nestmate recognition could be caused by higher intra-colonial cue diversity as tapeworm-infected workers are known to exhibit a modified hydrocarbon signature. This in turn may broaden the neuronal template of their nestmates, leading to a higher tolerance towards alien conspecifics. To test this hypothesis, we exchanged infected ants between colonies and analyzed their impact on CHC profiles of uninfected workers. We demonstrate that despite frequent grooming, which should promote the transfer of recognition cues, CHC profiles of uninfected workers neither changed in the presence of tapeworm-infected ants, nor did it increase cue diversity among uninfected nestmates within or between colonies. However, CHC profiles were systematically affected by the removal of nestmates and addition of non-nestmates, independently from the ants' infection status. For example, when non-nestmates were present workers expressed more dimethyl alkanes and higher overall CHC quantities, possibly to achieve a better distinction from non-nestmates. Workers showed clear task-specific profiles with tapeworm-infected workers resembling more closely young nurses than older foragers. Our results show that the parasite-induced decline in nestmate recognition is not due to increased recognition cue diversity or altered CHC

  1. Dynamic Vehicle Routing Problems with Enhanced Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haitao Xu

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available As we all know, there are a great number of optimization problems in the world. One of the relatively complicated and high-level problems is the vehicle routing problem (VRP. Dynamic vehicle routing problem (DVRP is a major variant of VRP, and it is closer to real logistic scene. In DVRP, the customers’ demands appear with time, and the unserved customers’ points must be updated and rearranged while carrying out the programming paths. Owing to the complexity and significance of the problem, DVRP applications have grabbed the attention of researchers in the past two decades. In this paper, we have two main contributions to solving DVRP. Firstly, DVRP is solved with enhanced Ant Colony Optimization (E-ACO, which is the traditional Ant Colony Optimization (ACO fusing improved K-means and crossover operation. K-means can divide the region with the most reasonable distance, while ACO using crossover is applied to extend search space and avoid falling into local optimum prematurely. Secondly, several new evaluation benchmarks are proposed, which can objectively and comprehensively estimate the proposed method. In the experiment, the results for different scale problems are compared to those of previously published papers. Experimental results show that the algorithm is feasible and efficient.

  2. Efficient distribution of toy products using ant colony optimization algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidayat, S.; Nurpraja, C. A.

    2017-12-01

    CV Atham Toys (CVAT) produces wooden toys and furniture, comprises 13 small and medium industries. CVAT always attempt to deliver customer orders on time but delivery costs are high. This is because of inadequate infrastructure such that delivery routes are long, car maintenance costs are high, while fuel subsidy by the government is still temporary. This study seeks to minimize the cost of product distribution based on the shortest route using one of five Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithms to solve the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP). This study concludes that the best of the five is the Ant Colony System (ACS) algorithm. The best route in 1st week gave a total distance of 124.11 km at a cost of Rp 66,703.75. The 2nd week route gave a total distance of 132.27 km at a cost of Rp 71,095.13. The 3rd week best route gave a total distance of 122.70 km with a cost of Rp 65,951.25. While the 4th week gave a total distance of 132.27 km at a cost of Rp 74,083.63. Prior to this study there was no effort to calculate these figures.

  3. Dual ant colony operational modal analysis parameter estimation method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitarz, Piotr; Powałka, Bartosz

    2018-01-01

    Operational Modal Analysis (OMA) is a common technique used to examine the dynamic properties of a system. Contrary to experimental modal analysis, the input signal is generated in object ambient environment. Operational modal analysis mainly aims at determining the number of pole pairs and at estimating modal parameters. Many methods are used for parameter identification. Some methods operate in time while others in frequency domain. The former use correlation functions, the latter - spectral density functions. However, while some methods require the user to select poles from a stabilisation diagram, others try to automate the selection process. Dual ant colony operational modal analysis parameter estimation method (DAC-OMA) presents a new approach to the problem, avoiding issues involved in the stabilisation diagram. The presented algorithm is fully automated. It uses deterministic methods to define the interval of estimated parameters, thus reducing the problem to optimisation task which is conducted with dedicated software based on ant colony optimisation algorithm. The combination of deterministic methods restricting parameter intervals and artificial intelligence yields very good results, also for closely spaced modes and significantly varied mode shapes within one measurement point.

  4. Lock-picks: fungal infection facilitates the intrusion of strangers into ant colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csata, Enikő; Timuş, Natalia; Witek, Magdalena; Casacci, Luca Pietro; Lucas, Christophe; Bagnères, Anne-Geneviève; Sztencel-Jabłonka, Anna; Barbero, Francesca; Bonelli, Simona; Rákosy, László; Markó, Bálint

    2017-01-01

    Studies investigating host-parasite systems rarely deal with multispecies interactions, and mostly explore impacts on hosts as individuals. Much less is known about the effects at colony level, when parasitism involves host organisms that form societies. We surveyed the effect of an ectoparasitic fungus, Rickia wasmannii, on kin-discrimination abilities of its host ant, Myrmica scabrinodis, identifying potential consequences at social level and subsequent changes in colony infiltration success of other organisms. Analyses of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), known to be involved in insects’ discrimination processes, revealed variations in chemical profiles correlated with the infection status of the ants, that could not be explained by genetic variation tested by microsatellites. In behavioural assays, fungus-infected workers were less aggressive towards both non-nestmates and unrelated queens, enhancing the probability of polygyny. Likewise, parasitic larvae of Maculinea butterflies had a higher chance of adoption by infected colonies. Our study indicates that pathogens can modify host recognition abilities, making the society more prone to accept both conspecific and allospecific organisms. PMID:28402336

  5. Chemical disguise of myrmecophilous cockroaches and its implications for understanding nestmate recognition mechanisms in leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehring, Volker; Dani, Francesca R; Calamai, Luca; Turillazzi, Stefano; Bohn, Horst; Klass, Klaus-Dieter; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2016-08-05

    Cockroaches of the genus Attaphila regularly occur in leaf-cutting ant colonies. The ants farm a fungus that the cockroaches also appear to feed on. Cockroaches disperse between colonies horizontally (via foraging trails) and vertically (attached to queens on their mating flights). We analysed the chemical strategies used by the cockroaches to integrate into colonies of Atta colombica and Acromyrmex octospinosus. Analysing cockroaches from nests of two host species further allowed us to test the hypothesis that nestmate recognition is based on an asymmetric mechanism. Specifically, we test the U-present nestmate recognition model, which assumes that detection of undesirable cues (non-nestmate specific substances) leads to strong rejection of the cue-bearers, while absence of desirable cues (nestmate-specific substances) does not necessarily trigger aggression. We found that nests of Atta and Acromyrmex contained cockroaches of two different and not yet described Attaphila species. The cockroaches share the cuticular chemical substances of their specific host species and copy their host nest's colony-specific cuticular profile. Indeed, the cockroaches are accepted by nestmate but attacked by non-nestmate ant workers. Cockroaches from Acromyrmex colonies bear a lower concentration of cuticular substances and are less likely to be attacked by non-nestmate ants than cockroaches from Atta colonies. Nest-specific recognition of Attaphila cockroaches by host workers in combination with nest-specific cuticular chemical profiles suggest that the cockroaches mimic their host's recognition labels, either by synthesizing nest-specific substances or by substance transfer from ants. Our finding that the cockroach species with lower concentration of cuticular substances receives less aggression by both host species fully supports the U-present nestmate recognition model. Leaf-cutting ant nestmate recognition is thus asymmetric, responding more strongly to differences than to

  6. Testing the adjustable threshold model for intruder recognition on Myrmica ants in the context of a social parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürst, Matthias A; Durey, Maëlle; Nash, David R

    2012-02-07

    Social insect colonies are like fortresses, well protected and rich in shared stored resources. This makes them ideal targets for exploitation by predators, parasites and competitors. Colonies of Myrmica rubra ants are sometimes exploited by the parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon. Maculinea alcon gains access to the ants' nests by mimicking their cuticular hydrocarbon recognition cues, which allows the parasites to blend in with their host ants. Myrmica rubra may be particularly susceptible to exploitation in this fashion as it has large, polydomous colonies with many queens and a very viscous population structure. We studied the mutual aggressive behaviour of My. rubra colonies based on predictions for recognition effectiveness. Three hypotheses were tested: first, that aggression increases with distance (geographical, genetic and chemical); second, that the more queens present in a colony and therefore the less-related workers within a colony, the less aggressively they will behave; and that colonies facing parasitism will be more aggressive than colonies experiencing less parasite pressure. Our results confirm all these predictions, supporting flexible aggression behaviour in Myrmica ants depending on context.

  7. Aircraft technology portfolio optimization using ant colony optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villeneuve, Frederic J.; Mavris, Dimitri N.

    2012-11-01

    Technology portfolio selection is a combinatorial optimization problem often faced with a large number of combinations and technology incompatibilities. The main research question addressed in this article is to determine if Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is better suited than Genetic Algorithms (GAs) and Simulated Annealing (SA) for technology portfolio optimization when incompatibility constraints between technologies are present. Convergence rate, capability to find optima, and efficiency in handling of incompatibilities are the three criteria of comparison. The application problem consists of finding the best technology portfolio from 29 aircraft technologies. The results show that ACO and GAs converge faster and find optima more easily than SA, and that ACO can optimize portfolios with technology incompatibilities without using penalty functions. This latter finding paves the way for more use of ACO when the number of constraints increases, such as in the technology and concept selection for complex engineering systems.

  8. Road Network Vulnerability Analysis Based on Improved Ant Colony Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunpeng Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We present an improved ant colony algorithm-based approach to assess the vulnerability of a road network and identify the critical infrastructures. This approach improves computational efficiency and allows for its applications in large-scale road networks. This research involves defining the vulnerability conception, modeling the traffic utility index and the vulnerability of the road network, and identifying the critical infrastructures of the road network. We apply the approach to a simple test road network and a real road network to verify the methodology. The results show that vulnerability is directly related to traffic demand and increases significantly when the demand approaches capacity. The proposed approach reduces the computational burden and may be applied in large-scale road network analysis. It can be used as a decision-supporting tool for identifying critical infrastructures in transportation planning and management.

  9. Automatic fault extraction using a modified ant-colony algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, Junsheng; Sun, Sam Zandong

    2013-01-01

    The basis of automatic fault extraction is seismic attributes, such as the coherence cube which is always used to identify a fault by the minimum value. The biggest challenge in automatic fault extraction is noise, including that of seismic data. However, a fault has a better spatial continuity in certain direction, which makes it quite different from noise. Considering this characteristic, a modified ant-colony algorithm is introduced into automatic fault identification and tracking, where the gradient direction and direction consistency are used as constraints. Numerical model test results show that this method is feasible and effective in automatic fault extraction and noise suppression. The application of field data further illustrates its validity and superiority. (paper)

  10. Friends and Foes from an Ant Brain's Point of View – Neuronal Correlates of Colony Odors in a Social Insect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Rössler, Wolfgang; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes

    2011-01-01

    Background Successful cooperation depends on reliable identification of friends and foes. Social insects discriminate colony members (nestmates/friends) from foreign workers (non-nestmates/foes) by colony-specific, multi-component colony odors. Traditionally, complex processing in the brain has been regarded as crucial for colony recognition. Odor information is represented as spatial patterns of activity and processed in the primary olfactory neuropile, the antennal lobe (AL) of insects, which is analogous to the vertebrate olfactory bulb. Correlative evidence indicates that the spatial activity patterns reflect odor-quality, i.e., how an odor is perceived. For colony odors, alternatively, a sensory filter in the peripheral nervous system was suggested, causing specific anosmia to nestmate colony odors. Here, we investigate neuronal correlates of colony odors in the brain of a social insect to directly test whether they are anosmic to nestmate colony odors and whether spatial activity patterns in the AL can predict how odor qualities like “friend” and “foe” are attributed to colony odors. Methodology/Principal Findings Using ant dummies that mimic natural conditions, we presented colony odors and investigated their neuronal representation in the ant Camponotus floridanus. Nestmate and non-nestmate colony odors elicited neuronal activity: In the periphery, we recorded sensory responses of olfactory receptor neurons (electroantennography), and in the brain, we measured colony odor specific spatial activity patterns in the AL (calcium imaging). Surprisingly, upon repeated stimulation with the same colony odor, spatial activity patterns were variable, and as variable as activity patterns elicited by different colony odors. Conclusions Ants are not anosmic to nestmate colony odors. However, spatial activity patterns in the AL alone do not provide sufficient information for colony odor discrimination and this finding challenges the current notion of how odor

  11. Colony fusion and worker reproduction after queen loss in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Schöning, Caspar; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2010-01-01

    Theory predicts that altruism is only evolutionarily stable if it is preferentially directed towards relatives, so that any such behaviour towards seemingly unrelated individuals requires scrutiny. Queenless army ant colonies, which have anecdotally been reported to fuse with queenright foreign...... colonies, are such an enigmatic case. Here we combine experimental queen removal with population genetics and cuticular chemistry analyses to show that colonies of the African army ant Dorylus molestus frequently merge with neighbouring colonies after queen loss. Merging colonies often have no direct co...

  12. Queen-worker caste ratio depends on colony size in the pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard; Linksvayer, Timothy Arnold; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2011-01-01

    affecting this variable remain scarcely studied. Maintaining polygynous pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) colonies in the laboratory has provided us with the opportunity to experimentally manipulate colony size, one of the key factors that can be expected to affect colony level queen–worker caste ratios......The success of an ant colony depends on the simultaneous presence of reproducing queens and nonreproducing workers in a ratio that will maximize colony growth and reproduction. Despite its presumably crucial role, queen–worker caste ratios (the ratio of adult queens to workers) and the factors...

  13. Neuromodulation of Nestmate Recognition Decisions by Pavement Ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew N Bubak

    Full Text Available Ant colonies are distributed systems that are regulated in a non-hierarchical manner. Without a central authority, individuals inform their decisions by comparing information in local cues to a set of inherent behavioral rules. Individual behavioral decisions collectively change colony behavior and lead to self-organization capable of solving complex problems such as the decision to engage in aggressive societal conflicts with neighbors. Despite the relevance to colony fitness, the mechanisms that drive individual decisions leading to cooperative behavior are not well understood. Here we show how sensory information, both tactile and chemical, and social context-isolation, nestmate interaction, or fighting non-nestmates-affects brain monoamine levels in pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum. Our results provide evidence that changes in octopamine and serotonin in the brains of individuals are sufficient to alter the decision by pavement ants to be aggressive towards non-nestmate ants whereas increased brain levels of dopamine correlate to physical fighting. We propose a model in which the changes in brain states of many workers collectively lead to the self-organization of societal aggression between neighboring colonies of pavement ants.

  14. Neuromodulation of Nestmate Recognition Decisions by Pavement Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubak, Andrew N; Yaeger, Jazmine D W; Renner, Kenneth J; Swallow, John G; Greene, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    Ant colonies are distributed systems that are regulated in a non-hierarchical manner. Without a central authority, individuals inform their decisions by comparing information in local cues to a set of inherent behavioral rules. Individual behavioral decisions collectively change colony behavior and lead to self-organization capable of solving complex problems such as the decision to engage in aggressive societal conflicts with neighbors. Despite the relevance to colony fitness, the mechanisms that drive individual decisions leading to cooperative behavior are not well understood. Here we show how sensory information, both tactile and chemical, and social context-isolation, nestmate interaction, or fighting non-nestmates-affects brain monoamine levels in pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum). Our results provide evidence that changes in octopamine and serotonin in the brains of individuals are sufficient to alter the decision by pavement ants to be aggressive towards non-nestmate ants whereas increased brain levels of dopamine correlate to physical fighting. We propose a model in which the changes in brain states of many workers collectively lead to the self-organization of societal aggression between neighboring colonies of pavement ants.

  15. Intraspecific Variation among Social Insect Colonies: Persistent Regional and Colony-Level Differences in Fire Ant Foraging Behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison A Bockoven

    Full Text Available Individuals vary within a species in many ecologically important ways, but the causes and consequences of such variation are often poorly understood. Foraging behavior is among the most profitable and risky activities in which organisms engage and is expected to be under strong selection. Among social insects there is evidence that within-colony variation in traits such as foraging behavior can increase colony fitness, but variation between colonies and the potential consequences of such variation are poorly documented. In this study, we tested natural populations of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, for the existence of colony and regional variation in foraging behavior and tested the persistence of this variation over time and across foraging habitats. We also reared single-lineage colonies in standardized environments to explore the contribution of colony lineage. Fire ants from natural populations exhibited significant and persistent colony and regional-level variation in foraging behaviors such as extra-nest activity, exploration, and discovery of and recruitment to resources. Moreover, colony-level variation in extra-nest activity was significantly correlated with colony growth, suggesting that this variation has fitness consequences. Lineage of the colony had a significant effect on extra-nest activity and exploratory activity and explained approximately half of the variation observed in foraging behaviors, suggesting a heritable component to colony-level variation in behavior.

  16. Applying Data Clustering Feature to Speed Up Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao-Yang Pang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Ant colony optimization (ACO is often used to solve optimization problems, such as traveling salesman problem (TSP. When it is applied to TSP, its runtime is proportional to the squared size of problem N so as to look less efficient. The following statistical feature is observed during the authors’ long-term gene data analysis using ACO: when the data size N becomes big, local clustering appears frequently. That is, some data cluster tightly in a small area and form a class, and the correlation between different classes is weak. And this feature makes the idea of divide and rule feasible for the estimate of solution of TSP. In this paper an improved ACO algorithm is presented, which firstly divided all data into local clusters and calculated small TSP routes and then assembled a big TSP route with them. Simulation shows that the presented method improves the running speed of ACO by 200 factors under the condition that data set holds feature of local clustering.

  17. Ant colony optimization-based firewall anomaly mitigation engine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penmatsa, Ravi Kiran Varma; Vatsavayi, Valli Kumari; Samayamantula, Srinivas Kumar

    2016-01-01

    A firewall is the most essential component of network perimeter security. Due to human error and the involvement of multiple administrators in configuring firewall rules, there exist common anomalies in firewall rulesets such as Shadowing, Generalization, Correlation, and Redundancy. There is a need for research on efficient ways of resolving such anomalies. The challenge is also to see that the reordered or resolved ruleset conforms to the organization's framed security policy. This study proposes an ant colony optimization (ACO)-based anomaly resolution and reordering of firewall rules called ACO-based firewall anomaly mitigation engine. Modified strategies are also introduced to automatically detect these anomalies and to minimize manual intervention of the administrator. Furthermore, an adaptive reordering strategy is proposed to aid faster reordering when a new rule is appended. The proposed approach was tested with different firewall policy sets. The results were found to be promising in terms of the number of conflicts resolved, with minimal availability loss and marginal security risk. This work demonstrated the application of a metaheuristic search technique, ACO, in improving the performance of a packet-filter firewall with respect to mitigating anomalies in the rules, and at the same time demonstrated conformance to the security policy.

  18. Software Piracy Detection Model Using Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astiqah Omar, Nor; Zakuan, Zeti Zuryani Mohd; Saian, Rizauddin

    2017-06-01

    Internet enables information to be accessible anytime and anywhere. This scenario creates an environment whereby information can be easily copied. Easy access to the internet is one of the factors which contribute towards piracy in Malaysia as well as the rest of the world. According to a survey conducted by Compliance Gap BSA Global Software Survey in 2013 on software piracy, found out that 43 percent of the software installed on PCs around the world was not properly licensed, the commercial value of the unlicensed installations worldwide was reported to be 62.7 billion. Piracy can happen anywhere including universities. Malaysia as well as other countries in the world is faced with issues of piracy committed by the students in universities. Piracy in universities concern about acts of stealing intellectual property. It can be in the form of software piracy, music piracy, movies piracy and piracy of intellectual materials such as books, articles and journals. This scenario affected the owner of intellectual property as their property is in jeopardy. This study has developed a classification model for detecting software piracy. The model was developed using a swarm intelligence algorithm called the Ant Colony Optimization algorithm. The data for training was collected by a study conducted in Universiti Teknologi MARA (Perlis). Experimental results show that the model detection accuracy rate is better as compared to J48 algorithm.

  19. Reliability optimization using multiobjective ant colony system approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao Jianhua; Liu Zhaoheng; Dao, M.-T.

    2007-01-01

    The multiobjective ant colony system (ACS) meta-heuristic has been developed to provide solutions for the reliability optimization problem of series-parallel systems. This type of problems involves selection of components with multiple choices and redundancy levels that produce maximum benefits, and is subject to the cost and weight constraints at the system level. These are very common and realistic problems encountered in conceptual design of many engineering systems. It is becoming increasingly important to develop efficient solutions to these problems because many mechanical and electrical systems are becoming more complex, even as development schedules get shorter and reliability requirements become very stringent. The multiobjective ACS algorithm offers distinct advantages to these problems compared with alternative optimization methods, and can be applied to a more diverse problem domain with respect to the type or size of the problems. Through the combination of probabilistic search, multiobjective formulation of local moves and the dynamic penalty method, the multiobjective ACSRAP, allows us to obtain an optimal design solution very frequently and more quickly than with some other heuristic approaches. The proposed algorithm was successfully applied to an engineering design problem of gearbox with multiple stages

  20. Enhanced ant colony optimization for inventory routing problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Lily; Moin, Noor Hasnah

    2015-10-01

    The inventory routing problem (IRP) integrates and coordinates two important components of supply chain management which are transportation and inventory management. We consider a one-to-many IRP network for a finite planning horizon. The demand for each product is deterministic and time varying as well as a fleet of capacitated homogeneous vehicles, housed at a depot/warehouse, delivers the products from the warehouse to meet the demand specified by the customers in each period. The inventory holding cost is product specific and is incurred at the customer sites. The objective is to determine the amount of inventory and to construct a delivery routing that minimizes both the total transportation and inventory holding cost while ensuring each customer's demand is met over the planning horizon. The problem is formulated as a mixed integer programming problem and is solved using CPLEX 12.4 to get the lower and upper bound (best integer) for each instance considered. We propose an enhanced ant colony optimization (ACO) to solve the problem and the built route is improved by using local search. The computational experiments demonstrating the effectiveness of our approach is presented.

  1. DIDS Using Cooperative Agents Based on Ant Colony Clustering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Nur Kholish Abdurrazaq

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Intrusion detection systems (IDS play an important role in information security. Two major problems in the development of IDSs are the computational aspect and the architectural aspect. The computational or algorithmic problems include lacking ability of novel-attack detection and computation overload caused by large data traffic. The architectural problems are related to the communication between components of detection, including difficulties to overcome distributed and coordinated attacks because of the need of large amounts of distributed information and synchronization between detection components. This paper proposes a multi-agent architecture for a distributed intrusion detection system (DIDS based on ant-colony clustering (ACC, for recognizing new and coordinated attacks, handling large data traffic, synchronization, co-operation between components without the presence of centralized computation, and good detection performance in real-time with immediate alarm notification. Feature selection based on principal component analysis (PCA is used for dimensional reduction of NSL-KDD. Initial features are transformed to new features in smaller dimensions, where probing attacks (Ra-Probe have a characteristic sign in their average value that is different from that of normal activity. Selection is based on the characteristics of these factors, resulting in a two-dimensional subset of the 75% data reduction.

  2. Ant colony optimization for solving university facility layout problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohd Jani, Nurul Hafiza; Mohd Radzi, Nor Haizan; Ngadiman, Mohd Salihin

    2013-04-01

    Quadratic Assignment Problems (QAP) is classified as the NP hard problem. It has been used to model a lot of problem in several areas such as operational research, combinatorial data analysis and also parallel and distributed computing, optimization problem such as graph portioning and Travel Salesman Problem (TSP). In the literature, researcher use exact algorithm, heuristics algorithm and metaheuristic approaches to solve QAP problem. QAP is largely applied in facility layout problem (FLP). In this paper we used QAP to model university facility layout problem. There are 8 facilities that need to be assigned to 8 locations. Hence we have modeled a QAP problem with n ≤ 10 and developed an Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm to solve the university facility layout problem. The objective is to assign n facilities to n locations such that the minimum product of flows and distances is obtained. Flow is the movement from one to another facility, whereas distance is the distance between one locations of a facility to other facilities locations. The objective of the QAP is to obtain minimum total walking (flow) of lecturers from one destination to another (distance).

  3. Specialization and group size: brain and behavioural correlates of colony size in ants lacking morphological castes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amador-Vargas, Sabrina; Gronenberg, Wulfila; Wcislo, William T; Mueller, Ulrich

    2015-02-22

    Group size in both multicellular organisms and animal societies can correlate with the degree of division of labour. For ants, the task specialization hypothesis (TSH) proposes that increased behavioural specialization enabled by larger group size corresponds to anatomical specialization of worker brains. Alternatively, the social brain hypothesis proposes that increased levels of social stimuli in larger colonies lead to enlarged brain regions in all workers, regardless of their task specialization. We tested these hypotheses in acacia ants (Pseudomyrmex spinicola), which exhibit behavioural but not morphological task specialization. In wild colonies, we marked, followed and tested ant workers involved in foraging tasks on the leaves (leaf-ants) and in defensive tasks on the host tree trunk (trunk-ants). Task specialization increased with colony size, especially in defensive tasks. The relationship between colony size and brain region volume was task-dependent, supporting the TSH. Specifically, as colony size increased, the relative size of regions within the mushroom bodies of the brain decreased in trunk-ants but increased in leaf-ants; those regions play important roles in learning and memory. Our findings suggest that workers specialized in defence may have reduced learning abilities relative to leaf-ants; these inferences remain to be tested. In societies with monomorphic workers, brain polymorphism enhanced by group size could be a mechanism by which division of labour is achieved. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Targeted Removal of Ant Colonies in Ecological Experiments, Using Hot Water

    OpenAIRE

    Tschinkel, Walter R.; King, Joshua R.

    2007-01-01

    Ecological experiments on fire ants cannot, or should not, use poison baits to eliminate the fire ants because such baits are not specific to fire ants, or even to ants. Hot water is an extremely effective and specific killing agent for fire ant colonies, but producing large amounts of hot water in the field, and making the production apparatus mobile have been problematical. The construction and use of a charcoal-fired kiln made from a 55-gal. oil drum lined with a sand-fireclay mixture is d...

  5. Temnothorax rugatulus ant colonies consistently vary in nest structure across time and context.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas DiRienzo

    Full Text Available A host of animals build architectural constructions. Such constructions frequently vary with environmental and individual/colony conditions, and their architecture directly influences behavior and fitness. The nests of ant colonies drive and enable many of their collective behaviors, and as such are part of their 'extended phenotype'. Since ant colonies have been recently shown to differ in behavior and life history strategy, we ask whether colonies differ in another trait: the architecture of the constructions they create. We allowed Temnothorax rugatulus rock ants, who create nests by building walls within narrow rock gaps, to repeatedly build nest walls in a fixed crevice but under two environmental conditions. We find that colonies consistently differ in their architecture across environments and over nest building events. Colony identity explained 12-40% of the variation in nest architecture, while colony properties and environmental conditions explained 5-20%, as indicated by the condition and marginal R2 values. When their nest boxes were covered, which produced higher humidity and lower airflow, colonies built thicker, longer, and heavier walls. Colonies also built more robust walls when they had more brood, suggesting a protective function of wall thickness. This is, to our knowledge, the first study to explicitly investigate the repeatability of nestbuilding behavior in a controlled environment. Our results suggest that colonies may face tradeoffs, perhaps between factors such as active vs. passive nest defense, and that selection may act on individual construction rules as a mechanisms to mediate colony-level behavior.

  6. Multiconstrained Network Intensive Vehicle Routing Adaptive Ant Colony Algorithm in the Context of Neural Network Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaopei Chen

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Neural network models have recently made significant achievements in solving vehicle scheduling problems. Adaptive ant colony algorithm provides a new idea for neural networks to solve complex system problems of multiconstrained network intensive vehicle routing models. The pheromone in the path is changed by adjusting the volatile factors in the operation process adaptively. It effectively overcomes the tendency of the traditional ant colony algorithm to fall easily into the local optimal solution and slow convergence speed to search for the global optimal solution. The multiconstrained network intensive vehicle routing algorithm based on adaptive ant colony algorithm in this paper refers to the interaction between groups. Adaptive transfer and pheromone update strategies are introduced based on the traditional ant colony algorithm to optimize the selection, update, and coordination mechanisms of the algorithm further. Thus, the search task of the objective function for a feasible solution is completed by the search ants. Through the division and collaboration of different kinds of ants, pheromone adaptive strategy is combined with polymorphic ant colony algorithm. It can effectively overcome some disadvantages, such as premature stagnation, and has a theoretical significance to the study of large-scale multiconstrained vehicle routing problems in complex traffic network systems.

  7. Pupae transplantation to boost early colony growth in the weaver ant Oecophylla longinoda Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ouagoussounon, Issa; Sinzogan, Antonio; Offenberg, Joachim

    2013-01-01

    Oecophylla ants are currently used for biological control in fruit plantations in Australia, Asia and Africa and for protein production in Asia. To further improve the technology and implement it on a large scale, effective and fast production of live colonies is desirable. Early colony developme...

  8. Optimum Design of Power System Stabilizer based on Improved Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruba AL-MulaHumadi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an improved technique on Ant Colony Optimization (ACO algorithm. The procedure is applied on Single Machine with Infinite Bus (SMIB system with power system stabilizer (PSS at three different loading regimes. The simulations are made by using MATLAB software. The results show that by using Improved Ant Colony Optimization (IACO the system will give better performance with less number of iterations as it compared with a previous modification on ACO. In addition, the probability of selecting the arc depends on the best ant performance and the evaporation rate.

  9. Collective Intelligence for Optimal Power Flow Solution Using Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boumediène ALLAOUA

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the performance ant collective intelligence efficiency for electrical network. Solutions for Optimal Power Flow (OPF problem of a power system deliberate via an ant colony optimization metaheuristic method. The objective is to minimize the total fuel cost of thermal generating units and also conserve an acceptable system performance in terms of limits on generator real and reactive power outputs, bus voltages, shunt capacitors/reactors, transformers tap-setting and power flow of transmission lines. Simulation results on the IEEE 30-bus electrical network show that the ant colony optimization method converges quickly to the global optimum.

  10. Extreme queen-mating frequency and colony fission in African army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Schoning, Caspar; Pedersen, Jes S

    2004-01-01

    Army ants have long been suspected to represent an independent origin of multiple queen-mating in the social Hymenoptera. Using microsatellite markers, we show that queens of the African army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus have the highest absolute (17.3) and effective (17.5) queen......-mating frequencies reported so far for ants. This confirms that obligate multiple queen-mating in social insects is associated with large colony size and advanced social organization, but also raises several novel questions. First, these high estimates place army ants in the range of mating frequencies of honeybees......, which have so far been regarded as odd exceptions within the social Hymenoptera. Army ants and honeybees are fundamentally different in morphology and life history, but are the only social insects known that combine obligate multiple mating with reproduction by colony fission and extremely male...

  11. Research of Ant Colony Optimized Adaptive Control Strategy for Hybrid Electric Vehicle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linhui Li

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Energy management control strategy of hybrid electric vehicle has a great influence on the vehicle fuel consumption with electric motors adding to the traditional vehicle power system. As vehicle real driving cycles seem to be uncertain, the dynamic driving cycles will have an impact on control strategy’s energy-saving effect. In order to better adapt the dynamic driving cycles, control strategy should have the ability to recognize the real-time driving cycle and adaptively adjust to the corresponding off-line optimal control parameters. In this paper, four types of representative driving cycles are constructed based on the actual vehicle operating data, and a fuzzy driving cycle recognition algorithm is proposed for online recognizing the type of actual driving cycle. Then, based on the equivalent fuel consumption minimization strategy, an ant colony optimization algorithm is utilized to search the optimal control parameters “charge and discharge equivalent factors” for each type of representative driving cycle. At last, the simulation experiments are conducted to verify the accuracy of the proposed fuzzy recognition algorithm and the validity of the designed control strategy optimization method.

  12. The Role of Non-Foraging Nests in Polydomous Wood Ant Colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Samuel; Robinson, Elva J H

    2015-01-01

    A colony of red wood ants can inhabit more than one spatially separated nest, in a strategy called polydomy. Some nests within these polydomous colonies have no foraging trails to aphid colonies in the canopy. In this study we identify and investigate the possible roles of non-foraging nests in polydomous colonies of the wood ant Formica lugubris. To investigate the role of non-foraging nests we: (i) monitored colonies for three years; (ii) observed the resources being transported between non-foraging nests and the rest of the colony; (iii) measured the amount of extra-nest activity around non-foraging and foraging nests. We used these datasets to investigate the extent to which non-foraging nests within polydomous colonies are acting as: part of the colony expansion process; hunting and scavenging specialists; brood-development specialists; seasonal foragers; or a selfish strategy exploiting the foraging effort of the rest of the colony. We found that, rather than having a specialised role, non-foraging nests are part of the process of colony expansion. Polydomous colonies expand by founding new nests in the area surrounding the existing nests. Nests founded near food begin foraging and become part of the colony; other nests are not founded near food sources and do not initially forage. Some of these non-foraging nests eventually begin foraging; others do not and are abandoned. This is a method of colony growth not available to colonies inhabiting a single nest, and may be an important advantage of the polydomous nesting strategy, allowing the colony to expand into profitable areas.

  13. Optimizing Robinson Operator with Ant Colony Optimization As a Digital Image Edge Detection Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanti Nasution, Tarida; Zarlis, Muhammad; K. M Nasution, Mahyuddin

    2017-12-01

    Edge detection serves to identify the boundaries of an object against a background of mutual overlap. One of the classic method for edge detection is operator Robinson. Operator Robinson produces a thin, not assertive and grey line edge. To overcome these deficiencies, the proposed improvements to edge detection method with the approach graph with Ant Colony Optimization algorithm. The repairs may be performed are thicken the edge and connect the edges cut off. Edge detection research aims to do optimization of operator Robinson with Ant Colony Optimization then compare the output and generated the inferred extent of Ant Colony Optimization can improve result of edge detection that has not been optimized and improve the accuracy of the results of Robinson edge detection. The parameters used in performance measurement of edge detection are morphology of the resulting edge line, MSE and PSNR. The result showed that Robinson and Ant Colony Optimization method produces images with a more assertive and thick edge. Ant Colony Optimization method is able to be used as a method for optimizing operator Robinson by improving the image result of Robinson detection average 16.77 % than classic Robinson result.

  14. Blochmannia endosymbionts improve colony growth and immune defence in the ant Camponotus fellah

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Depoix Delphine

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microorganisms are a large and diverse form of life. Many of them live in association with large multicellular organisms, developing symbiotic relations with the host and some have even evolved to form obligate endosymbiosis 1. All Carpenter ants (genus Camponotus studied hitherto harbour primary endosymbiotic bacteria of the Blochmannia genus. The role of these bacteria in ant nutrition has been demonstrated 2 but the omnivorous diet of these ants lead us to hypothesize that the bacteria might provide additional advantages to their host. In this study, we establish links between Blochmannia, growth of starting new colonies and the host immune response. Results We manipulated the number of bacterial endosymbionts in incipient laboratory-reared colonies of Camponotus fellah by administrating doses of an antibiotic (Rifampin mixed in honey-solution. Efficiency of the treatment was estimated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH, using Blochmannia specific primers (qPCR and two fluorescent probes (one for all Eubacterial and other specific for Blochmannia. Very few or no bacteria could be detected in treated ants. Incipient Rifampin treated colonies had significantly lower numbers of brood and adult workers than control colonies. The immune response of ants from control and treated colonies was estimated by inserting nylon filaments in the gaster and removing it after 24 h. In the control colonies, the encapsulation response was positively correlated to the bacterial amount, while no correlation was observed in treated colonies. Indeed, antibiotic treatment increased the encapsulation response of the workers, probably due to stress conditions. Conclusion The increased growth rate observed in non-treated colonies confirms the importance of Blochmannia in this phase of colony development. This would provide an important selective advantage during colony founding, where the colonies

  15. Dose response of red imported fire ant colonies to Solenopsis invicta virus 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valles, Steven M; Porter, Sanford D

    2015-10-01

    Baiting tests were conducted to evaluate the effect of increasing Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3) dose on fire ant colonies. Actively growing early-stage fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) laboratory colonies were pulse-exposed for 24 hours to six concentrations of SINV-3 (10(1), 10(3), 10(5), 10(7), 10(9) genome equivalents/μl) in 1 ml of a 10 % sucrose bait and monitored regularly for two months. SINV-3 concentration had a significant effect on colony health. Brood rating (proportion of brood to worker ants) began to depart from the control group at 19 days for the 10(9) concentration and 26 days for the 10(7) concentration. At 60 days, brood rating was significantly lower among colonies treated with 10(9), 10(7), and 10(5) SINV-3 concentrations. The intermediate concentration, 10(5), appeared to cause a chronic, low-level infection with one colony (n = 9) supporting virus replication. Newly synthesized virus was not detected in any fire ant colonies treated at the 10(1) concentration, indicating that active infections failed to be established at this level of exposure. The highest bait concentration chosen, 10(9), appeared most effective from a control aspect; mean colony brood rating at this concentration (1.1 ± 0.9 at the 60 day time point) indicated poor colony health with minimal brood production. No clear relationship was observed between the quantity of plus genome strand detected and brood rating. Conversely, there was a strong relationship between the presence of the replicative genome strand and declining brood rating, which may serve as a predictor of disease severity. Recommendations for field treatment levels to control fire ants with SINV-3 are discussed.

  16. Fidelity-Based Ant Colony Algorithm with Q-learning of Quantum System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Qin; Guo, Ying; Tu, Yifeng; Zhang, Hang

    2018-03-01

    Quantum ant colony algorithm (ACA) has potential applications in quantum information processing, such as solutions of traveling salesman problem, zero-one knapsack problem, robot route planning problem, and so on. To shorten the search time of the ACA, we suggest the fidelity-based ant colony algorithm (FACA) for the control of quantum system. Motivated by structure of the Q-learning algorithm, we demonstrate the combination of a FACA with the Q-learning algorithm and suggest the design of a fidelity-based ant colony algorithm with the Q-learning to improve the performance of the FACA in a spin-1/2 quantum system. The numeric simulation results show that the FACA with the Q-learning can efficiently avoid trapping into local optimal policies and increase the speed of convergence process of quantum system.

  17. Three-dimensional Path Planning for Underwater Vehicles Based on an Improved Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.Yang

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Three-dimensional path planning for underwater vehicles is an important problem that focuses on optimizing the route with consideration of various constraints in a complex underwater environment. In this paper, an improved ant colony optimization (IACO algorithm based on pheromone exclusion is proposed to solve the underwater vehicle 3D path planning problem. The IACO algorithm can balance the tasks of exploration and development in the ant search path, and enable the ants in the search process to explore initially and develop subsequently. Then, the underwater vehicle can find the safe path by connecting the chosen nodes of the 3D mesh while avoiding the threat area. This new approach can overcome common disadvantages of the basic ant colony algorithm, such as falling into local extremum, poor quality, and low accuracy. Experimental comparative results demonstrate that this proposed IACO method is more effective and feasible in underwater vehicle 3D path planning than the basic ACO model.

  18. Social context predicts recognition systems in ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dreier, Stéphanie Agnès Jeanine; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    for dominance are costly; but it would not evolve in absence of hierarchies. We previously showed that Pachycondyla co-founding queens, which form dominance hierarchies, have accurate individual recognition based on chemical cues. Here, we used the ant Lasius niger to test the null hypothesis that individual...... recognition does not occur when co-founding queens do not establish dominance hierarchies. Indeed, L. niger queens show a similar level of aggression towards both co-foundresses and intruders, indicating that they are unable of individual recognition, contrary to Pachycondyla. Additionally, the variation...... in chemical profiles of Lasius and Pachycondyla queens is comparable, thus informational constraints are unlikely to apply. We conclude that selection pressure from the social context is of crucial significance for the sophistication of recognition systems....

  19. The relationship between canopy cover and colony size of the wood ant Formica lugubris--implications for the thermal effects on a keystone ant species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi-Huei Chen

    Full Text Available Climate change may affect ecosystems and biodiversity through the impacts of rising temperature on species' body size. In terms of physiology and genetics, the colony is the unit of selection for ants so colony size can be considered the body size of a colony. For polydomous ant species, a colony is spread across several nests. This study aims to clarify how climate change may influence an ecologically significant ant species group by investigating thermal effects on wood ant colony size. The strong link between canopy cover and the local temperatures of wood ant's nesting location provides a feasible approach for our study. Our results showed that nests were larger in shadier areas where the thermal environment was colder and more stable compared to open areas. Colonies (sum of nests in a polydomous colony also tended to be larger in shadier areas than in open areas. In addition to temperature, our results supported that food resource availability may be an additional factor mediating the relationship between canopy cover and nest size. The effects of canopy cover on total colony size may act at the nest level because of the positive relationship between total colony size and mean nest size, rather than at the colony level due to lack of link between canopy cover and number of nests per colony. Causal relationships between the environment and the life-history characteristics may suggest possible future impacts of climate change on these species.

  20. The relationship between canopy cover and colony size of the wood ant Formica lugubris--implications for the thermal effects on a keystone ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi-Huei; Robinson, Elva J H

    2014-01-01

    Climate change may affect ecosystems and biodiversity through the impacts of rising temperature on species' body size. In terms of physiology and genetics, the colony is the unit of selection for ants so colony size can be considered the body size of a colony. For polydomous ant species, a colony is spread across several nests. This study aims to clarify how climate change may influence an ecologically significant ant species group by investigating thermal effects on wood ant colony size. The strong link between canopy cover and the local temperatures of wood ant's nesting location provides a feasible approach for our study. Our results showed that nests were larger in shadier areas where the thermal environment was colder and more stable compared to open areas. Colonies (sum of nests in a polydomous colony) also tended to be larger in shadier areas than in open areas. In addition to temperature, our results supported that food resource availability may be an additional factor mediating the relationship between canopy cover and nest size. The effects of canopy cover on total colony size may act at the nest level because of the positive relationship between total colony size and mean nest size, rather than at the colony level due to lack of link between canopy cover and number of nests per colony. Causal relationships between the environment and the life-history characteristics may suggest possible future impacts of climate change on these species.

  1. Mechanisms of social regulation change across colony development in an ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Dani; Liebig, Jürgen

    2010-10-27

    Mutual policing is an important mechanism for reducing conflict in cooperative groups. In societies of ants, bees, and wasps, mutual policing of worker reproduction can evolve when workers are more closely related to the queen's sons than to the sons of workers or when the costs of worker reproduction lower the inclusive fitness of workers. During colony growth, relatedness within the colony remains the same, but the costs of worker reproduction may change. The costs of worker reproduction are predicted to be greatest in incipient colonies. If the costs associated with worker reproduction outweigh the individual direct benefits to workers, policing mechanisms as found in larger colonies may be absent in incipient colonies. We investigated policing behaviour across colony growth in the ant Camponotus floridanus. In large colonies of this species, worker reproduction is policed by the destruction of worker-laid eggs. We found workers from incipient colonies do not exhibit policing behaviour, and instead tolerate all conspecific eggs. The change in policing behaviour is consistent with changes in egg surface hydrocarbons, which provide the informational basis for policing; eggs laid by queens from incipient colonies lack the characteristic hydrocarbons on the surface of eggs laid by queens from large colonies, making them chemically indistinguishable from worker-laid eggs. We also tested the response to fertility information in the context of queen tolerance. Workers from incipient colonies attacked foreign queens from large colonies; whereas workers from large colonies tolerated such queens. Workers from both incipient and large colonies attacked foreign queens from incipient colonies. Our results provide novel insights into the regulation of worker reproduction in social insects at both the proximate and ultimate levels. At the proximate level, our results show that mechanisms of social regulation, such as the response to fertility signals, change dramatically over

  2. Mechanisms of social regulation change across colony development in an ant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liebig Jürgen

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mutual policing is an important mechanism for reducing conflict in cooperative groups. In societies of ants, bees, and wasps, mutual policing of worker reproduction can evolve when workers are more closely related to the queen's sons than to the sons of workers or when the costs of worker reproduction lower the inclusive fitness of workers. During colony growth, relatedness within the colony remains the same, but the costs of worker reproduction may change. The costs of worker reproduction are predicted to be greatest in incipient colonies. If the costs associated with worker reproduction outweigh the individual direct benefits to workers, policing mechanisms as found in larger colonies may be absent in incipient colonies. Results We investigated policing behaviour across colony growth in the ant Camponotus floridanus. In large colonies of this species, worker reproduction is policed by the destruction of worker-laid eggs. We found workers from incipient colonies do not exhibit policing behaviour, and instead tolerate all conspecific eggs. The change in policing behaviour is consistent with changes in egg surface hydrocarbons, which provide the informational basis for policing; eggs laid by queens from incipient colonies lack the characteristic hydrocarbons on the surface of eggs laid by queens from large colonies, making them chemically indistinguishable from worker-laid eggs. We also tested the response to fertility information in the context of queen tolerance. Workers from incipient colonies attacked foreign queens from large colonies; whereas workers from large colonies tolerated such queens. Workers from both incipient and large colonies attacked foreign queens from incipient colonies. Conclusions Our results provide novel insights into the regulation of worker reproduction in social insects at both the proximate and ultimate levels. At the proximate level, our results show that mechanisms of social regulation, such as

  3. An ant colony based resilience approach to cascading failures in cluster supply network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yingcong; Xiao, Renbin

    2016-11-01

    Cluster supply chain network is a typical complex network and easily suffers cascading failures under disruption events, which is caused by the under-load of enterprises. Improving network resilience can increase the ability of recovery from cascading failures. Social resilience is found in ant colony and comes from ant's spatial fidelity zones (SFZ). Starting from the under-load failures, this paper proposes a resilience method to cascading failures in cluster supply chain network by leveraging on social resilience of ant colony. First, the mapping between ant colony SFZ and cluster supply chain network SFZ is presented. Second, a new cascading model for cluster supply chain network is constructed based on under-load failures. Then, the SFZ-based resilience method and index to cascading failures are developed according to ant colony's social resilience. Finally, a numerical simulation and a case study are used to verify the validity of the cascading model and the resilience method. Experimental results show that, the cluster supply chain network becomes resilient to cascading failures under the SFZ-based resilience method, and the cluster supply chain network resilience can be enhanced by improving the ability of enterprises to recover and adjust.

  4. Host specificity and colony impacts of the fire ant pathogen, Solenopsis invicta virus 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Sanford D; Valles, Steven M; Oi, David H

    2013-09-01

    An understanding of host specificity is essential before pathogens can be used as biopesticides or self-sustaining biocontrol agents. In order to define the host range of the recently discovered Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3), we exposed laboratory colonies of 19 species of ants in 14 genera and 4 subfamilies to this virus. Despite extreme exposure during these tests, active, replicating infections only occurred in Solenopsis invicta Buren and hybrid (S. invicta×S. richteri) fire ant colonies. The lack of infections in test Solenopsis geminata fire ants from the United States indicates that SINV-3 is restricted to the saevissima complex of South American fire ants, especially since replicating virus was also found in several field-collected samples of the black imported fire ant, Solenopsis richteri Forel. S. invicta colonies infected with SINV-3 declined dramatically with average brood reductions of 85% or more while colonies of other species exposed to virus remained uninfected and healthy. The combination of high virulence and high host specificity suggest that SINV-3 has the potential for use as either a biopesticide or a self-sustaining biocontrol agent. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Scalable Clustering of High-Dimensional Data Technique Using SPCM with Ant Colony Optimization Intelligence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thenmozhi Srinivasan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Clusters of high-dimensional data techniques are emerging, according to data noisy and poor quality challenges. This paper has been developed to cluster data using high-dimensional similarity based PCM (SPCM, with ant colony optimization intelligence which is effective in clustering nonspatial data without getting knowledge about cluster number from the user. The PCM becomes similarity based by using mountain method with it. Though this is efficient clustering, it is checked for optimization using ant colony algorithm with swarm intelligence. Thus the scalable clustering technique is obtained and the evaluation results are checked with synthetic datasets.

  6. Single Allocation Hub-and-spoke Networks Design Based on Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Pingle

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Capacitated single allocation hub-and-spoke networks can be abstracted as a mixed integer linear programming model equation with three variables. Introducing an improved ant colony algorithm, which has six local search operators. Meanwhile, introducing the "Solution Pair" concept to decompose and optimize the composition of the problem, the problem can become more specific and effectively meet the premise and advantages of using ant colony algorithm. Finally, location simulation experiment is made according to Australia Post data to demonstrate this algorithm has good efficiency and stability for solving this problem.

  7. External immunity in ant societies: sociality and colony size do not predict investment in antimicrobials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halawani, Omar; Pearson, Bria; Mathews, Stephanie; López-Uribe, Margarita M.; Dunn, Robert R.; Smith, Adrian A.

    2018-01-01

    Social insects live in dense groups with a high probability of disease transmission and have therefore faced strong pressures to develop defences against pathogens. For this reason, social insects have been hypothesized to invest in antimicrobial secretions as a mechanism of external immunity to prevent the spread of disease. However, empirical studies linking the evolution of sociality with increased investment in antimicrobials have been relatively few. Here we quantify the strength of antimicrobial secretions among 20 ant species that cover a broad spectrum of ant diversity and colony sizes. We extracted external compounds from ant workers to test whether they inhibited the growth of the bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis. Because all ant species are highly social, we predicted that all species would exhibit some antimicrobial activity and that species that form the largest colonies would exhibit the strongest antimicrobial response. Our comparative approach revealed that strong surface antimicrobials are common to particular ant clades, but 40% of species exhibited no antimicrobial activity at all. We also found no correlation between antimicrobial activity and colony size. Rather than relying on antimicrobial secretions as external immunity to control pathogen spread, many ant species have probably developed alternative strategies to defend against disease pressure. PMID:29515850

  8. Ant Colony Optimization ACO For The Traveling Salesman Problem TSP Using Partitioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alok Bajpai

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract An ant colony optimization is a technique which was introduced in 1990s and which can be applied to a variety of discrete combinatorial optimization problem and to continuous optimization. The ACO algorithm is simulated with the foraging behavior of the real ants to find the incremental solution constructions and to realize a pheromone laying-and-following mechanism. This pheromone is the indirect communication among the ants. In this paper we introduces the partitioning technique based on the divide and conquer strategy for the traveling salesman problem which is one of the most important combinatorial problem in which the original problem is partitioned into the group of sub problems. And then we apply the ant colony algorithm using candidate list strategy for each smaller sub problems. After that by applying the local optimization and combining the sub problems to find the good solution for the original problem by improving the exploration efficiency of the ants. At the end of this paper we have also be presented the comparison of result with the normal ant colony system for finding the optimal solution to the traveling salesman problem.

  9. Facultative slave-making ants Formica sanguinea label their slaves with own recognition cues instead of employing the strategy of chemical mimicry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Włodarczyk, Tomasz; Szczepaniak, Lech

    2017-01-01

    Slave-making ant species use the host workforce to ensure normal colony functioning. Slaves are robbed as pupae from their natal nest and after eclosion, assume the parasite colony as their own. A possible factor promoting the successful integration of slaves into a foreign colony is congruence with the slave-makers in terms of cuticular hydrocarbons, which are known to play the role of recognition cues in social insects. Such an adaptation is observed in the obligate slave-making ant species, which are chemically adjusted to their slaves. To date, however, no reports have been available on facultative slave-making species, which represent an earlier stage of the evolution of slavery. Such an example is Formica sanguinea, which exploit F. fusca colonies as their main source of a slave workforce. Our results show that F. sanguinea ants have a distinct cuticular hydrocarbon profile, which contains compounds not present in free-living F. fusca ants from potential target nests. Moreover, enslaved F. fusca ants acquire hydrocarbons from their slave-making nestmates to such an extent that they become chemically differentiated from free-living, conspecific ants. Our study shows that F. sanguinea ants promote their own recognition cues in their slaves, rather than employing the strategy of chemical mimicry. Possible reasons why F. sanguinea is not chemically well adjusted to its main host species are discussed in this paper. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Arboreal Ant Colonies as ‘Hot-Points’ of Cryptic Diversity for Myrmecophiles: The Weaver Ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor and Its Interaction Network with Its Associates

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biod...

  11. Arthropods Associate with their Red Wood ant Host without Matching Nestmate Recognition Cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmentier, Thomas; Dekoninck, Wouter; Wenseleers, Tom

    2017-07-01

    Social insect colonies provide a valuable resource that attracts and offers shelter to a large community of arthropods. Previous research has suggested that many specialist parasites of social insects chemically mimic their host in order to evade aggression. In the present study, we carry out a systematic study to test how common such chemical deception is across a group of 22 arthropods that are associated with red wood ants (Formica rufa group). In contrast to the examples of chemical mimicry documented in some highly specialized parasites in previous studies, we find that most of the rather unspecialized red wood ant associates surveyed did not use mimicry of the cuticular hydrocarbon recognition cues to evade host detection. Instead, we found that myrmecophiles with lower cuticular hydrocarbon concentrations provoked less host aggression. Therefore, some myrmecophiles with low hydrocarbon concentrations appear to evade host detection via a strategy known as chemical insignificance. Others showed no chemical disguise at all and, instead, relied on behavioral adaptations such as particular defense or evasion tactics, in order to evade host aggression. Overall, this study indicates that unspecialized myrmecophiles do not require the matching of host recognition cues and advanced strategies of chemical mimicry, but can integrate in a hostile ant nest via either chemical insignificance or specific behavioral adaptations.

  12. Social prophylaxis: group interaction promotes collective immunity in ant colonies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ugelvig, Line V; Cremer, Sylvia

    2007-01-01

    , infection of the brood was prevented in our experiment by behavioral changes of treated and naive workers. Parasite-treated ants stayed away from the brood chamber, whereas their naive nestmates increased brood-care activities. Our findings reveal a direct benefit for individuals to perform hygienic......Life in a social group increases the risk of disease transmission. To counteract this threat, social insects have evolved manifold antiparasite defenses, ranging from social exclusion of infected group members to intensive care. It is generally assumed that individuals performing hygienic behaviors...... risk infecting themselves, suggesting a high direct cost of helping. Our work instead indicates the opposite for garden ants. Social contact with individual workers, which were experimentally exposed to a fungal parasite, provided a clear survival benefit to nontreated, naive group members upon later...

  13. Influence of toxic bait type and starvation on worker and queen mortality in laboratory colonies of Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathieson, Melissa; Toft, Richard; Lester, Philip J

    2012-08-01

    The efficacy of toxic baits should be judged by their ability to kill entire ant colonies, including the colony queen or queens. We studied the efficacy of four toxic baits to the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). These baits were Xstinguish that has the toxicant fipronil, Exterm-an-Ant that contains both boric acid and sodium borate, and Advion ant gel and Advion ant bait arena that both have indoxacarb. Experimental nests contained 300 workers and 10 queen ants that were starved for either 24 or 48 h before toxic bait exposure. The efficacy of the toxic baits was strongly influenced by starvation. In no treatment with 24-h starvation did we observe 100% worker death. After 24-h starvation three of the baits did not result in any queen deaths, with only Exterm-an-Ant producing an average of 25% mortality. In contrast, 100% queen and worker mortality was observed in colonies starved for 48 h and given Xstinguish or Exterm-an-Ant. The baits Advion ant gel and Advion ant bait arena were not effective against Argentine ants in these trials, resulting in ants are likely to be starved. Our results suggest queen mortality must be assessed in tests for toxic bait efficacy. Our data indicate that of these four baits, Xstinguish and Exterm-an-Ant are the best options for control of Argentine ants in New Zealand.

  14. Ant Colony Optimization Analysis on Overall Stability of High Arch Dam Basis of Field Monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Lin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A dam ant colony optimization (D-ACO analysis of the overall stability of high arch dams on complicated foundations is presented in this paper. A modified ant colony optimization (ACO model is proposed for obtaining dam concrete and rock mechanical parameters. A typical dam parameter feedback problem is proposed for nonlinear back-analysis numerical model based on field monitoring deformation and ACO. The basic principle of the proposed model is the establishment of the objective function of optimizing real concrete and rock mechanical parameter. The feedback analysis is then implemented with a modified ant colony algorithm. The algorithm performance is satisfactory, and the accuracy is verified. The m groups of feedback parameters, used to run a nonlinear FEM code, and the displacement and stress distribution are discussed. A feedback analysis of the deformation of the Lijiaxia arch dam and based on the modified ant colony optimization method is also conducted. By considering various material parameters obtained using different analysis methods, comparative analyses were conducted on dam displacements, stress distribution characteristics, and overall dam stability. The comparison results show that the proposal model can effectively solve for feedback multiple parameters of dam concrete and rock material and basically satisfy assessment requirements for geotechnical structural engineering discipline.

  15. Runtime analysis of ant colony optimization on dynamic shortest path problems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lissovoi, Andrei; Witt, Carsten

    2013-01-01

    A simple ACO algorithm called λ-MMAS for dynamic variants of the single-destination shortest paths problem is studied by rigorous runtime analyses. Building upon previous results for the special case of 1-MMAS, it is studied to what extent an enlarged colony using $\\lambda$ ants per vertex helps ...

  16. Runtime analysis of ant colony optimization on dynamic shortest path problems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lissovoi, Andrei; Witt, Carsten

    2015-01-01

    A simple ACO algorithm called lambda-MMAS for dynamic variants of the single-destination shortest paths problem is studied by rigorous runtime analyses. Building upon previous results for the special case of 1-MMAS, it is studied to what extent an enlarged colony using lambda ants per vertex help...

  17. Multi-view 3D scene reconstruction using ant colony optimization techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chrysostomou, Dimitrios; Gasteratos, Antonios; Nalpantidis, Lazaros; Sirakoulis, Georgios C

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a new method performing high-quality 3D object reconstruction of complex shapes derived from multiple, calibrated photographs of the same scene. The novelty of this research is found in two basic elements, namely: (i) a novel voxel dissimilarity measure, which accommodates the elimination of the lighting variations of the models and (ii) the use of an ant colony approach for further refinement of the final 3D models. The proposed reconstruction procedure employs a volumetric method based on a novel projection test for the production of a visual hull. While the presented algorithm shares certain aspects with the space carving algorithm, it is, nevertheless, first enhanced with the lightness compensating image comparison method, and then refined using ant colony optimization. The algorithm is fast, computationally simple and results in accurate representations of the input scenes. In addition, compared to previous publications, the particular nature of the proposed algorithm allows accurate 3D volumetric measurements under demanding lighting environmental conditions, due to the fact that it can cope with uneven light scenes, resulting from the characteristics of the voxel dissimilarity measure applied. Besides, the intelligent behavior of the ant colony framework provides the opportunity to formulate the process as a combinatorial optimization problem, which can then be solved by means of a colony of cooperating artificial ants, resulting in very promising results. The method is validated with several real datasets, along with qualitative comparisons with other state-of-the-art 3D reconstruction techniques, following the Middlebury benchmark. (paper)

  18. Statistical Performance Analysis of an Ant-Colony Optimisation Application in S-Net

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MacKenzie, K.; Hölzenspies, P.K.F.; Hammond, K.; Kirner, R.; Nguyen, V.T.N.; te Boekhorst, R.; Grelck, C.; Poss, R.; Verstraaten, M.; Grelck, C.; Hammond, K.; Scholz, S.B.

    2013-01-01

    We consider an ant-colony optimsation problem implemented on a multicore system as a collection of asynchronous streamprocessing components under the control of the S-NET coordination language. Statistical analysis and visualisation techniques are used to study the behaviour of the application, and

  19. Sociogenomics of cooperation and conflict during colony foundation in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

    Science.gov (United States)

    The genomic state of an individual results from the interplay between its internal condition and the external environment, which may include the social environment. The link between genes and social environment is clearly visible during the process of colony founding in the fire ant Solenopsis invic...

  20. Colony growth of two species of Solenopsis fire ants(Hymenoptera: Formicidae) reared with crickets and beef liver

    Science.gov (United States)

    Most diets for rearing fire ants and other ants contain insects such as crickets or mealworms. Unfortunately, insect diets are expensive, especially for large rearing operations, and are not always easily available. This study was designed to examine colony growth of Solenopsis fire ants on beef liv...

  1. Ant Colony Algorithm and Simulation for Robust Airport Gate Assignment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Zhao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Airport gate assignment is core task for airport ground operations. Due to the fact that the departure and arrival time of flights may be influenced by many random factors, the airport gate assignment scheme may encounter gate conflict and many other problems. This paper aims at finding a robust solution for airport gate assignment problem. A mixed integer model is proposed to formulate the problem, and colony algorithm is designed to solve this model. Simulation result shows that, in consideration of robustness, the ability of antidisturbance for airport gate assignment scheme has much improved.

  2. Utilisation of multiple queens and pupae transplantation to boost early colony growth of weaver ants Oecophylla smaragdina

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peng, Renkang; Nielsen, Mogens Gissel; Offenberg, Joachim

    2013-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina Fabricius) have been increasingly used as biocontrol agents of insect pests and as insect protein for human food and animals. For either of these purposes, mature ant colonies are essential. However, for a newly established colony to develop to a suitable mature...... donor colony was conducted in 2010 at Darwin, Australia. The survival rates of the imago workers from transplanted pupae ranged between 73 - 97%, suggesting that queens in incipient colonies accepted foreign pupae. Colony size was positively related to the number of founding queens. Compared...

  3. Variation in Butterfly Larval Acoustics as a Strategy to Infiltrate and Exploit Host Ant Colony Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Marco; Casacci, Luca Pietro; Balletto, Emilio; Bonelli, Simona; Barbero, Francesca

    2014-01-01

    About 10,000 arthropods live as ants' social parasites and have evolved a number of mechanisms allowing them to penetrate and survive inside the ant nests. Many of them can intercept and manipulate their host communication systems. This is particularly important for butterflies of the genus Maculinea, which spend the majority of their lifecycle inside Myrmica ant nests. Once in the colony, caterpillars of Maculinea “predatory species” directly feed on the ant larvae, while those of “cuckoo species” are fed primarily by attendance workers, by trophallaxis. It has been shown that Maculinea cuckoo larvae are able to reach a higher social status within the colony's hierarchy by mimicking the acoustic signals of their host queen ants. In this research we tested if, when and how myrmecophilous butterflies may change sound emissions depending on their integration level and on stages of their life cycle. We studied how a Maculinea predatory species (M. teleius) can acoustically interact with their host ants and highlighted differences with respect to a cuckoo species (M. alcon). We recorded sounds emitted by Maculinea larvae as well as by their Myrmica hosts, and performed playback experiments to assess the parasites' capacity to interfere with the host acoustic communication system. We found that, although varying between and within butterfly species, the larval acoustic emissions are more similar to queens' than to workers' stridulations. Nevertheless playback experiments showed that ant workers responded most strongly to the sounds emitted by the integrated (i.e. post-adoption) larvae of the cuckoo species, as well as by those of predatory species recorded before any contact with the host ants (i.e. in pre-adoption), thereby revealing the role of acoustic signals both in parasite integration and in adoption rituals. We discuss our findings in the broader context of parasite adaptations, comparing effects of acoustical and chemical mimicry. PMID:24718496

  4. Ant-cuckoo colony optimization for feature selection in digital mammogram.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jona, J B; Nagaveni, N

    2014-01-15

    Digital mammogram is the only effective screening method to detect the breast cancer. Gray Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM) textural features are extracted from the mammogram. All the features are not essential to detect the mammogram. Therefore identifying the relevant feature is the aim of this work. Feature selection improves the classification rate and accuracy of any classifier. In this study, a new hybrid metaheuristic named Ant-Cuckoo Colony Optimization a hybrid of Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) and Cuckoo Search (CS) is proposed for feature selection in Digital Mammogram. ACO is a good metaheuristic optimization technique but the drawback of this algorithm is that the ant will walk through the path where the pheromone density is high which makes the whole process slow hence CS is employed to carry out the local search of ACO. Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier with Radial Basis Kernal Function (RBF) is done along with the ACO to classify the normal mammogram from the abnormal mammogram. Experiments are conducted in miniMIAS database. The performance of the new hybrid algorithm is compared with the ACO and PSO algorithm. The results show that the hybrid Ant-Cuckoo Colony Optimization algorithm is more accurate than the other techniques.

  5. A colony-level response to disease control in a leaf-cutting ant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Adam; Bot, A. N. M.; Brown, Mark

    2002-03-01

    Parasites and pathogens often impose significant costs on their hosts. This is particularly true for social organisms, where the genetic structure of groups and the accumulation of contaminated waste facilitate disease transmission. In response, hosts have evolved many mechanisms of defence against parasites. Here we present evidence that Atta colombica, a leaf-cutting ant, may combat Escovopsis, a dangerous parasite of Atta's garden fungus, through a colony-level behavioural response. In A. colombica, garden waste is removed from within the colony and transported to the midden - an external waste dump - where it is processed by a group of midden workers. We found that colonies infected with Escovopsis have higher numbers of workers on the midden, where Escovopsis is deposited. Further, midden workers are highly effective in dispersing newly deposited waste away from the dumping site. Thus, the colony-level task allocation strategies of the Atta superorganism may change in response to the threat of disease to a third, essential party.

  6. Stable isotope enrichment in laboratory ant colonies: effects of colony age, metamorphosis, diet, and fat storage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecologists use stable isotopes to infer diets and trophic levels of animals in food webs, yet some assumptions underlying these inferences have not been thoroughly tested. We used laboratory-reared colonies of Solenopsis invicta Buren (Formicidae: Solenopsidini) to test the effects of metamorphosis,...

  7. Clarifying Cutting and Sewing Processes with Due Windows Using an Effective Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rong-Hwa Huang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The cutting and sewing process is a traditional flow shop scheduling problem in the real world. This two-stage flexible flow shop is often commonly associated with manufacturing in the fashion and textiles industry. Many investigations have demonstrated that the ant colony optimization (ACO algorithm is effective and efficient for solving scheduling problems. This work applies a novel effective ant colony optimization (EACO algorithm to solve two-stage flexible flow shop scheduling problems and thereby minimize earliness, tardiness, and makespan. Computational results reveal that for both small and large problems, EACO is more effective and robust than both the particle swarm optimization (PSO algorithm and the ACO algorithm. Importantly, this work demonstrates that EACO can solve complex scheduling problems in an acceptable period of time.

  8. Image Watermarking Algorithm Based on Multiobjective Ant Colony Optimization and Singular Value Decomposition in Wavelet Domain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaled Loukhaoukha

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a new optimal watermarking scheme based on discrete wavelet transform (DWT and singular value decomposition (SVD using multiobjective ant colony optimization (MOACO. A binary watermark is decomposed using a singular value decomposition. Then, the singular values are embedded in a detailed subband of host image. The trade-off between watermark transparency and robustness is controlled by multiple scaling factors (MSFs instead of a single scaling factor (SSF. Determining the optimal values of the multiple scaling factors (MSFs is a difficult problem. However, a multiobjective ant colony optimization is used to determine these values. Experimental results show much improved performances of the proposed scheme in terms of transparency and robustness compared to other watermarking schemes. Furthermore, it does not suffer from the problem of high probability of false positive detection of the watermarks.

  9. Application of ant colony Algorithm and particle swarm optimization in architectural design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Ziyi; Wu, Yunfa; Song, Jianhua

    2018-02-01

    By studying the development of ant colony algorithm and particle swarm algorithm, this paper expounds the core idea of the algorithm, explores the combination of algorithm and architectural design, sums up the application rules of intelligent algorithm in architectural design, and combines the characteristics of the two algorithms, obtains the research route and realization way of intelligent algorithm in architecture design. To establish algorithm rules to assist architectural design. Taking intelligent algorithm as the beginning of architectural design research, the authors provide the theory foundation of ant colony Algorithm and particle swarm algorithm in architectural design, popularize the application range of intelligent algorithm in architectural design, and provide a new idea for the architects.

  10. Improved ant Colony Optimization for Virtual Teams Building in Collaborative Process Planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yingying Su

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Virtual teams have been adopted by organizations to gain competitive advantages in this global economy. Virtual teams are a ubiquitous part of getting work done in almost every organization. For the purpose of building virtual teams in collaborative process planning, the method based on improved ant colony algorithm (IMACO was proposed. The concept of virtual team was illustrated and the necessity of building virtual teams in collaborative process planning was analyzed. The sub tasks with certain timing relationship were described and the model of building virtual teams in collaborative process planning was established, which was solved by improved ant colony algorithm. In this paper applications of the IMACO and ACO are compared and demonstrate that the use of the IMACO algorithm performs better. An example was studied to illustrate the effectiveness of the strategy.

  11. Multi-Robot Dynamic Task Allocation Using Modified Ant Colony System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhenzhen; Xia, Feng; Zhang, Xianchao

    This paper presents a dynamic task allocation algorithm for multiple robots to visit multiple targets. This algorithm is specifically designed for the environment where robots have dissimilar starting and ending locations. And the constraint of balancing the number of targets visited by each robot is considered. More importantly, this paper takes into account the dynamicity of multi-robot system and the obstacles in the environment. This problem is modeled as a constrained MTSP which can not be transformed to TSP and can not be solved by classical Ant Colony System (ACS). The Modified Ant Colony System (MACS) is presented to solve this problem and the unvisited targets are allocated to appropriate robots dynamically. The simulation results show that the output of the proposed algorithm can satisfy the constraints and dynamicity for the problem of multi-robot task allocation.

  12. Ant colony optimisation for scheduling of flexible job shop with multi-resources requirements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalinowski Krzysztof

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents application of ant colony optimisation algorithm for scheduling multi-resources operations in flexible job shop type of production systems. Operations that require the participation of two or more resources are common in industrial practice, when planning are subject not only machines, but also other additional resources (personnel, tools, etc.. Resource requirements of operation are indicated indirectly by resource groups. The most important parameters of the resource model and resource groups are also described. A basic assumptions for ant colony algorithm used for scheduling in the considered model with multiresources requirements of operations is discussed. The main result of the research is the schema of metaheuristic that enables searching best-score solutions in manufacturing systems satisfying presented constraints.

  13. A nuclear reactor core fuel reload optimization using Artificial-Ant-Colony Connective Networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lima, Alan M.M. de; Schirru, Roberto

    2005-01-01

    A Pressurized Water Reactor core must be reloaded every time the fuel burnup reaches a level when it is not possible to sustain nominal power operation. The nuclear core fuel reload optimization consists in finding a burned-up and fresh-fuel-assembly pattern that maximizes the number of full operational days. This problem is NP-hard, meaning that complexity grows exponentially with the number of fuel assemblies in the core. Besides that, the problem is non-linear and its search space is highly discontinual and multimodal. In this work a parallel computational system based on Ant Colony System (ACS) called Artificial-Ant-Colony Networks is introduced to solve the nuclear reactor core fuel reload optimization problem. ACS is a system based on artificial agents that uses the reinforcement learning technique and was originally developed to solve the Traveling Salesman Problem, which is conceptually similar to the nuclear fuel reload problem. (author)

  14. An element search ant colony technique for solving virtual machine placement problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srija, J.; Rani John, Rose; Kanaga, Grace Mary, Dr.

    2017-09-01

    The data centres in the cloud environment play a key role in providing infrastructure for ubiquitous computing, pervasive computing, mobile computing etc. This computing technique tries to utilize the available resources in order to provide services. Hence maintaining the resource utilization without wastage of power consumption has become a challenging task for the researchers. In this paper we propose the direct guidance ant colony system for effective mapping of virtual machines to the physical machine with maximal resource utilization and minimal power consumption. The proposed algorithm has been compared with the existing ant colony approach which is involved in solving virtual machine placement problem and thus the proposed algorithm proves to provide better result than the existing technique.

  15. The origin of the chemical profiles of fungal symbionts and their significance for nestmate recognition in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Poulsen, Michael; Hefetz, Abraham

    2007-01-01

    exist in the fungus-growing ants where the symbiotic fungus garden may be an independent source of recognition compounds. To investigate this hypothesis, we quantified the chemical profiles of the fungal symbionts of 18 sympatric colonies of Acromyrmex echinatior and Acromyrmex octospinosus...... and evaluated the quantitative variation of the 47 compounds in a multivariate analysis. Colony-specific chemical profiles of fungal symbionts were highly distinct and significantly different between the two ant species. We also estimated the relative genetic distances between the fungal symbionts using...... in chemical profiles could be explained by genetic differences between the fungal symbionts. However, there was no significant effect of ant species in partial analyses because genetic differences between symbionts tend to coincide with being reared by different ant species. However, compound groups differed...

  16. Ant colony system (ACS with hybrid local search to solve vehicle routing problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suphan Sodsoon

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This research applied an Ant Colony System algorithm with a Hybrid Local Search to solve Vehicle Routing Problems (VRP from a single depot when the customers’ requirements are known. VRP is an NP-hard optimization problem and has usually been successfully solved optimum by heuristics. A fleet of vehicles of a specific capacity are used to serve a number of customers at minimum cost, without violating the constraints of vehicle capacity. There are meta-heuristic approaches to solve these problems, such as Simulated Annealing, Genetic Algorithm, Tabu Search and the Ant Colony System algorithm. In this case a hybrid local search was used (Cross-Exchange, Or-Opt and 2-Opt algorithm with an Ant Colony System algorithm. The Experimental Design was tested on 7 various problems from the data set online in the OR-Library. There are five different problems in which customers are randomly distributed with the depot in an approximately central location. The customers were grouped into clusters. The results are evaluated in terms of optimal routes using optimal distances. The experimental results are compared with those obtained from meta-heuristics and they show that the proposed method outperforms six meta-heuristics in the literature.

  17. Efficacy of simulated barrier treatments against laboratory colonies of Pharaoh ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Scharf, Michael E; Ratliff, Catina R; Bennett, Gary W

    2005-04-01

    Five selected insecticides were applied to four substrates and evaluated in laboratory studies for repellency and toxicity against the Pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis (L.). We tested both repellent and nonrepellent formulations on outdoor (concrete and mulch) and indoor (ceramic and vinyl) substrates. Repellency was evaluated using a behavioral bioassay in which colonies were given a choice to leave the treated zone and move into empty nests provided in the untreated zone. We used a novel experimental design whereby ants walked on a Slinky coil suspended from a metal support frame, thus permitting a long foraging distance with a minimum use of space and resources. Cypermethrin, a repellent pyrethroid insecticide, resulted in colony budding, although the response was delayed. Toxicity of insecticides was evaluated as worker, queen, and brood mortality. The most effective treatment was fipronil, which provided 100% reduction in pretreatment activity by 2 d posttreatment on both concrete and mulch. Chlorfenapyr was highly effective on both outdoor and indoor substrates. Significant substrate effects were observed with insecticides applied to nonabsorbent substrates (ceramic tile), which performed better than insecticides applied to absorbent substrates (vinyl tile). Other highly absorbent materials (mulch and concrete), however, did not reduce insecticide efficacy. This is because ants relocated nests into and/or under these attractive nesting materials, thus increasing their exposure to toxic insecticide residues. Our results demonstrate efficacy of nonrepellent liquid insecticides as indoor treatments for the control of Pharaoh ants and possibly as exterior perimeter treatments.

  18. Monomorphic ants undergo within-colony morphological changes along the metal-pollution gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grześ, Irena M; Okrutniak, Mateusz; Woch, Marcin W

    2015-04-01

    In ants, intra and inter-colony variation in body size can be considerable, even in monomorphic species. It has been previously shown that size-related parameters can be environmentally sensitive. The shape of the body size distribution curve is, however, rarely investigated. In this study, we measured head widthes of the black garden ant Lasius niger workers using digital methods. The ants were sampled from 51 colonies originating from 19 sites located along a metal pollution gradient, established in a former mining area in Poland. Total zinc concentrations in random samples of small invertebrates were used as a measure of site pollution levels. We found that the skewness of head size distribution grows significantly in line with the pollution level of the site, ranging from values slightly below zero (about -0.5) in the least polluted site up to a positive value (about 1.5) in the most polluted site. This result indicates that the frequency of small ants grows as pollution levels increase. The coefficient of variation, as well as the measures of central tendency, was not related to the pollution level. Four hypotheses explaining the obtained results are proposed. The bias towards the higher frequency of small workers may result from energy limitation and/or metal toxicity, but may also have an adaptive function.

  19. Colony kin structure and breeding system in the ant genus Plagiolepis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurin, N; Sery, N; Guimbretiere, R; Aron, S

    2011-08-01

    Relatedness is a central parameter in the evolution of sociality, because kin selection theory assumes that individuals involved in altruistic interactions are related. At least three reproductive characteristics are known to profoundly affect colony kin structure in social insects: the number of reproductive queens per colony, the relatedness among breeding queens and queen mating frequency. Both the occurrence of multiple queens (polygyny) and multiple mating (polyandry) decrease within-colony relatedness, while mating among sibs increases relatedness between the workers and the brood they rear. Using DNA microsatellites, we performed a detailed genetic analysis of the colony kin structure and breeding system in three ant species belonging to the genus Plagiolepis: P. schmitzii, P. taurica and P. maura. Our data show that queens of the three species mate multiply: queens of P. maura mate with 1-2 males, queens of P. taurica with 3-11 males and queens of P. schmitzii may have 1-14 different mates. Moreover, colonies are headed by multiple queens: P. taurica and P. maura are facultatively polygynous, while P. schmitzii is obligately polygynous. Despite polyandry and polygyny, relatedness within colonies remains high because all species are characterized by sib-mating, with a fixation index F(it) = 0.25 in P. taurica, 0.24 in P. schmitzii and 0.26 in P. maura, and because the male mates of a queen are on average closely related. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Dynamic Load Balancing Strategy for Cloud Computing with Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ren Gao

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available How to distribute and coordinate tasks in cloud computing is a challenging issue, in order to get optimal resource utilization and avoid overload. In this paper, we present a novel approach on load balancing via ant colony optimization (ACO, for balancing the workload in a cloud computing platform dynamically. Two strategies, forward-backward ant mechanism and max-min rules, are introduced to quickly find out the candidate nodes for load balancing. We formulate pheromone initialization and pheromone update according to physical resources under the cloud computing environment, including pheromone evaporation, incentive, and punishment rules, etc. Combined with task execution prediction, we define the moving probability of ants in two ways, that is, whether the forward ant meets the backward ant, or not, in the neighbor node, with the aim of accelerating searching processes. Simulations illustrate that the proposed strategy can not only provide dynamic load balancing for cloud computing with less searching time, but can also get high network performance under medium and heavily loaded contexts.

  1. Colony structure and spatial partitioning of cavity dwelling ant species in nuts of eastern US forest floors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nut-bearing trees create islands of high efficiency, low cost housing opportunities for ant colonies. Fallen nuts in leaf litter from previous seasons provide ready-made nest sites for cavity dwelling ant species, as well as affording protection from the elements. Suitable nuts for nests require an ...

  2. Arboreal ant colonies as 'hot-points' of cryptic diversity for myrmecophiles: the weaver ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor and its interaction network with its associates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biodiversity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We investigated the invertebrate diversity associated with an undescribed, but already threatened, Neotropical Camponotus weaver ant. As most of the common sampling methods used in studies of ant diversity are not suited for evaluating myrmecophile diversity within ant nests, we evaluated the macrofauna within ant nests through exhaustive colony sampling of three nests and examination of more than 80,000 individuals. RESULTS: We identified invertebrates from three classes belonging to 18 taxa, some of which were new to science, and recorded the first instance of the co-occurrence of two brood parasitoid wasp families attacking the same ant host colony. This diversity of ant associates corresponded to a highly complex interaction network. Agonistic interactions prevailed, but the prevalence of myrmecophiles was remarkably low. CONCLUSIONS: Our data support the hypothesis of the evolution of low virulence in a variety of symbionts associated with large insect societies. Because most myrmecophiles found in this work are rare, strictly specific, and exhibit highly specialized biology, the risk of extinction for these hitherto unknown invertebrates and their natural enemies is high. The cryptic, far unappreciated diversity within arboreal ant nests in areas at high risk of habitat loss qualifies these nests as 'hot-points' of biodiversity that urgently require special attention as a component of conservation and management

  3. Intraspecific competition affects population size and resource allocation in an ant dispersing by colony fission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulay, Raphaël; Galarza, Juan A; Chéron, Blandine; Hefetz, Abraham; Lenoir, Alain; van Oudenhove, Louise; Cerdá, Xim

    2010-11-01

    Intraspecific competition is a pervasive phenomenon with important ecological and evolutionary consequences, yet its effect in natural populations remains controversial. Although numerous studies suggest that in many cases populations across all organisms are limited by density-dependent processes, this conclusion often relies on correlative data. Here, using an experimental approach, we examined the effect of intraspecific competition on population regulation of the ant Aphaenogaster senilis. In this species females are philopatric while males disperse by flying over relatively long distances. All colonies were removed from 15 experimental plots, except for one focal colony in each plot, while 15 other plots remained unmanipulated. After the first reproductive season, nest density in the experimental plots returned to a level nonsignificantly different from that in the control plots, which was not expected if the populations were indeed regulated by density-independent phenomena. In both the control plots and the experimental plots colonies remained overdispersed throughout the experiment, suggesting colony mutual exclusion. Nests outside the plots rapidly extended their foraging span, but we did not detect any significant inward migration into the experimental plots. Experimental reduction in density did not significantly affect the focal colonies' biomass, measured just before the first reproductive season. However, the ratio of males to workers-pupae biomasses was smaller in experimental plots, suggesting that colonies there had redirected part of the resources normally allocated to male production to the production instead of new workers. Microsatellite analysis indicated that, after the reproductive season, many colonies in the experimental plots were headed by a young queen that was the mother of the brood but not of the old workers, indicating that reduction in colony density stimulated fission of the remaining colonies. Finally, at the end of the

  4. Successful transmission of Solenopsis invicta virus 3 to Solenopsis invicta fire ant colonies in oil, sugar, and cricket bait formulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tests were conducted to evaluate whether Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3) could be delivered in various bait formulations to fire ant colonies and measure the corresponding colony health changes associated with virus infection in Solenopsis invicta. Three bait formulations (10% sugar solution, c...

  5. Long-term efficacy of two cricket and two liver diets for rearing laboratory fire ant colonies (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Solenopsis Invicta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Effective diets are necessary for many kinds of laboratory studies of ants. We conducted a year-long study of imported fire ant colonies reared on either chicken liver, beef liver, banded crickets, or domestic crickets all with a sugar water supplement. Fire ant colonies thrived on diets of sugar ...

  6. A nuclear reactor core fuel reload optimization using artificial ant colony connective networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lima, Alan M.M. de [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, PEN/COPPE - UFRJ, Ilha do Fundao s/n, CEP 21945-970 Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: alanmmlima@yahoo.com.br; Schirru, Roberto [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, PEN/COPPE - UFRJ, Ilha do Fundao s/n, CEP 21945-970 Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: schirru@lmp.ufrj.br; Carvalho da Silva, Fernando [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, PEN/COPPE - UFRJ, Ilha do Fundao s/n, CEP 21945-970 Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: fernando@con.ufrj.br; Medeiros, Jose Antonio Carlos Canedo [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, PEN/COPPE - UFRJ, Ilha do Fundao s/n, CEP 21945-970 Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: canedo@lmp.ufrj.br

    2008-09-15

    The core of a nuclear Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) may be reloaded every time the fuel burn-up is such that it is not more possible to maintain the reactor operating at nominal power. The nuclear core fuel reload optimization problem consists in finding a pattern of burned-up and fresh-fuel assemblies that maximize the number of full operational days. This is an NP-Hard problem, meaning that complexity grows exponentially with the number of fuel assemblies in the core. Moreover, the problem is non-linear and its search space is highly discontinuous and multi-modal. Ant Colony System (ACS) is an optimization algorithm based on artificial ants that uses the reinforcement learning technique. The ACS was originally developed to solve the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP), which is conceptually similar to the nuclear core fuel reload problem. In this work a parallel computational system based on the ACS, called Artificial Ant Colony Networks is introduced to solve the core fuel reload optimization problem.

  7. Intelligent Hypothermia Care System using AntColony Optimization for Rules Prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hayder Naser Khraibet

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Intelligent Hypothermia Care System (IHCS is an intelligence system uses set of methodologies, algorithms, architectures and processes to determine where patients in a postoperative recovery area must be sent. Hypothermia is a significant concern after surgery. This paper utilizes the classification task in data mining to propose an intelligent technique to predict where to send a patient after surgery: intensive care unit, general floor or home. To achieve this goal, this paper evaluates the performance of decision tree algorithm, exemplifying the deterministic approach, against the AntMiner algorithm, exemplifying the heuristic approach, to choose the best approach in detecting the patient’s status. Results show the outperformance of the heuristic approach. The implication of this proposal will be twofold: in hypothermia treatment and in the application of ant colony optimization

  8. Colony-level behavioural variation correlates with differences in expression of the foraging gene in red imported fire ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bockoven, Alison A; Coates, Craig J; Eubanks, Micky D

    2017-11-01

    Among social insects, colony-level variation is likely to be widespread and has significant ecological consequences. Very few studies, however, have documented how genetic factors relate to behaviour at the colony level. Differences in expression of the foraging gene have been associated with differences in foraging and activity of a wide variety of organisms. We quantified expression of the red imported fire ant foraging gene (sifor) in workers from 21 colonies collected across the natural range of Texas fire ant populations, but maintained under standardized, environmentally controlled conditions. Colonies varied significantly in their behaviour. The most active colonies had up to 10 times more active foragers than the least active colony and more than 16 times as many workers outside the nest. Expression differences among colonies correlated with this colony-level behavioural variation. Colonies with higher sifor expression in foragers had, on average, significantly higher foraging activity, exploratory activity and recruitment to nectar than colonies with lower expression. Expression of sifor was also strongly correlated with worker task (foraging vs. working in the interior of the nest). These results provide insight into the genetic and physiological processes underlying collective differences in social behaviour. Quantifying variation in expression of the foraging gene may provide an important tool for understanding and predicting the ecological consequences of colony-level behavioural variation. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Social transfer of pathogenic fungus promotes active immunisation in ant colonies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Konrad

    Full Text Available Due to the omnipresent risk of epidemics, insect societies have evolved sophisticated disease defences at the individual and colony level. An intriguing yet little understood phenomenon is that social contact to pathogen-exposed individuals reduces susceptibility of previously naive nestmates to this pathogen. We tested whether such social immunisation in Lasius ants against the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is based on active upregulation of the immune system of nestmates following contact to an infectious individual or passive protection via transfer of immune effectors among group members--that is, active versus passive immunisation. We found no evidence for involvement of passive immunisation via transfer of antimicrobials among colony members. Instead, intensive allogrooming behaviour between naive and pathogen-exposed ants before fungal conidia firmly attached to their cuticle suggested passage of the pathogen from the exposed individuals to their nestmates. By tracing fluorescence-labelled conidia we indeed detected frequent pathogen transfer to the nestmates, where they caused low-level infections as revealed by growth of small numbers of fungal colony forming units from their dissected body content. These infections rarely led to death, but instead promoted an enhanced ability to inhibit fungal growth and an active upregulation of immune genes involved in antifungal defences (defensin and prophenoloxidase, PPO. Contrarily, there was no upregulation of the gene cathepsin L, which is associated with antibacterial and antiviral defences, and we found no increased antibacterial activity of nestmates of fungus-exposed ants. This indicates that social immunisation after fungal exposure is specific, similar to recent findings for individual-level immune priming in invertebrates. Epidemiological modeling further suggests that active social immunisation is adaptive, as it leads to faster elimination of the disease and lower

  10. Genetic regulation of colony social organization in fire ants: an integrative overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotzek, Dietrich; Ross, Kenneth G

    2007-09-01

    Expression of colony social organization in fire ants appears to be under the control of a single Mendelian factor of large effect. Variation in colony queen number in Solenopsis invicta and its relatives is associated with allelic variation at the gene Gp-9, but not with variation at other unlinked genes; workers regulate queen identity and number on the basis of Gp-9 genotypic compatibility. Nongenetic factors, such as prior social experience, queen reproductive status, and local environment, have negligible effects on queen numbers which illustrates the nearly complete penetrance of Gp-9. As predicted, queen number can be manipulated experimentally by altering worker Gp-9 genotype frequencies. The Gp-9 allele lineage associated with polygyny in South American fire ants has been retained across multiple speciation events, which may signal the action of balancing selection to maintain social polymorphism in these species. Moreover, positive selection is implicated in driving the molecular evolution of Gp-9 in association with the origin of polygyny. The identity of the product of Gp-9 as an odorant-binding protein suggests plausible scenarios for its direct involvement in the regulation of queen number via a role in chemical communication. While these and other lines of evidence show that Gp-9 represents a legitimate candidate gene of major effect, studies aimed at determining (i) the biochemical pathways in which GP-9 functions; (ii) the phenotypic effects of molecular variation at Gp-9 and other pathway genes; and (iii) the potential involvement of genes in linkage disequilibrium with Gp-9 are needed to elucidate the genetic architecture underlying social organization in fire ants. Information that reveals the links between molecular variation, individual phenotype, and colony-level behaviors, combined with behavioral models that incorporate details of the chemical communication involved in regulating queen number, will yield a novel integrated view of the

  11. Improving the Power Quality in Tehran Metro Line-Two Using the Ant Colony Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Ehteshami

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This research aims to survey the improvement of power quality in Tehran metro line 2 using the ant colony algorithm and to investigate all the factors affecting the achievement of this goal. In order to put Tehran on the road of sustainable development, finding a solution for dealing with air pollution is essential. The use of public transportation, especially metro, is one of the ways to achieve this goal. Since the highest share of pollutants in Tehran belongs to cars and mobile sources, relative statistical indicators are estimated through assuming the effect of metro lines development and subsequently reduction of traffic on power quality index.

  12. Optimization of travel salesman problem using the ant colony system and Greedy search

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Esquivel E, J.; Ordonez A, A.; Ortiz S, J. J.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we present some results obtained during the development of optimization systems that can be used to design refueling and patterns of control rods in a BWR. These systems use ant colonies and Greedy search. The first phase of this project is to be familiar with these optimization techniques applied to the problem of travel salesman problem (TSP). The utility of TSP study is that, like the refueling design and pattern design of control rods are problems of combinative optimization. Even, the similarity with the problem of the refueling design is remarkable. It is presented some results for the TSP with the 32 state capitals of Mexico country. (Author)

  13. Optimization of China Crude Oil Transportation Network with Genetic Ant Colony Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yao Wang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Taking into consideration both shipping and pipeline transport, this paper first analysed the risk factors for different modes of crude oil import transportation. Then, based on the minimum of both transportation cost and overall risk, a multi-objective programming model was established to optimize the transportation network of crude oil import, and the genetic algorithm and ant colony algorithm were employed to solve the problem. The optimized result shows that VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier is superior in long distance sea transportation, whereas pipeline transport is more secure than sea transport. Finally, this paper provides related safeguard suggestions on crude oil import transportation.

  14. ACCURACY Detection of Digital Image Forgery by Using Ant Colony Optimization Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singh Sarvjit

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Image forgery is one of the well known fields in which researches continuously exploring new areas. In digital image forgery one can change image in many ways using several software’s, researchers exploring new algorithms to detect image forgery areas and change it to original pixel values if possible. In this paper we employed ACO (Ant Colony Optimization to find areas which are manipulated with some software. The experimental results prove that ACO is better than existing methods of detecting tampered regions in digital photo images.

  15. Ant colony optimization techniques for the hamiltonian p-median problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Zohrehbandian

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Location-Routing problems involve locating a number of facilitiesamong candidate sites and establishing delivery routes to a set of users in such a way that the total system cost is minimized. A special case of these problems is Hamiltonian p-Median problem (HpMP. This research applies the metaheuristic method of ant colony optimization (ACO to solve the HpMP. Modifications are made to the ACO algorithm used to solve the traditional vehicle routing problem (VRP in order to allow the search of the optimal solution of the HpMP. Regarding this metaheuristic algorithm a computational experiment is reported as well.

  16. Tetramorium tsushimae Ants Use Methyl Branched Hydrocarbons of Aphids for Partner Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakata, Itaru; Hayashi, Masayuki; Nakamuta, Kiyoshi

    2017-10-01

    In mutualisms, partner discrimination is often the most important challenge for interacting organisms. The interaction between ants and aphids is a model system for studying mutualisms; ants are provided with honeydew by aphids and, in turn, the ants offer beneficial services to the aphids. To establish and maintain this system, ants must discriminate mutualistic aphid species correctly. Although recent studies have shown that ants recognize aphids as mutualistic partners based on their cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), it was unclear which CHCs are involved in recognition. Here, we tested whether the n-alkane or methylalkane fraction, or both, of aphid CHCs were utilized as partner recognition cues by measuring ant aggressiveness toward these fractions. When workers of Tetramorium tsushimae ants were presented with dummies coated with n-alkanes of their mutualistic aphid Aphis craccivora, ants displayed higher levels of aggression than to dummies treated with total CHCs or methyl alkanes of A. craccivora; responses to dummies treated with n-alkanes of A. craccivora were similar to those to control dummies or dummies treated with the CHCs of the non-mutualistic aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. By contrast, ants exhibited lower aggression to dummies treated with either total CHCs or the methylalkane fraction of the mutualistic aphid than to control dummies or dummies treated with CHCs of the non-mutualistic aphid. These results suggest that T. tsushimae ants use methylalkanes of the mutualistic aphid's CHCs to recognize partners, and that these ants do not recognize aphids as partners on the basis of n-alkanes.

  17. Social influence on age and reproduction: reduced lifespan and fecundity in multi-queen ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrempf, A; Cremer, S; Heinze, J

    2011-07-01

    Evolutionary theories of ageing predict that life span increases with decreasing extrinsic mortality, and life span variation among queens in ant species seems to corroborate this prediction: queens, which are the only reproductive in a colony, live much longer than queens in multi-queen colonies. The latter often inhabit ephemeral nest sites and accordingly are assumed to experience a higher mortality risk. Yet, all prior studies compared queens from different single- and multi-queen species. Here, we demonstrate an effect of queen number on longevity and fecundity within a single, socially plastic species, where queens experience the similar level of extrinsic mortality. Queens from single- and two-queen colonies had significantly longer lifespan and higher fecundity than queens living in associations of eight queens. As queens also differ neither in morphology nor the mode of colony foundation, our study shows that the social environment itself strongly affects ageing rate. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  18. Role of relative humidity in colony founding and queen survivorship in two carpenter ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mankowski, Mark E; Morrell, J J

    2011-06-01

    Conditions necessary for optimal colony foundation in two carpenter ant species, Camponotus modoc Wheeler and Camponotus vicinus Mayr, were studied. Camponotus modoc and C. vicinus queens were placed in Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb. Franco) and Styrofoam blocks conditioned in sealed chambers at 70, 80, or 100% RH. Nanitic workers produced after 12 wk were used to assess the effects of substrate and moisture content on colony initiation. Queens of C. vicinus in Douglas-fir and Styrofoam produced worker numbers that did not differ significantly with moisture content; however, the number of colonies initiated by C. modoc differed significantly with moisture content. The results indicate that colony founding in C. vicinus is less sensitive to moisture content than C. modoc for Douglas-fir and Styrofoam. In another test, groups of queens of each species were exposed to 20, 50, 70, and 100% RH and the time until 50% mortality occurred was recorded for each species. C. vicinus lived significantly longer at each of the test humidities than C. modoc, suggesting that the former species is adapted to better survive under xeric conditions.

  19. Quantifying the effect of colony size and food distribution on harvester ant foraging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana P Flanagan

    Full Text Available Desert seed-harvester ants, genus Pogonomyrmex, are central place foragers that search for resources collectively. We quantify how seed harvesters exploit the spatial distribution of seeds to improve their rate of seed collection. We find that foraging rates are significantly influenced by the clumpiness of experimental seed baits. Colonies collected seeds from larger piles faster than randomly distributed seeds. We developed a method to compare foraging rates on clumped versus random seeds across three Pogonomyrmex species that differ substantially in forager population size. The increase in foraging rate when food was clumped in larger piles was indistinguishable across the three species, suggesting that species with larger colonies are no better than species with smaller colonies at collecting clumped seeds. These findings contradict the theoretical expectation that larger groups are more efficient at exploiting clumped resources, thus contributing to our understanding of the importance of the spatial distribution of food sources and colony size for communication and organization in social insects.

  20. Comparison Performance of Genetic Algorithm and Ant Colony Optimization in Course Scheduling Optimizing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imam Ahmad Ashari

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Scheduling problems at the university is a complex type of scheduling problems. The scheduling process should be carried out at every turn of the semester's. The core of the problem of scheduling courses at the university is that the number of components that need to be considered in making the schedule, some of the components was made up of students, lecturers, time and a room with due regard to the limits and certain conditions so that no collision in the schedule such as mashed room, mashed lecturer and others. To resolve a scheduling problem most appropriate technique used is the technique of optimization. Optimization techniques can give the best results desired. Metaheuristic algorithm is an algorithm that has a lot of ways to solve the problems to the very limit the optimal solution. In this paper, we use a genetic algorithm and ant colony optimization algorithm is an algorithm metaheuristic to solve the problem of course scheduling. The two algorithm will be tested and compared to get performance is the best. The algorithm was tested using data schedule courses of the university in Semarang. From the experimental results we conclude that the genetic algorithm has better performance than the ant colony optimization  algorithm in solving the case of course scheduling.

  1. Stochastic time-dependent vehicle routing problem: Mathematical models and ant colony algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhengyu Duan

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This article addresses the stochastic time-dependent vehicle routing problem. Two mathematical models named robust optimal schedule time model and minimum expected schedule time model are proposed for stochastic time-dependent vehicle routing problem, which can guarantee delivery within the time windows of customers. The robust optimal schedule time model only requires the variation range of link travel time, which can be conveniently derived from historical traffic data. In addition, the robust optimal schedule time model based on robust optimization method can be converted into a time-dependent vehicle routing problem. Moreover, an ant colony optimization algorithm is designed to solve stochastic time-dependent vehicle routing problem. As the improvements in initial solution and transition probability, ant colony optimization algorithm has a good performance in convergence. Through computational instances and Monte Carlo simulation tests, robust optimal schedule time model is proved to be better than minimum expected schedule time model in computational efficiency and coping with the travel time fluctuations. Therefore, robust optimal schedule time model is applicable in real road network.

  2. An Improved Ant Colony Optimization Approach for Optimization of Process Planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JinFeng Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Computer-aided process planning (CAPP is an important interface between computer-aided design (CAD and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM in computer-integrated manufacturing environments (CIMs. In this paper, process planning problem is described based on a weighted graph, and an ant colony optimization (ACO approach is improved to deal with it effectively. The weighted graph consists of nodes, directed arcs, and undirected arcs, which denote operations, precedence constraints among operation, and the possible visited path among operations, respectively. Ant colony goes through the necessary nodes on the graph to achieve the optimal solution with the objective of minimizing total production costs (TPCs. A pheromone updating strategy proposed in this paper is incorporated in the standard ACO, which includes Global Update Rule and Local Update Rule. A simple method by controlling the repeated number of the same process plans is designed to avoid the local convergence. A case has been carried out to study the influence of various parameters of ACO on the system performance. Extensive comparative experiments have been carried out to validate the feasibility and efficiency of the proposed approach.

  3. AUTOMATA PROGRAMS CONSTRUCTION FROM SPECIFICATION WITH AN ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION ALGORITHM BASED ON MUTATION GRAPH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniil S. Chivilikhin

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The procedure of testing traditionally used in software engineering cannot guarantee program correctness; therefore verification is used at the excess requirements to programs reliability. Verification makes it possible to check certain properties of programs in all possible computational states; however, this process is very complex. In the model checking method a model of the program is built (often, manually and requirements in terms of temporal logic are formulated. Such temporal properties of the model can be checked automatically. The main issue in this framework is the gap between the program and its model. Automata-based programming paradigm gives the possibility to overcome this limitation. In this paradigm, program logic is represented using finite-state machines. The advantage of finite-state machines is that their models can be constructed automatically. The paper deals with the application of mutation-based ant colony optimization algorithm to the problem of finite-state machine construction from their specification, defined by test scenarios and temporal properties. The presented approach has been tested on the elevator doors control problem as well as on randomly generated data. Obtained results show the ant colony algorithm is two-three times faster than the previously used genetic algorithm. The proposed approach can be recommended for inferring control programs for critical systems.

  4. A New Constructive Method for Electric Power System Reconfiguration Using Ant Colony

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Habib HAMDAOUI

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available This electric power distribution system delivers power to the customers from a set of distribution substations. While the transmission lines are configured in a meshed network, the distribution feeders are configured radially in almost all cases. The proposed problem in this work is to determine the optimal topology among a various alternatives. This problem is known as a problem of total investment-cost minimization, subject to power constraints. In fact, the paper addresses an ant colony met-heuristic optimization method to solve this combinatorial problem. Due to the variation of demand, the reconfiguration may be considered in two different situations: in the system planning or system design stage. The proposed met-heuristic determines the minimal investment-cost system configuration during the considered study period to satisfy power transit constraints. The algorithm of ant colony approach (ACA is required to identify the optimal combination of adding or cut off feeders with different parameters for the new topology design.

  5. Solving optimum operation of single pump unit problem with ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuan, Y; Liu, C

    2012-01-01

    For pumping stations, the effective scheduling of daily pump operations from solutions to the optimum design operation problem is one of the greatest potential areas for energy cost-savings, there are some difficulties in solving this problem with traditional optimization methods due to the multimodality of the solution region. In this case, an ACO model for optimum operation of pumping unit is proposed and the solution method by ants searching is presented by rationally setting the object function and constrained conditions. A weighted directed graph was constructed and feasible solutions may be found by iteratively searching of artificial ants, and then the optimal solution can be obtained by applying the rule of state transition and the pheromone updating. An example calculation was conducted and the minimum cost was found as 4.9979. The result of ant colony algorithm was compared with the result from dynamic programming or evolutionary solving method in commercial software under the same discrete condition. The result of ACO is better and the computing time is shorter which indicates that ACO algorithm can provide a high application value to the field of optimal operation of pumping stations and related fields.

  6. Arc Based Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm for optimal design of gravitational sewer networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Moeini

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, constrained and unconstrained versions of a new formulation of Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm (ACOA named Arc Based Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm (ABACOA are augmented with the Tree Growing Algorithm (TGA and used for the optimal layout and pipe size design of gravitational sewer networks. The main advantages offered by the proposed ABACOA formulation are proper definition of heuristic information, a useful component of the ant-based algorithms, and proper trade-off between the two conflicting search attributes of exploration and exploitation. In both the formulations, the TGA is used to incrementally construct feasible tree-like layouts out of the base layout. In the first formulation, unconstrained version of ABACOA is used to determine the nodal cover depths of sewer pipes while in the second formulation, a constrained version of ABACOA is used to determine the nodal cover depths of sewer pipes which satisfy the pipe slopes constraint. Three different methods of cut determination are also proposed to complete the construction of a tree-like network containing all base layout pipes, here. The proposed formulations are used to solve three test examples of different scales and the results are presented and compared with other available results in the literature. Comparison of the results shows that best results are obtained using the third cutting method in both the formulations. In addition, the results indicate the ability of the proposed methods and in particular the constrained version of ABACOA equipped with TGA to solve sewer networks design optimization problem. To be specific, the constrained version of ABACOA has been able to produce results 0.1%, 1% and 2.1% cheaper than those obtained by the unconstrained version of ABACOA for the first, second and the third test examples, respectively.

  7. An approach using quantum ant colony optimization applied to the problem of identification of nuclear power plant transients

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silva, Marcio H.; Schirru, Roberto; Medeiros, Jose A.C.C.

    2009-01-01

    Using concepts and principles of the quantum computation, as the quantum bit and superposition of states, coupled with the biological metaphor of a colony of ants, used in the Ant Colony Optimization algorithm (ACO), Wang et al developed the Quantum Ant Colony Optimization (QACO). In this paper we present a modification of the algorithm proposed by Wang et al. While the original QACO was used just for simple benchmarks functions with, at the most, two dimensions, QACO A lfa was developed for application where the original QACO, due to its tendency to converge prematurely, does not obtain good results, as in complex multidimensional functions. Furthermore, to evaluate its behavior, both algorithms are applied to the real problem of identification of accidents in PWR nuclear power plants. (author)

  8. Effects of a juvenile hormone analogue pyriproxyfen on monogynous and polygynous colonies of the Pharaoh ant Monomorium pharaonis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tay, J W; Lee, C Y

    2015-09-01

    To evaluate the effects of the juvenile hormone analogue pyriproxyfen on colonies of the Pharaoh ant Monomorium pharaonis (L.), peanut oil containing different concentrations (0.3, 0.6, or 0.9%) of pyriproxyfen was fed to monogynous (1 queen, 500 workers, and 0.1 g of brood) and polygynous (8 queens, 50 workers, and 0.1 g of brood) laboratory colonies of M. pharaonis. Due to its delayed activity, pyriproxyfen at all concentrations resulted in colony elimination. Significant reductions in brood volume were recorded at weeks 3 - 6, and complete brood mortality was observed at week 8 in all treated colonies. Brood mortality was attributed to the disruption of brood development and cessation of egg production by queens. All polygynous colonies exhibited significant reduction in the number of queens present at week 10 compared to week 1. Number of workers was significantly lower in all treated colonies compared to control colonies at week 8 due to old-age attrition of the workers without replacement. At least 98.67 ± 1.33% of workers were dead at week 10 in all treated colonies. Thus, treatment with slow acting pyriproxyfen at concentrations of 0.3 - 0.9% is an effective strategy for eliminating Pharaoh ant colonies.

  9. Estimating the net electricity energy generation and demand using the ant colony optimization approach. Case of Turkey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toksari, M. Duran

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents Turkey's net electricity energy generation and demand based on economic indicators. Forecasting model for electricity energy generation and demand is first proposed by the ant colony optimization (ACO) approach. It is multi-agent system in which the behavior of each ant is inspired by the foraging behavior of real ants to solve optimization problem. Ant colony optimization electricity energy estimation (ACOEEE) model is developed using population, gross domestic product (GDP), import and export. All equations proposed here are linear electricity energy generation and demand (linear A COEEGE and linear ACOEEDE) and quadratic energy generation and demand (quadratic A COEEGE and quadratic ACOEEDE). Quadratic models for both generation and demand provided better fit solution due to the fluctuations of the economic indicators. The ACOEEGE and ACOEEDE models indicate Turkey's net electricity energy generation and demand until 2025 according to three scenarios. (author)

  10. The effects of disturbance threat on leaf-cutting ant colonies: a laboratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, V C; Pamminger, T; Hughes, W O H

    2017-01-01

    The flexibility of organisms to respond plastically to their environment is fundamental to their fitness and evolutionary success. Social insects provide some of the most impressive examples of plasticity, with individuals exhibiting behavioral and sometimes morphological adaptations for their specific roles in the colony, such as large soldiers for nest defense. However, with the exception of the honey bee model organism, there has been little investigation of the nature and effects of environmental stimuli thought to instigate alternative phenotypes in social insects. Here, we investigate the effect of repeated threat disturbance over a prolonged (17 month) period on both behavioral and morphological phenotypes, using phenotypically plastic leaf-cutting ants ( Atta colombica ) as a model system. We found a rapid impact of threat disturbance on the behavioral phenotype of individuals within threat-disturbed colonies becoming more aggressive, threat responsive, and phototactic within as little as 2 weeks. We found no effect of threat disturbance on morphological phenotypes, potentially, because constraints such as resource limitation outweighed the benefit for colonies of producing larger individuals. The results suggest that plasticity in behavioral phenotypes can enable insect societies to respond to threats even when constraints prevent alteration of morphological phenotypes.

  11. High recombination frequency creates genotypic diversity in colonies of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sirviö, A.; Gadau, J.; Rueppell, O.

    2006-01-01

    Honeybees are known to have genetically diverse colonies because queens mate with many males and the recombination rate is extremely high. Genetic diversity among social insect workers has been hypothesized to improve general performance of large and complex colonies, but this idea has not been...... tested in other social insects. Here, we present a linkage map and an estimate of the recombination rate for Acromyrmex echinatior, a leaf-cutting ant that resembles the honeybee in having multiple mating of queens and colonies of approximately the same size. A map of 145 AFLP markers in 22 linkage...... groups yielded a total recombinational size of 2076 cM and an inferred recombination rate of 161 kb cM-1 (or 6.2 cM Mb-1). This estimate is lower than in the honeybee but, as far as the mapping criteria can be compared, higher than in any other insect mapped so far. Earlier studies on A. echinatior have...

  12. A multi-objective Pareto ant colony algorithm for the Multi-Depot Vehicle Routing problem with Backhauls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jhon Jairo Santa Chávez

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a multiobjective ant colony algorithm for the Multi-Depot Vehicle Routing Problem with Backhauls (MDVRPB where three objectives of traveled distance, traveling times and total consumption of energy are minimized. An ant colony algorithm is proposed to solve the MDVRPB. The solution scheme allows one to find a set of ordered solutions in Pareto fronts by considering the concept of dominance. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is examined by considering a set of instances adapted from the literature. The computational results show high quality results within short computing times.

  13. An ant colony optimization heuristic for an integrated production and distribution scheduling problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yung-Chia; Li, Vincent C.; Chiang, Chia-Ju

    2014-04-01

    Make-to-order or direct-order business models that require close interaction between production and distribution activities have been adopted by many enterprises in order to be competitive in demanding markets. This article considers an integrated production and distribution scheduling problem in which jobs are first processed by one of the unrelated parallel machines and then distributed to corresponding customers by capacitated vehicles without intermediate inventory. The objective is to find a joint production and distribution schedule so that the weighted sum of total weighted job delivery time and the total distribution cost is minimized. This article presents a mathematical model for describing the problem and designs an algorithm using ant colony optimization. Computational experiments illustrate that the algorithm developed is capable of generating near-optimal solutions. The computational results also demonstrate the value of integrating production and distribution in the model for the studied problem.

  14. DESIGNING DAILY PATROL ROUTES FOR POLICING BASED ON ANT COLONY ALGORITHM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Chen

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we address the problem of planning police patrol routes to regularly cover street segments of high crime density (hotspots with limited police forces. A good patrolling strategy is required to minimise the average time lag between two consecutive visits to hotspots, as well as coordinating multiple patrollers and imparting unpredictability in patrol routes. Previous studies have designed different police patrol strategies for routing police patrol, but these strategies have difficulty in generalising to real patrolling and meeting various requirements. In this research we develop a new police patrolling strategy based on Bayesian method and ant colony algorithm. In this strategy, virtual marker (pheromone is laid to mark the visiting history of each crime hotspot, and patrollers continuously decide which hotspot to patrol next based on pheromone level and other variables. Simulation results using real data testifies the effective, scalable, unpredictable and extensible nature of this strategy.

  15. Ant colony optimization and neural networks applied to nuclear power plant monitoring

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, Gean Ribeiro dos; Andrade, Delvonei Alves de; Pereira, Iraci Martinez

    2015-01-01

    A recurring challenge in production processes is the development of monitoring and diagnosis systems. Those systems help on detecting unexpected changes and interruptions, preventing losses and mitigating risks. Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) have been extensively used in creating monitoring systems. Usually the ANNs created to solve this kind of problem are created by taking into account only parameters as the number of inputs, outputs, and hidden layers. The result networks are generally fully connected and have no improvements in its topology. This work intends to use an Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm to create a tuned neural network. The ACO search algorithm will use Back Error Propagation (BP) to optimize the network topology by suggesting the best neuron connections. The result ANN will be applied to monitoring the IEA-R1 research reactor at IPEN. (author)

  16. Transfer function fitting using a continuous Ant Colony Optimization (ACO algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Reineix

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available An original approach is proposed in order to achieve the  fitting of ultra-wideband complex frequency functions, such  as the complex impedances, by using the so-called ACO  (Ant Colony Optimization methods. First, we present the  optimization principle of ACO, which originally was  dedicated to the combinatorial problems. Further on, the  extension to the continuous and mixed problems is  explained in more details. The interest in this approach is  proved by its ability to define practical constraints and  objectives, such as minimizing the number of filters used in  the model with respect to a fixed relative error. Finally, the  establishment of the model for the first and second order  filter types illustrates the power of the method and its  interest for the time-domain electromagnetic computation.

  17. Design of FIR Filters with Discrete Coefficients using Ant Colony Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsutsumi, Shuntaro; Suyama, Kenji

    In this paper, we propose a new design method for linear phase FIR (Finite Impulse Response) filters with discrete coefficients. In a hardware implementation, filter coefficients must be represented as discrete values. The design problem of digital filters with discrete coefficients is formulated as the integer programming problem. Then, an enormous amount of computational time is required to solve the problem in a strict solver. Recently, ACO (Ant Colony Optimization) which is one heuristic approach, is used widely for solving combinational problem like the traveling salesman problem. In our method, we formulate the design problem as the 0-1 integer programming problem and solve it by using the ACO. Several design examples are shown to present effectiveness of the proposed method.

  18. Optimization of fuel reloads for a BWR using the ant colony system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Esquivel E, J.; Ortiz S, J. J.

    2009-10-01

    In this work some results obtained during the development of optimization systems are presented, which are employees for the fuel reload design in a BWR. The systems use the ant colony optimization technique. As first instance, a system is developed that was adapted at travel salesman problem applied for the 32 state capitals of Mexican Republic. The purpose of this implementation is that a similarity exists with the design of fuel reload, since the two problems are of combinatorial optimization with decision variables that have similarity between both. The system was coupled to simulator SIMULATE-3, obtaining good results when being applied to an operation cycle in equilibrium for reactors of nuclear power plant of Laguna Verde. (Author)

  19. Reliability worth applied to transmission expansion planning based on ant colony system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leite da Silva, Armando M.; Rezende, Leandro S. [Institute of Electric Systems and Energy, Federal University of Itajuba, UNIFEI (Brazil); da Fonseca Manso, Luiz A.; de Resende, Leonidas C. [Department of Electrical Engineering, Federal University of Sao Joao del Rei, UFSJ (Brazil)

    2010-12-15

    This paper proposes a new methodology to solve transmission expansion planning (TEP) problems in power system, based on the metaheuristic ant colony optimisation (ACO). The TEP problem includes the search for the least cost solution, bearing in mind investment cost and reliability worth. Reliability worth is considered through the assessment of the interruption costs represented by the index LOLC - loss of load cost. The focus of this work is the development of a tool for the multi-stage planning of transmission systems and how reliability aspects can influence on the decision-making process. The applications of the proposed methodology are illustrated through case studies carried out using a test system and a real sub-transmission network. (author)

  20. Ant colony optimisation for economic dispatch problem with non-smooth cost functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pothiya, Saravuth; Kongprawechnon, Waree [School of Communication, Instrumentation and Control, Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology, Thammasat University, P.O. Box 22, Pathumthani (Thailand); Ngamroo, Issarachai [Center of Excellence for Innovative Energy Systems, Faculty of Engineering, King Mongkut' s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Bangkok 10520 (Thailand)

    2010-06-15

    This paper presents a novel and efficient optimisation approach based on the ant colony optimisation (ACO) for solving the economic dispatch (ED) problem with non-smooth cost functions. In order to improve the performance of ACO algorithm, three additional techniques, i.e. priority list, variable reduction, and zoom feature are presented. To show its efficiency and effectiveness, the proposed ACO is applied to two types of ED problems with non-smooth cost functions. Firstly, the ED problem with valve-point loading effects consists of 13 and 40 generating units. Secondly, the ED problem considering the multiple fuels consists of 10 units. Additionally, the results of the proposed ACO are compared with those of the conventional heuristic approaches. The experimental results show that the proposed ACO approach is comparatively capable of obtaining higher quality solution and faster computational time. (author)

  1. The Lobe Fissure Tracking by the Modified Ant Colony Optimization Framework in CT Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chii-Jen Chen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Chest computed tomography (CT is the most commonly used technique for the inspection of lung lesions. However, the lobe fissures in lung CT is still difficult to observe owing to its imaging structure. Therefore, in this paper, we aimed to develop an efficient tracking framework to extract the lobe fissures by the proposed modified ant colony optimization (ACO algorithm. We used the method of increasing the consistency of pheromone on lobe fissure to improve the accuracy of path tracking. In order to validate the proposed system, we had tested our method in a database from 15 lung patients. In the experiment, the quantitative assessment shows that the proposed ACO method achieved the average F-measures of 80.9% and 82.84% in left and right lungs, respectively. The experiments indicate our method results more satisfied performance, and can help investigators detect lung lesion for further examination.

  2. Analysis of parameter estimation and optimization application of ant colony algorithm in vehicle routing problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Quan-Li; Cao, Yu-Wei; Yang, Kun

    2018-03-01

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is the most widely used artificial intelligence algorithm at present. This study introduced the principle and mathematical model of ACO algorithm in solving Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP), and designed a vehicle routing optimization model based on ACO, then the vehicle routing optimization simulation system was developed by using c ++ programming language, and the sensitivity analyses, estimations and improvements of the three key parameters of ACO were carried out. The results indicated that the ACO algorithm designed in this paper can efficiently solve rational planning and optimization of VRP, and the different values of the key parameters have significant influence on the performance and optimization effects of the algorithm, and the improved algorithm is not easy to locally converge prematurely and has good robustness.

  3. Multiobjective Evolution of Biped Robot Gaits Using Advanced Continuous Ant-Colony Optimized Recurrent Neural Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juang, Chia-Feng; Yeh, Yen-Ting

    2017-06-30

    This paper proposes the optimization of a fully connected recurrent neural network (FCRNN) using advanced multiobjective continuous ant colony optimization (AMO-CACO) for the multiobjective gait generation of a biped robot (the NAO). The FCRNN functions as a central pattern generator and is optimized to generate angles of the hip roll and pitch, the knee pitch, and the ankle pitch and roll. The performance of the FCRNN-generated gait is evaluated according to the walking speed, trajectory straightness, oscillations of the body in the pitch and yaw directions, and walking posture, subject to the basic constraints that the robot cannot fall down and must walk forward. This paper formulates this gait generation task as a constrained multiobjective optimization problem and solves this problem through an AMO-CACO-based evolutionary learning approach. The AMO-CACO finds Pareto optimal solutions through ant-path selection and sampling operations by introducing an accumulated rank for the solutions in each single-objective function into solution sorting to improve learning performance. Simulations are conducted to verify the AMO-CACO-based FCRNN gait generation performance through comparisons with different multiobjective optimization algorithms. Selected software-designed Pareto optimal FCRNNs are then applied to control the gait of a real NAO robot.

  4. Una aplicación de Ant Colony Optimization para la resolución de problemas de Flow Shop.

    OpenAIRE

    Bautista Valhondo, Joaquim; Companys Pascual, Ramón

    2001-01-01

    ACO, acrónimo de "Ant Colony Optimization", es una meta-heurística que puede emplearse en la resolución de problemas de optimización combinatoria; se inspira en el comportamiento de guía observado en las hormigas, y se caracteriza por la utilizac

  5. In-nest environment modulates nestmate recognition in the ant Camponotus fellah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katzav-Gozansky, Tamar; Boulay, Raphael; Vander Meer, Robert; Hefetz, Abraham

    Multiple behavioral and chemical studies indicate that ant nestmate recognition cues are low-volatile substances, in particular hydrocarbons (HCs) located on the cuticular surface. We tested the hypothesis that in the ant Camponotus fellah, nest environment, in particular nest volatile odors, can modulate nestmate-recognition-mediated aggression. Workers were individually confined within their own nest in small cages having either a single mesh (SM = limited physical contact permitted) or a double mesh (DM = exposed to nest volatiles only) screen. Individual workers completely isolated outside their nest (CI) served as control. When reintroduced into a group of 50 nestmates, the CI workers were attacked as alien ants after only 2 weeks of separation, whereas the SM workers were treated as nestmates even after 2 months of separation. Aggression towards DM ants depended on the period of isolation. Only DM workers isolated for over 2 months were aggressed by their nestmates, which did not significantly differ from the CI nestmates. Cuticular HC analyses revealed that the profile of the non-isolated ants (NI) was clearly distinct from that of CI, SM and DM ants. Profile differences matched the aggressive response in the case of CI ants but were uncorrelated in the case of SM or DM ants. This suggests that keeping the ants within the nest environment affected nestmate recognition in additional ways than merely altering their HC profile. Nest environment thus appears to affect label-template mismatch by modulating aggressive behavior, as well as the direction at which cuticular HCs diverged during the separation period.

  6. A queen pheromone induces workers to kill sexual larvae in colonies of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klobuchar, Emily A; Deslippe, Richard J

    2002-07-01

    We conducted five bioassays to study how queens control the execution of sexual larvae by workers in colonies of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. In each assay, subset colonies were made from many large polygyne colonies, and the 20 sexual larvae they contained were monitored over time. Sexual larvae mostly survived in queenless colonies, but were mostly killed in colonies with a single dealated queen, regardless of whether or not the queen was fertilized. The larvae were also killed when fresh corpses of queens were added to queenless colonies. Whereas acetone extracts of queens did not produce a significant increase in killings, extracts in buffered saline induced workers to execute most sexual larvae, indicating successful extraction of an execution pheromone. We identified the probable storage location of the chemical as the poison sac, and found both fresh (1 day) and old (21 day) extracts of poison sacs to be equally effective in inducing executions. The pheromone is stable at room temperature, perhaps because venom alkaloids also present in the extracts keep the pheromone from degrading. It is apparently either proteinaceous or associated with a proteinaceous molecule, a novel finding, as no queen pheromone of a proteinaceous nature has been previously demonstrated in ants.

  7. Significance of chemical recognition cues is context dependent in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, N.; Guerrieri, F.J.; d'Ettorre, P.

    2010-01-01

    used as training odour in our experiments. This suggests that ants, like some, but not all other insects, show interactions between different modalities (i.e. olfactory and visual), and can treat complex chemical cues differently, according to the context in which they are perceived. This plasticity...

  8. The interplay between maze complexity, colony size, learning and memory in ants while solving a maze: A test at the colony level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saar, Maya; Gilad, Tomer; Kilon-Kallner, Tal; Rosenfeld, Adar; Subach, Aziz; Scharf, Inon

    2017-01-01

    Central-place foragers need to explore their immediate habitat in order to reach food. We let colonies of the individually foraging desert ant Cataglyphis niger search for a food reward in a maze. We did so for three tests per day over two successive days and an additional test after a time interval of 4-20 days (seven tests in total). We examined whether the colonies reached the food reward faster, consumed more food and changed the number of workers searching over time, within and between days. Colonies' food-discovery time shortened within and between days, indicating that some workers learnt and became more efficient in moving through the maze. Such workers, however, also forgot and deteriorated in their food-discovery time, leveling off back to initial performance after about two weeks. We used mazes of increasing complexity levels, differing in the potential number of wrong turns. The number of workers searching increased with colony size. Food-discovery time also increased with colony size in complex mazes but not in simple ones, perhaps due to the more frequent interactions among workers in large colonies having to move through narrow routes. Finally, the motivation to solve the maze was probably not only the food reward, because food consumption did not change over time.

  9. Optimum Layout for Sensors in Water Distribution Networks through Ant Colony Algorithm: A Dual Use Vision

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Mehdi Miri

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The accidental or intentional entry of contaminants or self-deterioration of the water quality within the network itself can severely harm public health. Efficient water quality monitoring is one of the most important tools to guarantee a reliable potable water supply to consumers of drinking water distribution systems. Considering the high purchase, installation and maintenance cost of sensors in water distribution networks deploying two independent sensor networks within one distribution system is not only bounded by physical constraints but also is not a cost-effective approach. Therefore, need for combining different objectives and designing sensor network to simultaneity satisfying these objectives is felt. Sensors should comply with dual use benefits. Sensor locations and types should be integrated not only for achieving water security goals but also for accomplishing other water utility objectives, such as satisfying regulatory monitoring requirements or collecting information to solve water quality problems. In this study, a dual use vision for the sensor layout problem in the municipal water networks, is formulated and solved with the ant colony algorithm.

  10. Proposed algorithm to improve job shop production scheduling using ant colony optimization method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pakpahan, Eka KA; Kristina, Sonna; Setiawan, Ari

    2017-12-01

    This paper deals with the determination of job shop production schedule on an automatic environment. On this particular environment, machines and material handling system are integrated and controlled by a computer center where schedule were created and then used to dictate the movement of parts and the operations at each machine. This setting is usually designed to have an unmanned production process for a specified interval time. We consider here parts with various operations requirement. Each operation requires specific cutting tools. These parts are to be scheduled on machines each having identical capability, meaning that each machine is equipped with a similar set of cutting tools therefore is capable of processing any operation. The availability of a particular machine to process a particular operation is determined by the remaining life time of its cutting tools. We proposed an algorithm based on the ant colony optimization method and embedded them on matlab software to generate production schedule which minimize the total processing time of the parts (makespan). We test the algorithm on data provided by real industry and the process shows a very short computation time. This contributes a lot to the flexibility and timelines targeted on an automatic environment.

  11. A Multipath Routing Protocol Based on Clustering and Ant Colony Optimization for Wireless Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Yang

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available For monitoring burst events in a kind of reactive wireless sensor networks (WSNs, a multipath routing protocol (MRP based on dynamic clustering and ant colony optimization (ACO is proposed.. Such an approach can maximize the network lifetime and reduce the energy consumption. An important attribute of WSNs is their limited power supply, and therefore some metrics (such as energy consumption of communication among nodes, residual energy, path length were considered as very important criteria while designing routing in the MRP. Firstly, a cluster head (CH is selected among nodes located in the event area according to some parameters, such as residual energy. Secondly, an improved ACO algorithm is applied in the search for multiple paths between the CH and sink node. Finally, the CH dynamically chooses a route to transmit data with a probability that depends on many path metrics, such as energy consumption. The simulation results show that MRP can prolong the network lifetime, as well as balance of energy consumption among nodes and reduce the average energy consumption effectively.

  12. MATLAB Simulation of UPQC for Power Quality Mitigation Using an Ant Colony Based Fuzzy Control Technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumarasabapathy, N; Manoharan, P S

    2015-01-01

    This paper proposes a fuzzy logic based new control scheme for the Unified Power Quality Conditioner (UPQC) for minimizing the voltage sag and total harmonic distortion in the distribution system consequently to improve the power quality. UPQC is a recent power electronic module which guarantees better power quality mitigation as it has both series-active and shunt-active power filters (APFs). The fuzzy logic controller has recently attracted a great deal of attention and possesses conceptually the quality of the simplicity by tackling complex systems with vagueness and ambiguity. In this research, the fuzzy logic controller is utilized for the generation of reference signal controlling the UPQC. To enable this, a systematic approach for creating the fuzzy membership functions is carried out by using an ant colony optimization technique for optimal fuzzy logic control. An exhaustive simulation study using the MATLAB/Simulink is carried out to investigate and demonstrate the performance of the proposed fuzzy logic controller and the simulation results are compared with the PI controller in terms of its performance in improving the power quality by minimizing the voltage sag and total harmonic distortion.

  13. MATLAB Simulation of UPQC for Power Quality Mitigation Using an Ant Colony Based Fuzzy Control Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Kumarasabapathy

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes a fuzzy logic based new control scheme for the Unified Power Quality Conditioner (UPQC for minimizing the voltage sag and total harmonic distortion in the distribution system consequently to improve the power quality. UPQC is a recent power electronic module which guarantees better power quality mitigation as it has both series-active and shunt-active power filters (APFs. The fuzzy logic controller has recently attracted a great deal of attention and possesses conceptually the quality of the simplicity by tackling complex systems with vagueness and ambiguity. In this research, the fuzzy logic controller is utilized for the generation of reference signal controlling the UPQC. To enable this, a systematic approach for creating the fuzzy membership functions is carried out by using an ant colony optimization technique for optimal fuzzy logic control. An exhaustive simulation study using the MATLAB/Simulink is carried out to investigate and demonstrate the performance of the proposed fuzzy logic controller and the simulation results are compared with the PI controller in terms of its performance in improving the power quality by minimizing the voltage sag and total harmonic distortion.

  14. Modeling and simulation of dynamic ant colony's labor division for task allocation of UAV swarm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Husheng; Li, Hao; Xiao, Renbin; Liu, Jie

    2018-02-01

    The problem of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) task allocation not only has the intrinsic attribute of complexity, such as highly nonlinear, dynamic, highly adversarial and multi-modal, but also has a better practicability in various multi-agent systems, which makes it more and more attractive recently. In this paper, based on the classic fixed response threshold model (FRTM), under the idea of "problem centered + evolutionary solution" and by a bottom-up way, the new dynamic environmental stimulus, response threshold and transition probability are designed, and a dynamic ant colony's labor division (DACLD) model is proposed. DACLD allows a swarm of agents with a relatively low-level of intelligence to perform complex tasks, and has the characteristic of distributed framework, multi-tasks with execution order, multi-state, adaptive response threshold and multi-individual response. With the proposed model, numerical simulations are performed to illustrate the effectiveness of the distributed task allocation scheme in two situations of UAV swarm combat (dynamic task allocation with a certain number of enemy targets and task re-allocation due to unexpected threats). Results show that our model can get both the heterogeneous UAVs' real-time positions and states at the same time, and has high degree of self-organization, flexibility and real-time response to dynamic environments.

  15. An ant colony optimization based feature selection for web page classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saraç, Esra; Özel, Selma Ayşe

    2014-01-01

    The increased popularity of the web has caused the inclusion of huge amount of information to the web, and as a result of this explosive information growth, automated web page classification systems are needed to improve search engines' performance. Web pages have a large number of features such as HTML/XML tags, URLs, hyperlinks, and text contents that should be considered during an automated classification process. The aim of this study is to reduce the number of features to be used to improve runtime and accuracy of the classification of web pages. In this study, we used an ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm to select the best features, and then we applied the well-known C4.5, naive Bayes, and k nearest neighbor classifiers to assign class labels to web pages. We used the WebKB and Conference datasets in our experiments, and we showed that using the ACO for feature selection improves both accuracy and runtime performance of classification. We also showed that the proposed ACO based algorithm can select better features with respect to the well-known information gain and chi square feature selection methods.

  16. Graph Theory and ANT Colony Optimization Approach for Forest Patch Connectivity Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shantala Devi, B. S.; Murthy, M. S. R.; Pujar, G. S.; Debnath, B.

    2011-08-01

    Forest connectivity is necessary for prioritizing biodiversity conservation. Connectivity indices facilitate to predict the movement pattern of species across complex landscapes. Change in area and inter-patch distance in forest affects the biodiversity, wildlife movement, seed dispersal and other ecological factors. In graph theory components play an important role to analyze the group of patches and its impact with reference to the threshold distance between the patches. The study on link, threshold distance and components showed that with the increase in threshold distance, number of components decreased and number of links increased. Also Integral index of connectivity importance value (dIIC > 0.05) is high for big forest patches and considered to be intact forest. For those less than 0.05 importance value requires protection and conservation. Hence dIIC is categorised into Very low, low, Medium, high and Very high to analyze the degree of connectivity. Choosing correct threshold distance based on the requirement of species movement is preferred. Based on the selection of potential habitat patches shortest path between them is determined using Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) Technique. Vegetation type Map, Slope, Elevation, Disturbance Index, Biological Richness Map and DIIC layers facilitated to analyze the optimal path of the species through ACO for connectivity. Graph Theory and ACO works as a robust tool for Biodiversity Conservation.

  17. Offensive Strategy in the 2D Soccer Simulation League Using Multi-Group Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shengbing Chen

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The 2D soccer simulation league is one of the best test beds for the research of artificial intelligence (AI. It has achieved great successes in the domain of multi-agent cooperation and machine learning. However, the problem of integral offensive strategy has not been solved because of the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the environment. In this paper, we present a novel offensive strategy based on multi-group ant colony optimization (MACO-OS. The strategy uses the pheromone evaporation mechanism to count the preference value of each attack action in different environments, and saves the values of success rate and preference in an attack information tree in the background. The decision module of the attacker then selects the best attack action according to the preference value. The MACO-OS approach has been successfully implemented in our 2D soccer simulation team in RoboCup competitions. The experimental results have indicated that the agents developed with this strategy, along with related techniques, delivered outstanding performances.

  18. An Effective Hybrid Routing Algorithm in WSN: Ant Colony Optimization in combination with Hop Count Minimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ailian; Zheng, Lihong

    2018-03-29

    Low cost, high reliability and easy maintenance are key criteria in the design of routing protocols for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). This paper investigates the existing ant colony optimization (ACO)-based WSN routing algorithms and the minimum hop count WSN routing algorithms by reviewing their strengths and weaknesses. We also consider the critical factors of WSNs, such as energy constraint of sensor nodes, network load balancing and dynamic network topology. Then we propose a hybrid routing algorithm that integrates ACO and a minimum hop count scheme. The proposed algorithm is able to find the optimal routing path with minimal total energy consumption and balanced energy consumption on each node. The algorithm has unique superiority in terms of searching for the optimal path, balancing the network load and the network topology maintenance. The WSN model and the proposed algorithm have been implemented using C++. Extensive simulation experimental results have shown that our algorithm outperforms several other WSN routing algorithms on such aspects that include the rate of convergence, the success rate in searching for global optimal solution, and the network lifetime.

  19. A sequential fuzzy diagnosis method for rotating machinery using ant colony optimization and possibility theory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sun, Hao; Ping, Xueliang; Cao, Yi; Lie, Ke [Jiangnan University, Wuxi (China); Chen, Peng [Mie University, Mie (Japan); Wang, Huaqing [Beijing University, Beijing (China)

    2014-04-15

    This study proposes a novel intelligent fault diagnosis method for rotating machinery using ant colony optimization (ACO) and possibility theory. The non-dimensional symptom parameters (NSPs) in the frequency domain are defined to reflect the features of the vibration signals measured in each state. A sensitive evaluation method for selecting good symptom parameters using principal component analysis (PCA) is proposed for detecting and distinguishing faults in rotating machinery. By using ACO clustering algorithm, the synthesizing symptom parameters (SSP) for condition diagnosis are obtained. A fuzzy diagnosis method using sequential inference and possibility theory is also proposed, by which the conditions of the machinery can be identified sequentially. Lastly, the proposed method is compared with a conventional neural networks (NN) method. Practical examples of diagnosis for a V-belt driving equipment used in a centrifugal fan are provided to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. The results verify that the faults that often occur in V-belt driving equipment, such as a pulley defect state, a belt defect state and a belt looseness state, are effectively identified by the proposed method, while these faults are difficult to detect using conventional NN.

  20. Meta-Heuristics in Short Scale Construction: Ant Colony Optimization and Genetic Algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeders, Ulrich; Wilhelm, Oliver; Olaru, Gabriel

    2016-01-01

    The advent of large-scale assessment, but also the more frequent use of longitudinal and multivariate approaches to measurement in psychological, educational, and sociological research, caused an increased demand for psychometrically sound short scales. Shortening scales economizes on valuable administration time, but might result in inadequate measures because reducing an item set could: a) change the internal structure of the measure, b) result in poorer reliability and measurement precision, c) deliver measures that cannot effectively discriminate between persons on the intended ability spectrum, and d) reduce test-criterion relations. Different approaches to abbreviate measures fare differently with respect to the above-mentioned problems. Therefore, we compare the quality and efficiency of three item selection strategies to derive short scales from an existing long version: a Stepwise COnfirmatory Factor Analytical approach (SCOFA) that maximizes factor loadings and two metaheuristics, specifically an Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) with a tailored user-defined optimization function and a Genetic Algorithm (GA) with an unspecific cost-reduction function. SCOFA compiled short versions were highly reliable, but had poor validity. In contrast, both metaheuristics outperformed SCOFA and produced efficient and psychometrically sound short versions (unidimensional, reliable, sensitive, and valid). We discuss under which circumstances ACO and GA produce equivalent results and provide recommendations for conditions in which it is advisable to use a metaheuristic with an unspecific out-of-the-box optimization function.

  1. A Modified Pareto Ant Colony Optimization Approach to Solve Biobjective Weapon-Target Assignment Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    You Li

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The weapon-target assignment (WTA problem, known as an NP-complete problem, aims at seeking a proper assignment of weapons to targets. The biobjective WTA (BOWTA optimization model which maximizes the expected damage of the enemy and minimizes the cost of missiles is designed in this paper. A modified Pareto ant colony optimization (MPACO algorithm is used to solve the BOWTA problem. In order to avoid defects in traditional optimization algorithms and obtain a set of Pareto solutions efficiently, MPACO algorithm based on new designed operators is proposed, including a dynamic heuristic information calculation approach, an improved movement probability rule, a dynamic evaporation rate strategy, a global updating rule of pheromone, and a boundary symmetric mutation strategy. In order to simulate real air combat, the pilot operation factor is introduced into the BOWTA model. Finally, we apply the MPACO algorithm and other algorithms to the model and compare the data. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm is successfully applied in the field of WTA which improves the performance of the traditional P-ACO algorithm effectively and produces better solutions than the two well-known multiobjective optimization algorithms NSGA-II and SPEA-II.

  2. Parameter Selection for Ant Colony Algorithm Based on Bacterial Foraging Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Li

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The optimal performance of the ant colony algorithm (ACA mainly depends on suitable parameters; therefore, parameter selection for ACA is important. We propose a parameter selection method for ACA based on the bacterial foraging algorithm (BFA, considering the effects of coupling between different parameters. Firstly, parameters for ACA are mapped into a multidimensional space, using a chemotactic operator to ensure that each parameter group approaches the optimal value, speeding up the convergence for each parameter set. Secondly, the operation speed for optimizing the entire parameter set is accelerated using a reproduction operator. Finally, the elimination-dispersal operator is used to strengthen the global optimization of the parameters, which avoids falling into a local optimal solution. In order to validate the effectiveness of this method, the results were compared with those using a genetic algorithm (GA and a particle swarm optimization (PSO, and simulations were conducted using different grid maps for robot path planning. The results indicated that parameter selection for ACA based on BFA was the superior method, able to determine the best parameter combination rapidly, accurately, and effectively.

  3. Simulation study of UAV conflict resolution based on an improved ant colony algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xueli WU

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available With the gradual opening of the low-altitude airspace and the rapid development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle(UAV industry, the users of UAV are increasing continuously and the conflicts could occur at any time. It is necessary to develop a reliable UAV conflict resolution algorithm to avoid the danger. This paper proposes an UAV conflict resolution algorithm based on the improved ant colony algorithm with two advantages. Firstly, the algorithm adopts adaptive parameters adjustment strategy, which adjusts the parameters value dynamically according to the quality of the solution, prevents the algorithm premature convergence and improves the accuracy. In addition, the disturbance factors is introduced to the state transition rules of random selected path in order to accelerate the initial convergence. The simulation results have shown that the improved algorithm displays obvious superiority in convergence precision, helping the two UAVs avoiding dangers in time. The algorithm described in this paper could be applied to target identification, path planning and other issues as a general optimized algorithm, which is of great significance and wide application.

  4. Monte Carlo simulation using the PENELOPE code with an ant colony algorithm to study MOSFET detectors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carvajal, M A; Palma, A J [Departamento de Electronica y Tecnologia de Computadores, Universidad de Granada, E-18071 Granada (Spain); Garcia-Pareja, S [Servicio de Radiofisica Hospitalaria, Hospital Regional Universitario ' Carlos Haya' , Avda Carlos Haya, s/n, E-29010 Malaga (Spain); Guirado, D [Servicio de RadiofIsica, Hospital Universitario ' San Cecilio' , Avda Dr Oloriz, 16, E-18012 Granada (Spain); Vilches, M [Servicio de Fisica y Proteccion Radiologica, Hospital Regional Universitario ' Virgen de las Nieves' , Avda Fuerzas Armadas, 2, E-18014 Granada (Spain); Anguiano, M; Lallena, A M [Departamento de Fisica Atomica, Molecular y Nuclear, Universidad de Granada, E-18071 Granada (Spain)], E-mail: carvajal@ugr.es, E-mail: garciapareja@gmail.com, E-mail: dguirado@ugr.es, E-mail: mvilches@ugr.es, E-mail: mangui@ugr.es, E-mail: ajpalma@ugr.es, E-mail: lallena@ugr.es

    2009-10-21

    In this work we have developed a simulation tool, based on the PENELOPE code, to study the response of MOSFET devices to irradiation with high-energy photons. The energy deposited in the extremely thin silicon dioxide layer has been calculated. To reduce the statistical uncertainties, an ant colony algorithm has been implemented to drive the application of splitting and Russian roulette as variance reduction techniques. In this way, the uncertainty has been reduced by a factor of {approx}5, while the efficiency is increased by a factor of above 20. As an application, we have studied the dependence of the response of the pMOS transistor 3N163, used as a dosimeter, with the incidence angle of the radiation for three common photons sources used in radiotherapy: a {sup 60}Co Theratron-780 and the 6 and 18 MV beams produced by a Mevatron KDS LINAC. Experimental and simulated results have been obtained for gantry angles of 0 deg., 15 deg., 30 deg., 45 deg., 60 deg. and 75 deg. The agreement obtained has permitted validation of the simulation tool. We have studied how to reduce the angular dependence of the MOSFET response by using an additional encapsulation made of brass in the case of the two LINAC qualities considered.

  5. Simulated Annealing-Based Ant Colony Algorithm for Tugboat Scheduling Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Xu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available As the “first service station” for ships in the whole port logistics system, the tugboat operation system is one of the most important systems in port logistics. This paper formulated the tugboat scheduling problem as a multiprocessor task scheduling problem (MTSP after analyzing the characteristics of tugboat operation. The model considers factors of multianchorage bases, different operation modes, and three stages of operations (berthing/shifting-berth/unberthing. The objective is to minimize the total operation times for all tugboats in a port. A hybrid simulated annealing-based ant colony algorithm is proposed to solve the addressed problem. By the numerical experiments without the shifting-berth operation, the effectiveness was verified, and the fact that more effective sailing may be possible if tugboats return to the anchorage base timely was pointed out; by the experiments with the shifting-berth operation, one can see that the objective is most sensitive to the proportion of the shifting-berth operation, influenced slightly by the tugboat deployment scheme, and not sensitive to the handling operation times.

  6. Intelligent method for diagnosing structural faults of rotating machinery using ant colony optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ke; Chen, Peng

    2011-01-01

    Structural faults, such as unbalance, misalignment and looseness, etc., often occur in the shafts of rotating machinery. These faults may cause serious machine accidents and lead to great production losses. This paper proposes an intelligent method for diagnosing structural faults of rotating machinery using ant colony optimization (ACO) and relative ratio symptom parameters (RRSPs) in order to detect faults and distinguish fault types at an early stage. New symptom parameters called "relative ratio symptom parameters" are defined for reflecting the features of vibration signals measured in each state. Synthetic detection index (SDI) using statistical theory has also been defined to evaluate the applicability of the RRSPs. The SDI can be used to indicate the fitness of a RRSP for ACO. Lastly, this paper also compares the proposed method with the conventional neural networks (NN) method. Practical examples of fault diagnosis for a centrifugal fan are provided to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. The verification results show that the structural faults often occurring in the centrifugal fan, such as unbalance, misalignment and looseness states are effectively identified by the proposed method, while these faults are difficult to detect using conventional neural networks.

  7. Colony Composition of Two Malaysian Ponerine Ants, Platythyrea Tricuspidata and P. Quadridenta: Sexual Reproduction by Workers and Production of Queens (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Ito, Fuminori

    1994-01-01

    Colonies of ponerine ants Platythyrea quadridenta and P. tricuspidata were collected in the rainforest of West Malaysia. Two colonies of P. tricuspidata were composed only of workers, and three and eight workers were inseminated per colony, respectively. However, active ovaries were found in one of the three, and two of the eight mated workers. P. quadridenta also exhibited sexual reproduction by workers, and there were many sterile mated workers. The two largest colonie...

  8. HYBRIDIZATION OF MODIFIED ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION AND INTELLIGENT WATER DROPS ALGORITHM FOR JOB SCHEDULING IN COMPUTATIONAL GRID

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Mathiyalagan

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available As grid is a heterogeneous environment, finding an optimal schedule for the job is always a complex task. In this paper, a hybridization technique using intelligent water drops and Ant colony optimization which are nature-inspired swarm intelligence approaches are used to find the best resource for the job. Intelligent water drops involves in finding out all matching resources for the job requirements and the routing information (optimal path to reach those resources. Ant Colony optimization chooses the best resource among all matching resources for the job. The objective of this approach is to converge to the optimal schedule faster, minimize the make span of the job, improve load balancing of resources and efficient utilization of available resources.

  9. AN EFFICIENT APPROACH FOR DETECTION OF HEART ATTACK USING NOBLE ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION CONCEPT OF DATA MINING

    OpenAIRE

    Pise Satish Prakashrao*1, Anoop Singh 2 & Ritesh Kumar Yadav3

    2018-01-01

    The goal of data mining is to extract knowledge from large amounts of data. Data Mining is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on machine learning, statistics and databases. In this article, we highlight a new framework that uses a combination of data extraction and ant colony optimization to collect heart disease such as early heart attacks to protect them and reduce mortality rates. This study focused on the formulation and implementation of an improved and reliable model for the diagno...

  10. Ant colony method to control variance reduction techniques in the Monte Carlo simulation of clinical electron linear accelerators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia-Pareja, S. [Servicio de Radiofisica Hospitalaria, Hospital Regional Universitario ' Carlos Haya' , Avda. Carlos Haya, s/n, E-29010 Malaga (Spain)], E-mail: garciapareja@gmail.com; Vilches, M. [Servicio de Fisica y Proteccion Radiologica, Hospital Regional Universitario ' Virgen de las Nieves' , Avda. de las Fuerzas Armadas, 2, E-18014 Granada (Spain); Lallena, A.M. [Departamento de Fisica Atomica, Molecular y Nuclear, Universidad de Granada, E-18071 Granada (Spain)

    2007-09-21

    The ant colony method is used to control the application of variance reduction techniques to the simulation of clinical electron linear accelerators of use in cancer therapy. In particular, splitting and Russian roulette, two standard variance reduction methods, are considered. The approach can be applied to any accelerator in a straightforward way and permits, in addition, to investigate the 'hot' regions of the accelerator, an information which is basic to develop a source model for this therapy tool.

  11. Ant colony method to control variance reduction techniques in the Monte Carlo simulation of clinical electron linear accelerators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia-Pareja, S.; Vilches, M.; Lallena, A.M.

    2007-01-01

    The ant colony method is used to control the application of variance reduction techniques to the simulation of clinical electron linear accelerators of use in cancer therapy. In particular, splitting and Russian roulette, two standard variance reduction methods, are considered. The approach can be applied to any accelerator in a straightforward way and permits, in addition, to investigate the 'hot' regions of the accelerator, an information which is basic to develop a source model for this therapy tool

  12. Balancing emergency message dissemination and network lifetime in wireless body area network using ant colony optimization and Bayesian game formulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Latha

    Full Text Available Nowadays, Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN is emerging very fast and so many new methods and algorithms are coming up for finding the optimal path for disseminating emergency messages. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO is one of the cultural algorithms for solving many hard problems such as Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP. ACO is a natural behaviour of ants, which work stochastically with the help of pheromone trails deposited in the shortest route to find their food. This optimization procedure involves adapting, positive feedback and inherent parallelism. Each ant will deposit certain amount of pheromone in the tour construction it makes searching for food. This type of communication is known as stigmetric communication. In addition, if a dense WBAN environment prevails, such as hospital, i.e. in the environment of overlapping WBAN, game formulation was introduced for analyzing the mixed strategy behaviour of WBAN. In this paper, the ant colony optimization approach to the travelling salesman problem was applied to the WBAN to determine the shortest route for sending emergency message to the doctor via sensor nodes; and also a static Bayesian game formulation with mixed strategy was analysed to enhance the network lifetime. Whenever the patient needs any critical care or any other medical issue arises, emergency messages will be created by the WBAN and sent to the doctor's destination. All the modes of communication were realized in a simulation environment using OMNet++. The authors investigated a balanced model of emergency message dissemination and network lifetime in WBAN using ACO and Bayesian game formulation. Keywords: Wireless body area network, Ant colony optimization, Bayesian game model, Sensor network, Message latency, Network lifetime

  13. Social transmission of information about a mutualist via trophallaxis in ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Masayuki; Hojo, Masaru K; Nomura, Masashi; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2017-08-30

    Partner discrimination is crucial in mutualistic interactions between organisms to counteract cheating by the partner. Trophobiosis between ants and aphids is a model system of such mutualistic interaction. To establish and maintain the mutualistic association, ants need to correctly discriminate mutualistic aphids. However, the mechanism by which ants recognize aphids as their partners is poorly understood, despite its ecological and evolutionary importance. Here, we show for the first time the evidence that interaction with nest-mates that have tended aphids ( Aphis craccivora ) allows ants ( Tetramorium tsushimae ) to learn to recognize the aphid species as their partner. When ants had previously tended aphids, they moderated their aggressiveness towards aphids. More importantly, ants that had interacted with aphid-experienced nest-mates also reduced their aggressiveness towards aphids, even though they had never directly experienced them, indicating that aphid information was transmitted from aphid-experienced ants to inexperienced ants. Furthermore, inhibition of mouth-to-mouth contact (trophallaxis) from aphid-experienced ants to inexperienced ants by providing the inexperienced ants with artificial honeydew solution caused the inexperienced ants to become aggressive towards aphids. These results, with further supporting data, strongly suggest that ants transfer information on their mutualists during trophallactic interactions. © 2017 The Author(s).

  14. Bacterial diversity in Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis geminata ant colonies characterized by 16S amplicon 454 pyrosequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishak, Heather D; Plowes, Rob; Sen, Ruchira; Kellner, Katrin; Meyer, Eli; Estrada, Dora A; Dowd, Scot E; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-05-01

    Social insects harbor diverse assemblages of bacterial microbes, which may play a crucial role in the success or failure of biological invasions. The invasive fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Formicidae, Hymenoptera) is a model system for understanding the dynamics of invasive social insects and their biological control. However, little is known about microbes as biotic factors influencing the success or failure of ant invasions. This pilot study is the first attempt to characterize and compare microbial communities associated with the introduced S. invicta and the native Solenopsis geminata in the USA. Using 16S amplicon 454 pyrosequencing, bacterial communities of workers, brood, and soil from nest walls were compared between neighboring S. invicta and S. geminata colonies at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, Austin, Texas, with the aim of identifying potential pathogenic, commensal, or mutualistic microbial associates. Two samples of S. geminata workers showed high counts of Spiroplasma bacteria, a known pathogen or mutualist of other insects. A subsequent analysis using PCR and sequencing confirmed the presence of Spiroplasma in additional colonies of both Solenopsis species. Wolbachia was found in one alate sample of S. geminata, while one brood sample of S. invicta had a high count of Lactococcus. As expected, ant samples from both species showed much lower microbial diversity than the surrounding soil. Both ant species had similar overall bacterial diversities, although little overlap in specific microbes. To properly characterize a single bacterial community associated with a Solenopsis ant sample, rarefaction analyses indicate that it is necessary to obtain 5,000-10,000 sequences. Overall, 16S amplicon 454 pyrosequencing appears to be a cost-effective approach to screen whole microbial diversity associated with invasive ant species.

  15. PinaColada: peptide-inhibitor ant colony ad-hoc design algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaidman, Daniel; Wolfson, Haim J

    2016-08-01

    Design of protein-protein interaction (PPI) inhibitors is a major challenge in Structural Bioinformatics. Peptides, especially short ones (5-15 amino acid long), are natural candidates for inhibition of protein-protein complexes due to several attractive features such as high structural compatibility with the protein binding site (mimicking the surface of one of the proteins), small size and the ability to form strong hotspot binding connections with the protein surface. Efficient rational peptide design is still a major challenge in computer aided drug design, due to the huge space of possible sequences, which is exponential in the length of the peptide, and the high flexibility of peptide conformations. In this article we present PinaColada, a novel computational method for the design of peptide inhibitors for protein-protein interactions. We employ a version of the ant colony optimization heuristic, which is used to explore the exponential space ([Formula: see text]) of length n peptide sequences, in combination with our fast robotics motivated PepCrawler algorithm, which explores the conformational space for each candidate sequence. PinaColada is being run in parallel, on a DELL PowerEdge 2.8 GHZ computer with 20 cores and 256 GB memory, and takes up to 24 h to design a peptide of 5-15 amino acids length. An online server available at: http://bioinfo3d.cs.tau.ac.il/PinaColada/. danielza@post.tau.ac.il; wolfson@tau.ac.il. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Duim, René; Ren, Carina Bregnholm; Jóhannesson, Gunnar Thór

    2017-01-01

    Ten years ago actor-network theory (ANT) entered this journal. To illustrate how the relational ontology and sensibilities of ANT lend themselves to particular kinds of research, we first interrogate the main controversies as a way to open up and discuss the main premises of ANT. These debates...... concern the status and agency of objects and non-humans, ANT’s denial of the explanatory power of social structures, and the political implications of ANT. Second we present ANT’s relevance for tourism studies and discuss what ANT ‘does’ in practice. After summarizing a decade of relations between ANT...... and tourism, we conclude by tracing three future trajectories of how we have ‘moved away with’ ANT into new areas of discovery....

  17. Emigration speed and the production of sexuals in colonies of the antTemnothorax crassispinusunder high and low levels of disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrus, S

    A nest relocation is costly for social insects, and involves hazards. Emigrations were studied in Temnothorax crassispinus ant colonies, which inhabit ephemeral nest sites, and which frequently change their nests. In a laboratory experiment, ant colonies from one group were forced to change their nest sites 10 times over a ca. 3-month period, whilst colonies from the second group were forced to adopt this practice twice (on the beginning of May, and in the second half of July). Colonies of the ant from both the groups reduced their total emigration duration. However, the duration of the transport phase remained unchanged. In the case of colonies with higher level of disturbance, there was no relation between colony growth rate and energy allocation in sexual individuals, whilst a negative correlation between these parameters was present in group with lower level of disturbance. In colonies with lower level of disturbance, the investment in sexuals was not correlated with the number of workers at the end of the experiment, whereas such a correlation was demonstrated for colonies with higher level of disturbance. The disturbance, and thus necessity of frequent nest relocations, may be perceived by ants as a signal that nest sites are of a lower quality and may contribute to a change in energy allocation.

  18. Gas ultrasonic flow rate measurement through genetic-ant colony optimization based on the ultrasonic pulse received signal model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hou, Huirang; Zheng, Dandan; Nie, Laixiao

    2015-01-01

    For gas ultrasonic flowmeters, the signals received by ultrasonic sensors are susceptible to noise interference. If signals are mingled with noise, a large error in flow measurement can be caused by triggering mistakenly using the traditional double-threshold method. To solve this problem, genetic-ant colony optimization (GACO) based on the ultrasonic pulse received signal model is proposed. Furthermore, in consideration of the real-time performance of the flow measurement system, the improvement of processing only the first three cycles of the received signals rather than the whole signal is proposed. Simulation results show that the GACO algorithm has the best estimation accuracy and ant-noise ability compared with the genetic algorithm, ant colony optimization, double-threshold and enveloped zero-crossing. Local convergence doesn’t appear with the GACO algorithm until –10 dB. For the GACO algorithm, the converging accuracy and converging speed and the amount of computation are further improved when using the first three cycles (called GACO-3cycles). Experimental results involving actual received signals show that the accuracy of single-gas ultrasonic flow rate measurement can reach 0.5% with GACO-3 cycles, which is better than with the double-threshold method. (paper)

  19. Scaling of differentiation in networks: nervous systems, organisms, ant colonies, ecosystems, businesses, universities, cities, electronic circuits, and Legos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Changizi, M A; McDannald, M A; Widders, D

    2002-09-21

    Nodes in networks are often of different types, and in this sense networks are differentiated. Here we examine the relationship between network differentiation and network size in networks under economic or natural selective pressure, such as electronic circuits (networks of electronic components), Legos (networks of Lego pieces), businesses (networks of employees), universities (networks of faculty), organisms (networks of cells), ant colonies (networks of ants), and nervous systems (networks of neurons). For each of these we find that (i) differentiation increases with network size, and (ii) the relationship is consistent with a power law. These results are explained by a hypothesis that, because nodes are costly to build and maintain in such "selected networks", network size is optimized, and from this the power-law relationship may be derived. The scaling exponent depends on the particular kind of network, and is determined by the degree to which nodes are used in a combinatorial fashion to carry out network-level functions. We find that networks under natural selection (organisms, ant colonies, and nervous systems) have much higher combinatorial abilities than the networks for which human ingenuity is involved (electronic circuits, Legos, businesses, and universities). A distinct but related optimization hypothesis may be used to explain scaling of differentiation in competitive networks (networks where the nodes themselves, rather than the entire network, are under selective pressure) such as ecosystems (networks of organisms).

  20. Reinforcement interval type-2 fuzzy controller design by online rule generation and q-value-aided ant colony optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juang, Chia-Feng; Hsu, Chia-Hung

    2009-12-01

    This paper proposes a new reinforcement-learning method using online rule generation and Q-value-aided ant colony optimization (ORGQACO) for fuzzy controller design. The fuzzy controller is based on an interval type-2 fuzzy system (IT2FS). The antecedent part in the designed IT2FS uses interval type-2 fuzzy sets to improve controller robustness to noise. There are initially no fuzzy rules in the IT2FS. The ORGQACO concurrently designs both the structure and parameters of an IT2FS. We propose an online interval type-2 rule generation method for the evolution of system structure and flexible partitioning of the input space. Consequent part parameters in an IT2FS are designed using Q -values and the reinforcement local-global ant colony optimization algorithm. This algorithm selects the consequent part from a set of candidate actions according to ant pheromone trails and Q-values, both of which are updated using reinforcement signals. The ORGQACO design method is applied to the following three control problems: 1) truck-backing control; 2) magnetic-levitation control; and 3) chaotic-system control. The ORGQACO is compared with other reinforcement-learning methods to verify its efficiency and effectiveness. Comparisons with type-1 fuzzy systems verify the noise robustness property of using an IT2FS.

  1. The effect of symbiotic ant colonies on plant growth: a test using an Azteca-Cecropia system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karla N Oliveira

    Full Text Available In studies of ant-plant mutualisms, the role that ants play in increasing the growth rates of their plant partners is potentially a key beneficial service. In the field, we measured the growth of Cecropia glaziovii saplings and compared individuals that were naturally colonized by Azteca muelleri ants with uncolonized plants in different seasons (wet and dry. We also measured light availability as well as attributes that could be influenced by the presence of Azteca colonies, such as herbivory, leaf nutrients (total nitrogen and δ(15N, and investments in defense (total phenolics and leaf mass per area. We found that colonized plants grew faster than uncolonized plants and experienced a lower level of herbivory in both the wet and dry seasons. Colonized plants had higher nitrogen content than uncolonized plants, although the δ(15N, light environment, total phenolics and leaf mass per area, did not differ between colonized and uncolonized plants. Since colonized and uncolonized plants did not differ in the direct defenses that we evaluated, yet herbivory was lower in colonized plants, we conclude that biotic defenses were the most effective protection against herbivores in our system. This result supports the hypothesis that protection provided by ants is an important factor promoting plant growth. Since C. glaziovii is widely distributed among a variety of forests and ecotones, and since we demonstrated a strong relationship with their ant partners, this system can be useful for comparative studies of ant-plant interactions in different habitats. Also, given this study was carried out near the transition to the subtropics, these results help generalize the geographic distribution of this mutualism and may shed light on the persistence of the interactions in the face of climate change.

  2. Ocurrence of the antibiotic producing bacterium Burkholderia sp. in colonies of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Adão Valmir; Dillon, Rod J; Dillon, Viv M; Reynolds, Stuart E; Samuels, Richard I

    2004-10-15

    Fungus garden material from recently established Atta sexdens rubropilosa colonies (6-12 months old) was sampled to detect antibiotic producing microorganisms that inhibited the growth of pathogens of insects and of the fungus gardens but did not affect their mutualistic fungus. A bacterium with activity against the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana was isolated from 56% of the gardens tested (n=57) and identified from its biochemical profile and from 16S and 23S ribosomal DNA sequences as a member of the genus Burkholderia. The ant-associated Burkholderia isolates secreted a potent, anti-fungal agent that inhibited germination of conidia of the entomopathogenic fungi B. bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, of the saprophytic Verticillium lecanii, and also of a specialist fungus garden Escovopsis weberi. Growth of the ant's mutualist fungus was unaffected.

  3. CodeRAnts: A recommendation method based on collaborative searching and ant colonies, applied to reusing of open source code

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaac Caicedo-Castro

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents CodeRAnts, a new recommendation method based on a collaborative searching technique and inspired on the ant colony metaphor. This method aims to fill the gap in the current state of the matter regarding recommender systems for software reuse, for which prior works present two problems. The first is that, recommender systems based on these works cannot learn from the collaboration of programmers and second, outcomes of assessments carried out on these systems present low precision measures and recall and in some of these systems, these metrics have not been evaluated. The work presented in this paper contributes a recommendation method, which solves these problems.

  4. Optimising social information by game theory and ant colony method to enhance routing protocol in opportunistic networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chander Prabha

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The data loss and disconnection of nodes are frequent in the opportunistic networks. The social information plays an important role in reducing the data loss because it depends on the connectivity of nodes. The appropriate selection of next hop based on social information is critical for improving the performance of routing in opportunistic networks. The frequent disconnection problem is overcome by optimising the social information with Ant Colony Optimization method which depends on the topology of opportunistic network. The proposed protocol is examined thoroughly via analysis and simulation in order to assess their performance in comparison with other social based routing protocols in opportunistic network under various parameters settings.

  5. A methodology for obtaining the control rods patterns in a BWR using systems based on ants colonies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ortiz S, J.J.; Requena R, I.

    2003-01-01

    In this work the AZCATL-PBC system based on a technique of ants colonies for the search of control rods patterns of those reactors of the Nuclear Power station of Laguna Verde (CNLV) is presented. The technique was applied to a transition cycle and one of balance. For both cycles they were compared the k ef values obtained with a Haling calculation and the control rods pattern proposed by AZCATL-PBC for a burnt one fixed. It was found that the methodology is able to extend the length of the cycle with respect to the Haling prediction, maintaining sure to the reactor. (Author)

  6. Integrating fuzzy object based image analysis and ant colony optimization for road extraction from remotely sensed images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maboudi, Mehdi; Amini, Jalal; Malihi, Shirin; Hahn, Michael

    2018-04-01

    Updated road network as a crucial part of the transportation database plays an important role in various applications. Thus, increasing the automation of the road extraction approaches from remote sensing images has been the subject of extensive research. In this paper, we propose an object based road extraction approach from very high resolution satellite images. Based on the object based image analysis, our approach incorporates various spatial, spectral, and textural objects' descriptors, the capabilities of the fuzzy logic system for handling the uncertainties in road modelling, and the effectiveness and suitability of ant colony algorithm for optimization of network related problems. Four VHR optical satellite images which are acquired by Worldview-2 and IKONOS satellites are used in order to evaluate the proposed approach. Evaluation of the extracted road networks shows that the average completeness, correctness, and quality of the results can reach 89%, 93% and 83% respectively, indicating that the proposed approach is applicable for urban road extraction. We also analyzed the sensitivity of our algorithm to different ant colony optimization parameter values. Comparison of the achieved results with the results of four state-of-the-art algorithms and quantifying the robustness of the fuzzy rule set demonstrate that the proposed approach is both efficient and transferable to other comparable images.

  7. Application of Ant-Colony-Optimization algorithm for improved management of first flush effects in urban wastewater systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdaguer, M; Clara, N; Gutiérrez, O; Poch, M

    2014-07-01

    The first flush effect in combined sewer systems during storm events often causes overflows and overloads of the sewage treatment, which reduces the efficiency of the sewage treatment and decreases the quality of the receiving waters due to the pollutants that are contributed. The use of retention tanks constitutes a widely used way to mitigate this effect. However, the management of the pollutant loads encounters difficulties when the retention tanks are emptied. A new approach is proposed to solve this problem by fulfilling the treatment requirements in real time, focussing on the characteristics of the wastewater. The method is based on the execution of an Ant Colony Optimisation algorithm to obtain a satisfactory sequence for the discharge of the retention tanks. The discharge sequence considers the volume of stormwater and its concentration of pollutants including Suspended Solids, Biological Oxygen Demand and Chemical Oxygen Demand, Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphorus. The Ant Colony Optimisation algorithm was applied successfully to a case study with overall reduction of pollutant loads stored in retention tanks. The algorithm can be adapted in a simple way to the different scenarios, infrastructures and controllers of sewer systems. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. ADAPTIVE CLUSTER BASED ROUTING PROTOCOL WITH ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION FOR MOBILE AD-HOC NETWORK IN DISASTER AREA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrico Budianto

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available In post-disaster rehabilitation efforts, the availability of telecommunication facilities takes important role. However, the process to improve telecommunication facilities in disaster area is risky if it is done by humans. Therefore, a network method that can work efficiently, effectively, and capable to reach the widest possible area is needed. This research introduces a cluster-based routing protocol named Adaptive Cluster Based Routing Protocol (ACBRP equipped by Ant Colony Optimization method, and its implementation in a simulator developed by author. After data analysis and statistical tests, it can be concluded that routing protocol ACBRP performs better than AODV and DSR routing protocol. Pada upaya rehabilitasi pascabencana, ketersediaan fasilitas telekomunikasi memiliki peranan yang sangat penting. Namun, proses untuk memperbaiki fasilitas telekomunikasi di daerah bencana memiliki resiko jika dilakukan oleh manusia. Oleh karena itu, metode jaringan yang dapat bekerja secara efisien, efektif, dan mampu mencapai area seluas mungkin diperlukan. Penelitian ini memperkenalkan sebuah protokol routing berbasis klaster bernama Adaptive Cluster Based Routing Protocol (ACBRP, yang dilengkapi dengan metode Ant Colony Optimization, dan diimplementasikan pada simulator yang dikembangkan penulis. Setelah data dianalisis dan dilakukan uji statistik, disimpulkan bahwa protokol routing ACBRP beroperasi lebih baik daripada protokol routing AODV maupun DSR.

  9. Colony Diet Influences Ant Worker Foraging and Attendance of Myrmecophilous Lycaenid Caterpillars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Pohl

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Foraging animals regulate their intake of macronutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins. However, regulating the intake of these two macronutrients can be constrained by the nutrient content of available food sources. Compensatory foraging is a method to adjust nutrient intake under restricted nutrient availability by preferentially exploiting food sources that contain limiting nutrients. Here we studied the potential for compensatory foraging in the dolichoderine ant Iridomyrmex mayri, which is commonly found in associations with caterpillars of the obligatorily ant-associated lycaenid butterfly Jalmenus evagoras. The caterpillars receive protection against predators and parasites, and reward the ants with nutritional secretions from specialized exocrine glands. These secretions contain a mixture of sugars and free amino acids, particularly serine. We tested the influence of nutrient-deficient diets on foraging patterns in I. mayri by recording the intake of test solutions containing single types of macronutrients during food preference tests. We also investigated the level of ant attendance on fifth instar J. evagoras caterpillars to evaluate how changes in diet influenced ant tending of caterpillars and foraging on their secretions. Foragers on a protein diet compensated for the nutritional deficit by increasing the intake of test solutions that contained sucrose, compared to their counterparts on a non-restricted diet. Ants on a sugar diet, however, did not show a corresponding increased consumption of test solutions containing the amino acid serine. Additionally, compared with their counterparts on a mixed diet, ants on limited nutrient diets showed an increase in the number of caterpillar-tending workers, suggesting that the caterpillars’ secretions are suitable to compensate for the ants’ nutritional deficit.

  10. A Novel Ant Colony Algorithm for the Single-Machine Total Weighted Tardiness Problem with Sequence Dependent Setup Times

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fardin Ahmadizar

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the NP-hard single-machine total weighted tardiness problem with sequence dependent setup times. Incorporating fuzzy sets and genetic operators, a novel ant colony optimization algorithm is developed for the problem. In the proposed algorithm, artificial ants construct solutions as orders of jobs based on the heuristic information as well as pheromone trails. To calculate the heuristic information, three well-known priority rules are adopted as fuzzy sets and then aggregated. When all artificial ants have terminated their constructions, genetic operators such as crossover and mutation are applied to generate new regions of the solution space. A local search is then performed to improve the performance quality of some of the solutions found. Moreover, at run-time the pheromone trails are locally as well as globally updated, and limited between lower and upper bounds. The proposed algorithm is experimented on a set of benchmark problems from the literature and compared with other metaheuristics.

  11. Host recognition by the specialist hoverfly Microdon mutabilis, a social parasite of the ant Formica lemani.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schönrogge, Karsten; Napper, Emma K V; Birkett, Michael A; Woodcock, Christine M; Pickett, John A; Wadhams, Lester J; Thomas, Jeremy A

    2008-02-01

    The larva of the hoverfly Microdon mutabilis is a specialist social parasite of the ant Formica lemani that is adapted to local groups of F. lemani colonies but mal-adapted to colonies of the same species situated only a few hundred meters away. At a study site in Ireland, F. lemani shares its habitat with four other ant species. All nest under stones, making the oviposition choice by M. mutabilis females crucial to offspring survival. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that, as an extreme specialist, M. mutabilis should respond to cues derived from its host rather than from its microenvironment, a phenomenon that has hitherto only been addressed in the context of herbivorous insects and their parasitoids. In behavioral assays, M. mutabilis females reacted to volatiles from F. lemani colonies by extending their ovipositors, presumably probing for an oviposition substrate. This behavior was not observed toward negative controls or volatiles from colonies of Myrmica scabrinodis, the host ant of the closely related Microdon myrmicae. Coupled gas chromatography-electroantennography (GC-EAG) that used antennal preparations of M. mutabilis located a single physiologically active compound within an extract of heads of F. lemani workers. Coupled GC-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) tentatively identified the compound as a methylated methylsalicylate. GC co-injection of the extract with authentic samples showed that of the four possible isomers (methyl 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-methylsalicylate), only methyl 6-methylsalicylate co-eluted with the EAG-active peak. Furthermore, the response to methyl 6-methylsalicylate was four times higher than to those of the other isomers. Coupled GC-EAG and GC-MS also revealed physiological responses to two constituents, 3-octanone and 3-octanol, of the M. scabrinodis alarm pheromone. However, the behavioral trials did not reveal any behavior that could be attributed to these compounds. Results are discussed in the context of four phases of host

  12. Customized Computer Vision and Sensor System for Colony Recognition and Live Bacteria Counting in Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel M. ALVES

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an arrangement based on a dedicated computer and charge-coupled device (CCD sensor system to intelligently allow the counting and recognition of colony formation. Microbes in agricultural environments are important catalysts of global carbon and nitrogen cycles, including the production and consumption of greenhouse gases in soil. Some microbes produce greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide while decomposing organic matter in soil. Others consume methane from the atmosphere, helping to mitigate climate change. The magnitude of each of these processes is influenced by human activities and impacts the warming potential of Earth’s atmosphere. In this context, bacterial colony counting is important and requires sophisticated analysis methods. The method implemented in this study uses digital image processing techniques, including the Hough Transform for circular objects. The visual environment Borland Builder C++ was used for development, and a model for decision making was incorporated to aggregate intelligence. For calibration of the method a prepared illuminated chamber was used to enable analyses of the bacteria Escherichia coli, and Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. For validation, a set of comparisons were established between this smart method and the expert analyses. The results show the potential of this method for laboratory applications that involve the quantification and pattern recognition of bacterial colonies in solid culture environments.

  13. Rapid onset of maternal vocal recognition in a colonially breeding mammal, the Australian sea lion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin J Pitcher

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In many gregarious mammals, mothers and offspring have developed the abilities to recognise each other using acoustic signals. Such capacity may develop at different rates after birth/parturition, varying between species and between the participants, i.e., mothers and young. Differences in selective pressures between species, and between mothers and offspring, are likely to drive the timing of the onset of mother-young recognition. We tested the ability of Australian sea lion mothers to identify their offspring by vocalisation, and examined the onset of this behaviour in these females. We hypothesise that a rapid onset of recognition may reflect an adaptation to a colonial lifestyle. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In a playback study maternal responses to own pup and non-filial vocalisations were compared at 12, 24 and every subsequent 24 hours until the females' first departure post-partum. Mothers showed a clear ability to recognise their pup's voice by 48 hours of age. At 24 hours mothers called more, at 48 hours they called sooner and at 72 hours they looked sooner in response to their own pup's vocalisations compared to those of non-filial pups. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that Australian sea lion females can vocally identify offspring within two days of birth and before mothers leave to forage post-partum. We suggest that this rapid onset is a result of selection pressures imposed by a colonial lifestyle and may be seen in other colonial vertebrates. This is the first demonstration of the timing of the onset of maternal vocal recognition in a pinniped species.

  14. Analysis of Ant Colony Optimization and Population-Based Evolutionary Algorithms on Dynamic Problems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lissovoi, Andrei

    the dynamic optimum for finite alphabets up to size μ, while MMAS is able to do so for any finite alphabet size. Parallel Evolutionary Algorithms on Maze. We prove that while a (1 + λ) EA is unable to track the optimum of the dynamic fitness function Maze for offspring population size up to λ = O(n1-ε......This thesis presents new running time analyses of nature-inspired algorithms on various dynamic problems. It aims to identify and analyse the features of algorithms and problem classes which allow efficient optimization to occur in the presence of dynamic behaviour. We consider the following...... settings: λ-MMAS on Dynamic Shortest Path Problems. We investigate how in-creasing the number of ants simulated per iteration may help an ACO algorithm to track optimum in a dynamic problem. It is shown that while a constant number of ants per-vertex is sufficient to track some oscillations, there also...

  15. Development of Hybrid Model for Estimating Construction Waste for Multifamily Residential Buildings Using Artificial Neural Networks and Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongoun Lee

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Due to the increasing costs of construction waste disposal, an accurate estimation of the amount of construction waste is a key factor in a project’s success. Korea has been burdened by increasing construction waste as a consequence of the growing number of construction projects and a lack of construction waste management (CWM strategies. One of the problems associated with predicting the amount of waste is that there are no suitable estimation strategies currently available. Therefore, we developed a hybrid estimation model to predict the quantity and cost of waste in the early stage of construction. The proposed approach can be used to address cost overruns and improve CWM in the subsequent stages of construction. The proposed hybrid model uses artificial neural networks (ANNs and ant colony optimization (ACO. It is expected to provide an accurate waste estimate by applying historical data from multifamily residential buildings.

  16. Uncovering interactions in Plackett-Burman screening designs applied to analytical systems. A Monte Carlo ant colony optimization approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivieri, Alejandro C; Magallanes, Jorge F

    2012-08-15

    Screening of relevant factors using Plackett-Burman designs is usual in analytical chemistry. It relies on the assumption that factor interactions are negligible; however, failure of recognizing such interactions may lead to incorrect results. Factor associations can be revealed by feature selection techniques such as ant colony optimization. This method has been combined with a Monte Carlo approach, developing a new algorithm for assessing both main and interaction terms when analyzing the influence of experimental factors through a Plackett-Burman design of experiments. The results for both simulated and analytically relevant experimental systems show excellent agreement with previous approaches, highlighting the importance of considering potential interactions when conducting a screening search. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Multiobjective optimal placement of switches and protective devices in electric power distribution systems using ant colony optimization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tippachon, Wiwat; Rerkpreedapong, Dulpichet [Department of Electrical Engineering, Kasetsart University, 50 Phaholyothin Rd., Ladyao, Jatujak, Bangkok 10900 (Thailand)

    2009-07-15

    This paper presents a multiobjective optimization methodology to optimally place switches and protective devices in electric power distribution networks. Identifying the type and location of them is a combinatorial optimization problem described by a nonlinear and nondifferential function. The multiobjective ant colony optimization (MACO) has been applied to this problem to minimize the total cost while simultaneously minimize two distribution network reliability indices including system average interruption frequency index (SAIFI) and system interruption duration index (SAIDI). Actual distribution feeders are used in the tests, and test results have shown that the algorithm can determine the set of optimal nondominated solutions. It allows the utility to obtain the optimal type and location of devices to achieve the best system reliability with the lowest cost. (author)

  18. Applying Ant Colony Algorithm and Neural Network Model to Color Deviation Defect Detection in Liquid Crystal Displays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Dar Lin

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Thin Film Transistor Liquid Crystal Display (TFT-LCD has excellent properties such as lower voltage to start and less occupied space if comparing with traditional Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT. But screen flaw points and display color deviation defects on image display exist in TFT-LCD products. This research proposes a new automated visual inspection method to solve the problems. We first use multivariate Hotelling T2 statistic for integrating coordinates of color models to construct a T2 energy diagram for inspecting defects and controlling patterns in TFT-LCD display images. An Ant Colony based approach that integrates computer vision techniques is developed to detect the flaw point defects. Then, Back Propagation Network (BPN model is proposed to inspect small deviation defects of the LCD display colors. Experimental results show the proposed system can provide good effects and practicality.

  19. Ant colony optimisation of decision tree and contingency table models for the discovery of gene-gene interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapin, Emmanuel; Keedwell, Ed; Frayling, Tim

    2015-12-01

    In this study, ant colony optimisation (ACO) algorithm is used to derive near-optimal interactions between a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This approach is used to discover small numbers of SNPs that are combined into a decision tree or contingency table model. The ACO algorithm is shown to be very robust as it is proven to be able to find results that are discriminatory from a statistical perspective with logical interactions, decision tree and contingency table models for various numbers of SNPs considered in the interaction. A large number of the SNPs discovered here have been already identified in large genome-wide association studies to be related to type II diabetes in the literature, lending additional confidence to the results.

  20. Three-Dimensional Path Planning and Guidance of Leg Vascular Based on Improved Ant Colony Algorithm in Augmented Reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Ming-ke; Chen, Yi-min; Liu, Quan; Huang, Chen; Li, Ze-yu; Zhang, Dian-hua

    2015-11-01

    Preoperative path planning plays a critical role in vascular access surgery. Vascular access surgery has superior difficulties and requires long training periods as well as precise operation. Yet doctors are on different leves, thus bulky size of blood vessels is usually chosen to undergo surgery and other possible optimal path is not considered. Moreover, patients and surgeons will suffer from X-ray radiation during the surgical procedure. The study proposed an improved ant colony algorithm to plan a vascular optimal three-dimensional path with overall consideration of factors such as catheter diameter, vascular length, diameter as well as the curvature and torsion. To protect the doctor and patient from exposing to X-ray long-term, the paper adopted augmented reality technology to register the reconstructed vascular model and physical model meanwhile, locate catheter by the electromagnetic tracking system and used Head Mounted Display to show the planning path in real time and monitor catheter push procedure. The experiment manifests reasonableness of preoperative path planning and proves the reliability of the algorithm. The augmented reality experiment real time and accurately displays the vascular phantom model, planning path and the catheter trajectory and proves the feasibility of this method. The paper presented a useful and feasible surgical scheme which was based on the improved ant colony algorithm to plan vascular three-dimensional path in augmented reality. The study possessed practical guiding significance in preoperative path planning, intraoperative catheter guiding and surgical training, which provided a theoretical method of path planning for vascular access surgery. It was a safe and reliable path planning approach and possessed practical reference value.

  1. The application of ant colony optimization in the solution of 3D traveling salesman problem on a sphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hüseyin Eldem

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP is a problem in combinatorial optimization that should be solved by a salesperson who has to travel all cities at the minimum cost (minimum route and return to the starting city (node. Todays, to resolve the minimum cost of this problem, many optimization algorithms have been used. The major ones are these metaheuristic algorithms. In this study, one of the metaheuristic methods, Ant Colony Optimization (ACO method (Max-Min Ant System – MMAS, was used to solve the Non-Euclidean TSP, which consisted of sets of different count points coincidentally located on the surface of a sphere. In this study seven point sets were used which have different point count. The performance of the MMAS method solving Non-Euclidean TSP problem was demonstrated by different experiments. Also, the results produced by ACO are compared with Discrete Cuckoo Search Algorithm (DCS and Genetic Algorithm (GA that are in the literature. The experiments for TSP on a sphere, show that ACO’s average results were better than the GA’s average results and also best results of ACO successful than the DCS.

  2. A novel hybrid approach based on Particle Swarm Optimization and Ant Colony Algorithm to forecast energy demand of Turkey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kıran, Mustafa Servet; Özceylan, Eren; Gündüz, Mesut; Paksoy, Turan

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► PSO and ACO algorithms are hybridized for forecasting energy demands of Turkey. ► Linear and quadratic forms are developed to meet the fluctuations of indicators. ► GDP, population, export and import have significant impacts on energy demand. ► Quadratic form provides better fit solution than linear form. ► Proposed approach gives lower estimation error than ACO and PSO, separately. - Abstract: This paper proposes a new hybrid method (HAP) for estimating energy demand of Turkey using Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) and Ant Colony Optimization (ACO). Proposed energy demand model (HAPE) is the first model which integrates two mentioned meta-heuristic techniques. While, PSO, developed for solving continuous optimization problems, is a population based stochastic technique; ACO, simulating behaviors between nest and food source of real ants, is generally used for discrete optimizations. Hybrid method based PSO and ACO is developed to estimate energy demand using gross domestic product (GDP), population, import and export. HAPE is developed in two forms which are linear (HAPEL) and quadratic (HAPEQ). The future energy demand is estimated under different scenarios. In order to show the accuracy of the algorithm, a comparison is made with ACO and PSO which are developed for the same problem. According to obtained results, relative estimation errors of the HAPE model are the lowest of them and quadratic form (HAPEQ) provides better-fit solutions due to fluctuations of the socio-economic indicators.

  3. Colony Structure and Nest Location of Two Species of Dacetine Ants: Pyramica ohioensis (Kennedy & Schramm and Pyramica rostrata (Emery in Maryland (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard M. Duffield

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of numerous Pyramica ohioensis and P. rostrata colonies living in acorns, as well as the efficient recovery of colonies from artificial nests placed in suitable habitats, opens a new stage in the study of North American dacetine ants. Here we present detailed information, based on 42 nest collections, on the colony structure of these two species. P. ohioensis colonies are smaller than those of P. rostrata. Both species are polygynous, but nests of P. ohioensis contain fewer dealate queens than those of P. rostrata. This is the first report of multiple collections of Pyramica colonies nesting in fallen acorns, and of the use of artificial nesting cavities to sample for dacetines in the soil and leaf litter. We describe an artificial cavity nest design that may prove useful in future investigations.

  4. Ant colony optimization as a descriptor selection in QSPR modeling: Estimation of the λmax of anthraquinones-based dyes

    OpenAIRE

    Morteza Atabati; Kobra Zarei; Azam Borhani

    2016-01-01

    Quantitative structure–property relationship (QSPR) studies based on ant colony optimization (ACO) were carried out for the prediction of λmax of 9,10-anthraquinone derivatives. ACO is a meta-heuristic algorithm, which is derived from the observation of real ants and proposed to feature selection. After optimization of 3D geometry of structures by the semi-empirical quantum-chemical calculation at AM1 level, different descriptors were calculated by the HyperChem and Dragon softwares (1514 des...

  5. Autonomously Implemented Versatile Path Planning for Mobile Robots Based on Cellular Automata and Ant Colony

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adel Akbarimajd

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available A path planning method for mobile robots based on two dimensional cellular automata is proposed. The method can be applied for environments with both concave and convex obstacles. It is also appropriate for multi-robot problems as well as dynamic environments. In order to develop the planning method, environment of the robot is decomposed to a rectangular grid and the automata is defined with four states including Robot cell, Free cell, Goal cell and Obstacle cell. Evolution rules of automata are proposed in order to direct the robot toward its goal. CA based path planner method is afterwards modified by a colony technique to be applicable for concave obstacles. Then a layered architecture is proposed to autonomously implement the planning algorithm. The architecture employs an abstraction approach which makes the complexity manageable. An important feature of the architecture is internal artifacts that have some beliefs about the world. Most actions of the robot are planned and performed with respect to these artifacts.

  6. Coming of age in an ant colony: cephalic muscle maturation accompanies behavioral development in Pheidole dentata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscedere, Mario L.; Traniello, James F. A.; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2011-09-01

    Although several neurobiological and genetic correlates of aging and behavioral development have been identified in social insect workers, little is known about how other age-related physiological processes, such as muscle maturation, contribute to task performance. We examined post-eclosion growth of three major muscles of the head capsule in major and minor workers of the ant Pheidole dentata using workers of different ages with distinct task repertoires. Mandible closer muscle fibers, which provide bite force and are thus critical for the use of the mandibles for biting and load carrying, fill the posterio-lateral portions of the head capsule in mature, older workers of both subcastes. Mandible closer fibers of newly eclosed workers, in contrast, are significantly thinner in both subcastes and grow during at least the next 6 days in minor workers, suggesting this muscle has reduced functionality for a substantial period of adult life and thus constrains task performance capability. Fibers of the antennal muscles and the pharynx dilator, which control antennal movements and food intake, respectively, also increase significantly in thickness with age. However, these fibers are only slightly thinner in newly eclosed workers and attain their maximum thickness over a shorter time span in minors. The different growth rates of these functionally distinct muscles likely have consequences for how adult P. dentata workers, particularly minors, develop their full and diverse task repertoire as they age. Workers may be capable of feeding and interacting socially soon after eclosion, but require a longer period of development to effectively use their mandibles, which enable the efficient performance of tasks ranging from nursing to foraging and defense.

  7. Complete Inverse Method Using Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm for Structural Parameters and Excitation Identification from Output Only Measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Chen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In vibration-based structural health monitoring of existing large civil structures, it is difficult, sometimes even impossible, to measure the actual excitation applied to structures. Therefore, an identification method using output-only measurements is crucial for the practical application of structural health monitoring. This paper integrates the ant colony optimization (ACO algorithm into the framework of the complete inverse method to simultaneously identify unknown structural parameters and input time history using output-only measurements. The complete inverse method, which was previously suggested by the authors, converts physical or spatial information of the unknown input into the objective function of an optimization problem that can be solved by the ACO algorithm. ACO is a newly developed swarm computation method that has a very good performance in solving complex global continuous optimization problems. The principles and implementation procedure of the ACO algorithm are first introduced followed by an introduction of the framework of the complete inverse method. Construction of the objective function is then described in detail with an emphasis on the common situation wherein a limited number of actuators are installed on some key locations of the structure. Applicability and feasibility of the proposed method were validated by numerical examples and experimental results from a three-story building model.

  8. Hybrid ANFIS with ant colony optimization algorithm for prediction of shear wave velocity from a carbonate reservoir in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hadi Fattahi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Shear wave velocity (Vs data are key information for petrophysical, geophysical and geomechanical studies. Although compressional wave velocity (Vp measurements exist in almost all wells, shear wave velocity is not recorded for most of elderly wells due to lack of technologic tools. Furthermore, measurement of shear wave velocity is to some extent costly. This study proposes a novel methodology to remove aforementioned problems by use of hybrid adaptive neuro fuzzy inference system (ANFIS with ant colony optimization algorithm (ACO based on fuzzy c–means clustering (FCM and subtractive clustering (SCM. The ACO is combined with two ANFIS models for determining the optimal value of its user–defined parameters. The optimization implementation by the ACO significantly improves the generalization ability of the ANFIS models. These models are used in this study to formulate conventional well log data into Vs in a quick, cheap, and accurate manner. A total of 3030 data points was used for model construction and 833 data points were employed for assessment of ANFIS models. Finally, a comparison among ANFIS models, and six well–known empirical correlations demonstrated ANFIS models outperformed other methods. This strategy was successfully applied in the Marun reservoir, Iran.

  9. Solving the Traveling Salesman Problem Based on The Genetic Reactive Bone Route Algorithm whit Ant Colony System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Yousefikhoshbakht

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The TSP is considered one of the most well-known combinatorial optimization tasks and researchers have paid so much attention to the TSP for many years. In this problem, a salesman starts to move from an arbitrary place called depot and after visits all of the nodes, finally comes back to the depot. The objective is to minimize the total distance traveled by the salesman.  Because this problem is a non-deterministic polynomial (NP-hard problem in nature, a hybrid meta-heuristic algorithm called REACSGA is used for solving the TSP. In REACSGA, a reactive bone route algorithm that uses the ant colony system (ACS for generating initial diversified solutions and the genetic algorithm (GA as an improved procedure are applied. Since the performance of the Metaheuristic algorithms is significantly influenced by their parameters, Taguchi Method is used to set the parameters of the proposed algorithm. The proposed algorithm is tested on several standard instances involving 24 to 318 nodes from the literature. The computational result shows that the results of the proposed algorithm are competitive with other metaheuristic algorithms for solving the TSP in terms of better quality of solution and computational time respectively. In addition, the proposed REACSGA is significantly efficient and finds closely the best known solutions for most of the instances in which thirteen best known solutions are also found.

  10. An integrated ant colony optimization approach to compare strategies of clearing market in electricity markets: Agent-based simulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azadeh, A.; Skandari, M.R.; Maleki-Shoja, B.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, an innovative model of agent based simulation, based on Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm is proposed in order to compare three available strategies of clearing wholesale electricity markets, i.e. uniform, pay-as-bid, and generalized Vickrey rules. The supply side actors of the power market are modeled as adaptive agents who learn how to bid strategically to optimize their profit through indirect interaction with other actors of the market. The proposed model is proper for bidding functions with high number of dimensions and enables modelers to avoid curse of dimensionality as dimension grows. Test systems are then used to study the behavior of each pricing rule under different degrees of competition and heterogeneity. Finally, the pricing rules are comprehensively compared using different economic criteria such as average cleared price, efficiency of allocation, and price volatility. Also, principle component analysis (PCA) is used to rank and select the best price rule. To the knowledge of the authors, this is the first study that uses ACO for assessing strategies of wholesale electricity market.

  11. Estimate of FDG Excretion by means of Compartmental Analysis and Ant Colony Optimization of Nuclear Medicine Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garbarino, Sara; Caviglia, Giacomo; Brignone, Massimo; Massollo, Michela; Sambuceti, Gianmario; Piana, Michele

    2013-01-01

    [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) is one of the most utilized tracers for positron emission tomography (PET) applications in oncology. FDG-PET relies on higher glycolytic activity in tumors compared to normal structures as the basis of image contrast. As a glucose analog, FDG is transported into malignant cells which typically exhibit an increased radioactivity. However, different from glucose, FDG is not reabsorbed by the renal system and is excreted to the bladder. The present paper describes a novel computational method for the quantitative assessment of this excretion process. The method is based on a compartmental analysis of FDG-PET data in which the excretion process is explicitly accounted for by the bladder compartment and on the application of an ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm for the determination of the tracer coefficients describing the FDG transport effectiveness. The validation of this approach is performed by means of both synthetic data and real measurements acquired by a PET device for small animals (micro-PET). Possible oncological applications of the results are discussed in the final section. PMID:24191175

  12. Function-Oriented Networking and On-Demand Routing System in Network Using Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Bo Sim

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we proposed and developed Function-Oriented Networking (FON, a platform for network users. It has a different philosophy as opposed to technologies for network managers of Software-Defined Networking technology, OpenFlow. It is a technology that can immediately reflect the demands of the network users in the network, unlike the existing OpenFlow and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV, which do not reflect directly the needs of the network users. It allows the network user to determine the policy of the direct network, so it can be applied more precisely than the policy applied by the network manager. This is expected to increase the satisfaction of the service users when the network users try to provide new services. We developed FON function that performs on-demand routing for Low-Delay Required service. We analyzed the characteristics of the Ant Colony Optimization (ACO algorithm and found that the algorithm is suitable for low-delay required services. It was also the first in the world to implement the routing software using ACO Algorithm in the real Ethernet network. In order to improve the routing performance, several algorithms of the ACO Algorithm have been developed to enable faster path search-routing and path recovery. The relationship between the network performance index and the ACO routing parameters is derived, and the results are compared and analyzed. Through this, it was possible to develop the ACO algorithm.

  13. Multi-Sensor Data Fusion Using a Relevance Vector Machine Based on an Ant Colony for Gearbox Fault Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiwen Liu

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Sensors play an important role in the modern manufacturing and industrial processes. Their reliability is vital to ensure reliable and accurate information for condition based maintenance. For the gearbox, the critical machine component in the rotating machinery, the vibration signals collected by sensors are usually noisy. At the same time, the fault detection results based on the vibration signals from a single sensor may be unreliable and unstable. To solve this problem, this paper proposes an intelligent multi-sensor data fusion method using the relevance vector machine (RVM based on an ant colony optimization algorithm (ACO-RVM for gearboxes’ fault detection. RVM is a sparse probability model based on support vector machine (SVM. RVM not only has higher detection accuracy, but also better real-time accuracy compared with SVM. The ACO algorithm is used to determine kernel parameters of RVM. Moreover, the ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD is applied to preprocess the raw vibration signals to eliminate the influence caused by noise and other unrelated signals. The distance evaluation technique (DET is employed to select dominant features as input of the ACO-RVM, so that the redundancy and inference in a large amount of features can be removed. Two gearboxes are used to demonstrate the performance of the proposed method. The experimental results show that the ACO-RVM has higher fault detection accuracy than the RVM with normal the cross-validation (CV.

  14. The modification of hybrid method of ant colony optimization, particle swarm optimization and 3-OPT algorithm in traveling salesman problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertono, G. F.; Ubadah; Handari, B. D.

    2018-03-01

    The traveling salesman problem (TSP) is a famous problem in finding the shortest tour to visit every vertex exactly once, except the first vertex, given a set of vertices. This paper discusses three modification methods to solve TSP by combining Ant Colony Optimization (ACO), Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) and 3-Opt Algorithm. The ACO is used to find the solution of TSP, in which the PSO is implemented to find the best value of parameters α and β that are used in ACO.In order to reduce the total of tour length from the feasible solution obtained by ACO, then the 3-Opt will be used. In the first modification, the 3-Opt is used to reduce the total tour length from the feasible solutions obtained at each iteration, meanwhile, as the second modification, 3-Opt is used to reduce the total tour length from the entire solution obtained at every iteration. In the third modification, 3-Opt is used to reduce the total tour length from different solutions obtained at each iteration. Results are tested using 6 benchmark problems taken from TSPLIB by calculating the relative error to the best known solution as well as the running time. Among those modifications, only the second and third modification give satisfactory results except the second one needs more execution time compare to the third modifications.

  15. A universal optimization strategy for ant colony optimization algorithms based on the Physarum-inspired mathematical model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Zili; Gao, Chao; Liu, Yuxin; Qian, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithms often fall into the local optimal solution and have lower search efficiency for solving the travelling salesman problem (TSP). According to these shortcomings, this paper proposes a universal optimization strategy for updating the pheromone matrix in the ACO algorithms. The new optimization strategy takes advantages of the unique feature of critical paths reserved in the process of evolving adaptive networks of the Physarum-inspired mathematical model (PMM). The optimized algorithms, denoted as PMACO algorithms, can enhance the amount of pheromone in the critical paths and promote the exploitation of the optimal solution. Experimental results in synthetic and real networks show that the PMACO algorithms are more efficient and robust than the traditional ACO algorithms, which are adaptable to solve the TSP with single or multiple objectives. Meanwhile, we further analyse the influence of parameters on the performance of the PMACO algorithms. Based on these analyses, the best values of these parameters are worked out for the TSP. (paper)

  16. Bus Stops Location and Bus Route Planning Using Mean Shift Clustering and Ant Colony in West Jakarta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supangat, Kenny; Eko Soelistio, Yustinus

    2017-03-01

    Traffic Jam has been a daily problem for people in Jakarta which is one of the busiest city in Indonesia up until now. Even though the official government has tried to reduce the impact of traffic issues by developing a new public transportation which takes up a lot of resources and time, it failed to diminish the problem. The actual concern to this problem actually lies in how people move between places in Jakarta where they always using their own vehicle like cars, and motorcycles that fill most of the street in Jakarta. Among much other public transportations that roams the street of Jakarta, Buses is believed to be an efficient transportation that can move many people at once. However, the location of the bus stop is now have moved to the middle of the main road, and its too far for the nearby residence to access to it. This paper proposes an optimal location of optimal bus stops in West Jakarta that is experimentally proven to have a maximal distance of 350 m. The optimal location is estimated by means of mean shift clustering method while the optimal routes are calculated using Ant Colony algorithm. The bus stops locations rate of error is 0.07% with overall route area of 32 km. Based on our experiments, we believe our proposed bus stop plan can be an interesting alternative to reduce traffic congestion in West Jakarta.

  17. Facilitating the 3D Indoor Search and Rescue Problem: An Overview of the Problem and an Ant Colony Solution Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tashakkori, H.; Rajabifard, A.; Kalantari, M.

    2016-10-01

    Search and rescue procedures for indoor environments are quite complicated due to the fact that much of the indoor information is unavailable to rescuers before physical entrance to the incident scene. Thus, decision making regarding the number of crew required and the way they should be dispatched in the building considering the various access points and complexities in the buildings in order to cover the search area in minimum time is dependent on prior knowledge and experience of the emergency commanders. Hence, this paper introduces the Search and Rescue Problem (SRP) which aims at finding best search and rescue routes that minimize the overall search time in the buildings. 3D BIM-oriented indoor GIS is integrated in the indoor route graph to find accurate routes based on the building geometric and semantic information. An Ant Colony Based Algorithm is presented that finds the number of first responders required and their individual routes to search all rooms and points of interest inside the building to minimize the overall time spent by all rescuers inside the disaster area. The evaluation of the proposed model for a case study building shows a significant improve in search and rescue time which will lead to a higher chance of saving lives and less exposure of emergency crew to danger.

  18. Ant colony algorithm implementation in electron and photon Monte Carlo transport: Application to the commissioning of radiosurgery photon beams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia-Pareja, S.; Galan, P.; Manzano, F.; Brualla, L.; Lallena, A. M.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: In this work, the authors describe an approach which has been developed to drive the application of different variance-reduction techniques to the Monte Carlo simulation of photon and electron transport in clinical accelerators. Methods: The new approach considers the following techniques: Russian roulette, splitting, a modified version of the directional bremsstrahlung splitting, and the azimuthal particle redistribution. Their application is controlled by an ant colony algorithm based on an importance map. Results: The procedure has been applied to radiosurgery beams. Specifically, the authors have calculated depth-dose profiles, off-axis ratios, and output factors, quantities usually considered in the commissioning of these beams. The agreement between Monte Carlo results and the corresponding measurements is within ∼3%/0.3 mm for the central axis percentage depth dose and the dose profiles. The importance map generated in the calculation can be used to discuss simulation details in the different parts of the geometry in a simple way. The simulation CPU times are comparable to those needed within other approaches common in this field. Conclusions: The new approach is competitive with those previously used in this kind of problems (PSF generation or source models) and has some practical advantages that make it to be a good tool to simulate the radiation transport in problems where the quantities of interest are difficult to obtain because of low statistics.

  19. Ant colony algorithm implementation in electron and photon Monte Carlo transport: Application to the commissioning of radiosurgery photon beams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia-Pareja, S.; Galan, P.; Manzano, F.; Brualla, L.; Lallena, A. M. [Servicio de Radiofisica Hospitalaria, Hospital Regional Universitario ' ' Carlos Haya' ' , Avda. Carlos Haya s/n, E-29010 Malaga (Spain); Unidad de Radiofisica Hospitalaria, Hospital Xanit Internacional, Avda. de los Argonautas s/n, E-29630 Benalmadena (Malaga) (Spain); NCTeam, Strahlenklinik, Universitaetsklinikum Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, D-45122 Essen (Germany); Departamento de Fisica Atomica, Molecular y Nuclear, Universidad de Granada, E-18071 Granada (Spain)

    2010-07-15

    Purpose: In this work, the authors describe an approach which has been developed to drive the application of different variance-reduction techniques to the Monte Carlo simulation of photon and electron transport in clinical accelerators. Methods: The new approach considers the following techniques: Russian roulette, splitting, a modified version of the directional bremsstrahlung splitting, and the azimuthal particle redistribution. Their application is controlled by an ant colony algorithm based on an importance map. Results: The procedure has been applied to radiosurgery beams. Specifically, the authors have calculated depth-dose profiles, off-axis ratios, and output factors, quantities usually considered in the commissioning of these beams. The agreement between Monte Carlo results and the corresponding measurements is within {approx}3%/0.3 mm for the central axis percentage depth dose and the dose profiles. The importance map generated in the calculation can be used to discuss simulation details in the different parts of the geometry in a simple way. The simulation CPU times are comparable to those needed within other approaches common in this field. Conclusions: The new approach is competitive with those previously used in this kind of problems (PSF generation or source models) and has some practical advantages that make it to be a good tool to simulate the radiation transport in problems where the quantities of interest are difficult to obtain because of low statistics.

  20. Speed control of switched reluctance motor using genetic algorithm and ant colony based on optimizing PID controller

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El-Sayed Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Proportional-Integral-Derivative control is the most used kind of control which provides the simplest and most effective solution to different kinds of control engineering applications. But until now PID controller is poorly tuned in real life and online applications. While most of PID tuning is done manually. Switched reluctance motor (SRM has highly nonlinear characteristics since the developed/produced torque of the motor has a nonlinear function on both phase current and rotor position. These nonlinearities of the SRM drives make the conventional PID (proportional + integral + Derivative controller a poor choice for application where high dynamic performance is desired under all motor operating conditions. research paper comes up with two artificial and hybrid techniques involving Genetic Algorithm (GA and Ant Colony Optimization (ACO. Those techniques where used to tune the PID parameters for the switched reluctance motor (SRM and its performance were compared with the conventional method of “Ziegler Nichols. The results obtained reflects that, the use of those algorithms based controller improves the performance of the whole process in terms of a fast set point tracking and regulatory changes and also provides an optimum stability for the system itself with a minimum overshoot on the output signal.

  1. A nuclear reactor core fuel reload optimization using Artificial-Ant-Colony Connective Networks; Recarga de reatores nucleares utilizando redes conectivas de colonias de formigas artificiais

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lima, Alan M.M. de; Schirru, Roberto [Universidade Federal, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Coordenacao dos Programas de Pos-graduacao de Engenharia. Programa de Engenharia Nuclear]. E-mail: alan@lmp.ufrj.br; schirru@lmp.ufrj.br

    2005-07-01

    A Pressurized Water Reactor core must be reloaded every time the fuel burnup reaches a level when it is not possible to sustain nominal power operation. The nuclear core fuel reload optimization consists in finding a burned-up and fresh-fuel-assembly pattern that maximizes the number of full operational days. This problem is NP-hard, meaning that complexity grows exponentially with the number of fuel assemblies in the core. Besides that, the problem is non-linear and its search space is highly discontinual and multimodal. In this work a parallel computational system based on Ant Colony System (ACS) called Artificial-Ant-Colony Networks is introduced to solve the nuclear reactor core fuel reload optimization problem. ACS is a system based on artificial agents that uses the reinforcement learning technique and was originally developed to solve the Traveling Salesman Problem, which is conceptually similar to the nuclear fuel reload problem. (author)

  2. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    the discrimination behavior of the invasive pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) as a model for other invasive and supercolonial ant species. The pharaoh ant is one of the few ant species that can be reared in the laboratory for many generations. Furthermore, the possibility to do controlled crosses of colonies...... provides the unique opportunity to establish colonies of different genetic composition. These traits make this species a suitable study subject to set up behavioral experiments that aim to investigate which factors, and to which extent, might influence the inter- and intraspecific discrimination abilities...... other compounds. We also developed a new method for centroid calculation that increased the power of the analysis and can therefore be used in future studies that aim to identify nestmate recognition cues in other species. In the fourth chapter I investigated the nest site preference of pharaoh ant...

  3. Botryllus schlosseri (Tunicata) whole colony irradiation: Do senescent zooid resorption and immunological resorption involve similar recognition events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rinkevich, B.; Weissman, I.L. (Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, Haifa (Israel))

    1990-02-01

    The colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri undergoes cyclic blastogenesis where feeding zooids are senescened and resorbed and a new generation of zooids takes over the colony. When non-identical colonies come into direct contact, they either reject each other or fuse. Fusion is usually followed by the resorption of one of the partners in the chimera (immunological resorption). The striking morphological similarities between the two resorption phenomena suggest that both may involve tissue destruction following self-nonself recognition events. Here we attempt to modify these two events by whole colony gamma irradiation assays. Three sets of experiments were performed: (1) different doses of whole colony irradiation for determination of irradiation effects (110 colonies); (2) pairs of irradiated-nonirradiated isografts of clonal replicates for the potential of reconstruction of the irradiated partners (23 pairs); (3) chimeras of irradiated-nonirradiated partners for analysis of resorption hierarchy. Mortality increased with the irradiation dose. All colonies exposed to more than 5,000 rads died within 19 days, while no colony died below 2,000 rads. The average mortality periods, in days, for doses of 6,000-8,000, 5,000, and 2,500-4,000 rads were 14.4 +/- 3.1 (n = 24), 19.8 +/- 6.0 (n = 15), and 19.6 + 5.1 (n = 22), respectively. Younger colonies (3-6 months old) may survive radiation better than older ones (more than 13 months). Many morphological alterations were recorded in irradiated colonies: ampullar contraction and/or dilation, accumulation of pigment cells within ampullae, abnormal bleeding from blood vessels, sluggish blood circulation, necrotic zones, reduction in bud number, and irregularities in zooid and system structures. With doses of 3,000-4,000 rads and above, irradiation arrested the formation of new buds and interrupted normal takeover.

  4. DESIGNING APPLICATION OF ANT COLONY SYSTEM ALGORITHM FOR THE SHORTEST ROUTE OF BANDA ACEH CITY AND ACEH BESAR REGENCY TOURISM BY USING GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE MATLAB

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Durisman Durisman

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Banda Aceh city and Aceh Besar Regency are two of the leading tourism areas located in the province of Aceh. For travelling, there are some important things to be considered, such as determining schedule and distance of tourism. Every tourist certainly chooses the shortest route to reach the destination since it can save time, energy, and money. The purpose of this reserach is to develop a method that can be used in calculating the shortest route and applied to the tourism of Banda Aceh city and Aceh Besar regency. In this reserach, Ant Colony Optimization algorithm is used to determine the shortest route to tourism of Banda Aceh city and Aceh Besar regency. From the analysis made by using both manual calculation and  GUI MATLAB program application test, the shortest route can be obtained with a minimum distance of 120.85 km in one travel. Based on the test result, the application for tourism (in Banda Aceh city and Aceh Besar regency shortest route searching built by utilizing the Ant Colony Optimization algorithm can find optimal route.  Keyword: tourism, the shortest route, Ant Colony Optimization

  5. Propagule pressure and colony social organization are associated with the successful invasion and rapid range expansion of fire ants in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chin-Cheng; Ascunce, Marina S; Luo, Li-Zhi; Shao, Jing-Guo; Shih, Cheng-Jen; Shoemaker, DeWayne

    2012-02-01

    We characterized patterns of genetic variation in populations of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta in China using mitochondrial DNA sequences and nuclear microsatellite loci to test predictions as to how propagule pressure and subsequent dispersal following establishment jointly shape the invasion success of this ant in this recently invaded area. Fire ants in Wuchuan (Guangdong Province) are genetically differentiated from those found in other large infested areas of China. The immediate source of ants in Wuchuan appears to be somewhere near Texas, which ranks first among the southern USA infested states in the exportation of goods to China. Most colonies from spatially distant, outlying areas in China are genetically similar to one another and appear to share a common source (Wuchuan, Guangdong Province), suggesting that long-distance jump dispersal has been a prevalent means of recent spread of fire ants in China. Furthermore, most colonies at outlier sites are of the polygyne social form (featuring multiple egg-laying queens per nest), reinforcing the important role of this social form in the successful invasion of new areas and subsequent range expansion following invasion. Several analyses consistently revealed characteristic signatures of genetic bottlenecks for S. invicta populations in China. The results of this study highlight the invasive potential of this pest ant, suggest that the magnitude of international trade may serve as a predictor of propagule pressure and indicate that rates and patterns of subsequent range expansion are partly determined by the interplay between species traits and the trade and transportation networks. © Published 2011. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  6. Discriminatory abilities of facultative slave-making ants and their slaves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Włodarczyk, T

    2016-01-01

    Intra-colony odor variability can disturb ants' ability to discriminate against intruders. The evolutionary relevance of this phenomenon can be revealed by studies on colonies of slave-making ants in which the parasite, and not the host, is subject to selection pressures associated with living in a mixed colony. We examined how the European facultative slave-making species Formica sanguinea and its F. fusca slaves perform in discriminating ants from alien colonies. Results of behavioral assays showed that slave-maker ants respond with hostility to conspecific individuals from alien colonies but are relatively tolerant to alien slaves. Furthermore, the behavior of slaves indicated a limited ability to discriminate ants from alien parasitic colonies. The subdivision of colony fragments into mixed and species-separated groups demonstrated that contact with the parasite is necessary for F. fusca slaves to be re-accepted by former nestmates after a period of separation from the stock colony. The results presented in this paper are consistent with the following hypotheses: (1) F. sanguinea ants, as opposed to their slaves, are adapted to discriminate alien individuals in the conditions of odor variability found in a mixed-species colony, (2) the recognition of slaves by F. sanguinea ants involves a dedicated adaptive mechanism that prevents aggression toward them, (3) the odor of slaves is strongly influenced by the parasite with beneficial effect on the colony integrity.

  7. A framework for using ant colony optimization to schedule environmental flow management alternatives for rivers, wetlands, and floodplains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szemis, J. M.; Maier, H. R.; Dandy, G. C.

    2012-08-01

    Rivers, wetlands, and floodplains are in need of management as they have been altered from natural conditions and are at risk of vanishing because of river development. One method to mitigate these impacts involves the scheduling of environmental flow management alternatives (EFMA); however, this is a complex task as there are generally a large number of ecological assets (e.g., wetlands) that need to be considered, each with species with competing flow requirements. Hence, this problem evolves into an optimization problem to maximize an ecological benefit within constraints imposed by human needs and the physical layout of the system. This paper presents a novel optimization framework which uses ant colony optimization to enable optimal scheduling of EFMAs, given constraints on the environmental water that is available. This optimization algorithm is selected because, unlike other currently popular algorithms, it is able to account for all aspects of the problem. The approach is validated by comparing it to a heuristic approach, and its utility is demonstrated using a case study based on the Murray River in South Australia to investigate (1) the trade-off between plant recruitment (i.e., promoting germination) and maintenance (i.e., maintaining habitat) flow requirements, (2) the trade-off between flora and fauna flow requirements, and (3) a hydrograph inversion case. The results demonstrate the usefulness and flexibility of the proposed framework as it is able to determine EFMA schedules that provide optimal or near-optimal trade-offs between the competing needs of species under a range of operating conditions and valuable insight for managers.

  8. A hybrid expert system, clustering and ant colony optimization approach for scheduling and routing problem in courier services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduyn López-Santana

    2018-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper focuses on the problem of scheduling and routing workers in a courier service to deliver packages for a set of geographically distributed customers and, on a specific date and time window. The crew of workers has a limited capacity and a time window that represents their labor length. The problem deals with a combination of multiples variants of the vehicle routing problem as capacity, multiple periods, time windows, due dates and distance as constraints. Since in the courier services the demands could be of hundreds or thousands of packages to be delivered, the problem is computationally unmanageable. We present a three-phase solution approach. In the first phase, a scheduling model determines the visit date for each customer in the planning horizon by considering the release date, due date to visit and travel times. We use an expert system based on the know-how of the courier service, which uses an inference engine that works as a rule interpreter. In the second phase, a clustering model assigns, for each period, customers to workers according to the travel times, maximum load capacity and customer’s time windows. We use a centroid based and sweep algorithms to solve the resulted problem. Finally, in the third phase, a routing model finds the order in which each worker will visit all customers taking into account their time windows and worker’s available time. To solve the routing problem we use an Ant Colony Optimization metaheuristic. We present some numerical results using a case study, in which the proposed method of this paper finds better results in comparison with the current method used in the case study

  9. Meta-heuristic ant colony optimization technique to forecast the amount of summer monsoon rainfall: skill comparison with Markov chain model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhuri, Sutapa; Goswami, Sayantika; Das, Debanjana; Middey, Anirban

    2014-05-01

    Forecasting summer monsoon rainfall with precision becomes crucial for the farmers to plan for harvesting in a country like India where the national economy is mostly based on regional agriculture. The forecast of monsoon rainfall based on artificial neural network is a well-researched problem. In the present study, the meta-heuristic ant colony optimization (ACO) technique is implemented to forecast the amount of summer monsoon rainfall for the next day over Kolkata (22.6°N, 88.4°E), India. The ACO technique belongs to swarm intelligence and simulates the decision-making processes of ant colony similar to other adaptive learning techniques. ACO technique takes inspiration from the foraging behaviour of some ant species. The ants deposit pheromone on the ground in order to mark a favourable path that should be followed by other members of the colony. A range of rainfall amount replicating the pheromone concentration is evaluated during the summer monsoon season. The maximum amount of rainfall during summer monsoon season (June—September) is observed to be within the range of 7.5-35 mm during the period from 1998 to 2007, which is in the range 4 category set by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The result reveals that the accuracy in forecasting the amount of rainfall for the next day during the summer monsoon season using ACO technique is 95 % where as the forecast accuracy is 83 % with Markov chain model (MCM). The forecast through ACO and MCM are compared with other existing models and validated with IMD observations from 2008 to 2012.

  10. Colony density and activity times of the ant Camponotus semitestaceus (Hymenoptera: formicidae) in a shrub steppe community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gano, K.A.; Rogers, L.E.

    1983-11-01

    Colony densities and above-ground activity periods were determined for Camponotus semitestaceus colonies within a shrub-steppe community. Colony densities (anti-x +/- SD) averaged 0.088 +/- 0.032 per m/sup 2/ and 0.048 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on two sagebrush-bunchgrass sites an

  11. Bacteria may contribute to distant species recognition in ant-aphid mutualistic relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Christophe Y; Detrain, Claire; Thonart, Philippe; Haubruge, Eric; Francis, Frédéric; Verheggen, François J; Lognay, Georges C

    2017-04-01

    Mutualistic interactions between ant and aphid species have been the subject of considerable historical and contemporary investigations, the primary benefits being cleaning and protection for the aphids and carbohydrate-rich honeydew for the ants. Questions remained, however, as to the volatile semiochemical factor influencing this relationship. A recent study highlighted the role of bacterial honeydew volatile compounds in ant attraction. Here, ant's ability to distantly discriminate 2 aphid species was investigated based on bacterial honeydew semiochemicals emissions using a two-way olfactometer. Both the mutualistic aphid Aphis fabae L. and the nonmyrmecophilous aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris were found to be attractive for the ant Lasius niger L. The level of attraction was similar in both assays (control vs. one of the aphid species). However, when given a choice between these 2 aphid species, ants showed a significant preference for Aphis fabae. Honeydew volatiles, mostly from bacterial origins, are known to be a key element in ant attraction. Using the same olfactometry protocol, the relative attractiveness of volatiles emitted by honeydews collected from each aphid species and by bacteria isolated from each honeydew was investigated. Again, ants significantly preferred volatiles released by Aphis fabae honeydew and bacteria. This information suggests that microbial honeydew volatiles enable ants to distantly discriminate aphid species. These results strengthen the interest of studying the occurrence and potential impact of microorganisms in insect symbioses. © 2015 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  12. Decision rules for egg recognition are related to functional roles and chemical cues in the queenless ant Dinoponera quadriceps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tannure-Nascimento, Ivelize C.; Nascimento, Fabio S.; Dantas, José O.; Zucchi, Ronaldo

    2009-07-01

    The capacity to distinguish colony members from strangers is a key component in social life. In social insects, this extends to the brood and involves discrimination of queen eggs. Chemical substances communicate colony affiliation for both adults and brood; thus, in theory, all colony members should be able to recognize fellow nestmates. In this study, we investigate the ability of Dinoponera quadriceps workers to discriminate nestmate and non-nestmate eggs based on cuticular hydrocarbon composition. We analyzed whether cuticular hydrocarbons present on the eggs provide cues of discrimination. The results show that egg recognition in D. quadriceps is related to both age and the functional role of workers. Brood care workers were able to distinguish nestmate from non-nestmate eggs, while callow and forager workers were unable to do so.

  13. Multi-Objective Ant Colony Optimization Based on the Physarum-Inspired Mathematical Model for Bi-Objective Traveling Salesman Problems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zili Zhang

    Full Text Available Bi-objective Traveling Salesman Problem (bTSP is an important field in the operations research, its solutions can be widely applied in the real world. Many researches of Multi-objective Ant Colony Optimization (MOACOs have been proposed to solve bTSPs. However, most of MOACOs suffer premature convergence. This paper proposes an optimization strategy for MOACOs by optimizing the initialization of pheromone matrix with the prior knowledge of Physarum-inspired Mathematical Model (PMM. PMM can find the shortest route between two nodes based on the positive feedback mechanism. The optimized algorithms, named as iPM-MOACOs, can enhance the pheromone in the short paths and promote the search ability of ants. A series of experiments are conducted and experimental results show that the proposed strategy can achieve a better compromise solution than the original MOACOs for solving bTSPs.

  14. Solving a Closed-Loop Location-Inventory-Routing Problem with Mixed Quality Defects Returns in E-Commerce by Hybrid Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuai Deng

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a closed-loop location-inventory-routing problem model considering both quality defect returns and nondefect returns in e-commerce supply chain system. The objective is to minimize the total cost produced in both forward and reverse logistics networks. We propose a combined optimization algorithm named hybrid ant colony optimization algorithm (HACO to address this model that is an NP-hard problem. Our experimental results show that the proposed HACO is considerably efficient and effective in solving this model.

  15. Speed and accuracy in nest-mate recognition: a hover wasp prioritizes face recognition over colony odour cues to minimize intrusion by outsiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baracchi, D.; Petrocelli, I.; Chittka, L.; Ricciardi, G.; Turillazzi, S.

    2015-01-01

    Social insects have evolved sophisticated recognition systems enabling them to accept nest-mates but reject alien conspecifics. In the social wasp, Liostenogaster flavolineata (Stenogastrinae), individuals differ in their cuticular hydrocarbon profiles according to colony membership; each female also possesses a unique (visual) facial pattern. This species represents a unique model to understand how vision and olfaction are integrated and the extent to which wasps prioritize one channel over the other to discriminate aliens and nest-mates. Liostenogaster flavolineata females are able to discriminate between alien and nest-mate females using facial patterns or chemical cues in isolation. However, the two sensory modalities are not equally efficient in the discrimination of ‘friend’ from ‘foe’. Visual cues induce an increased number of erroneous attacks on nest-mates (false alarms), but such attacks are quickly aborted and never result in serious injury. Odour cues, presented in isolation, result in an increased number of misses: erroneous acceptances of outsiders. Interestingly, wasps take the relative efficiencies of the two sensory modalities into account when making rapid decisions about colony membership of an individual: chemical profiles are entirely ignored when the visual and chemical stimuli are presented together. Thus, wasps adopt a strategy to ‘err on the safe side’ by memorizing individual faces to recognize colony members, and disregarding odour cues to minimize the risk of intrusion from colony outsiders. PMID:25652836

  16. Enhanced Ant Colony Optimization with Dynamic Mutation and Ad Hoc Initialization for Improving the Design of TSK-Type Fuzzy System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yi-Ting

    2018-01-01

    This paper proposes an enhanced ant colony optimization with dynamic mutation and ad hoc initialization, ACODM-I, for improving the accuracy of Takagi-Sugeno-Kang- (TSK-) type fuzzy systems design. Instead of the generic initialization usually used in most population-based algorithms, ACODM-I proposes an ad hoc application-specific initialization for generating the initial ant solutions to improve the accuracy of fuzzy system design. The generated initial ant solutions are iteratively improved by a new approach incorporating the dynamic mutation into the existing continuous ACO (ACOR). The introduced dynamic mutation balances the exploration ability and convergence rate by providing more diverse search directions in the early stage of optimization process. Application examples of two zero-order TSK-type fuzzy systems for dynamic plant tracking control and one first-order TSK-type fuzzy system for the prediction of the chaotic time series have been simulated to validate the proposed algorithm. Performance comparisons with ACOR and different advanced algorithms or neural-fuzzy models verify the superiority of the proposed algorithm. The effects on the design accuracy and convergence rate yielded by the proposed initialization and introduced dynamic mutation have also been discussed and verified in the simulations. PMID:29568311

  17. Enhanced Ant Colony Optimization with Dynamic Mutation and Ad Hoc Initialization for Improving the Design of TSK-Type Fuzzy System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi-Chung Chen

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes an enhanced ant colony optimization with dynamic mutation and ad hoc initialization, ACODM-I, for improving the accuracy of Takagi-Sugeno-Kang- (TSK- type fuzzy systems design. Instead of the generic initialization usually used in most population-based algorithms, ACODM-I proposes an ad hoc application-specific initialization for generating the initial ant solutions to improve the accuracy of fuzzy system design. The generated initial ant solutions are iteratively improved by a new approach incorporating the dynamic mutation into the existing continuous ACO (ACOR. The introduced dynamic mutation balances the exploration ability and convergence rate by providing more diverse search directions in the early stage of optimization process. Application examples of two zero-order TSK-type fuzzy systems for dynamic plant tracking control and one first-order TSK-type fuzzy system for the prediction of the chaotic time series have been simulated to validate the proposed algorithm. Performance comparisons with ACOR and different advanced algorithms or neural-fuzzy models verify the superiority of the proposed algorithm. The effects on the design accuracy and convergence rate yielded by the proposed initialization and introduced dynamic mutation have also been discussed and verified in the simulations.

  18. Context-dependent expression of the foraging gene in field colonies of ants: the interacting roles of age, environment and task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Krista K; Gordon, Deborah M; Friedman, Daniel A; Greene, Michael; Kahler, John; Peteru, Swetha

    2016-08-31

    Task allocation among social insect workers is an ideal framework for studying the molecular mechanisms underlying behavioural plasticity because workers of similar genotype adopt different behavioural phenotypes. Elegant laboratory studies have pioneered this effort, but field studies involving the genetic regulation of task allocation are rare. Here, we investigate the expression of the foraging gene in harvester ant workers from five age- and task-related groups in a natural population, and we experimentally test how exposure to light affects foraging expression in brood workers and foragers. Results from our field study show that the regulation of the foraging gene in harvester ants occurs at two time scales: levels of foraging mRNA are associated with ontogenetic changes over weeks in worker age, location and task, and there are significant daily oscillations in foraging expression in foragers. The temporal dissection of foraging expression reveals that gene expression changes in foragers occur across a scale of hours and the level of expression is predicted by activity rhythms: foragers have high levels of foraging mRNA during daylight hours when they are most active outside the nests. In the experimental study, we find complex interactions in foraging expression between task behaviour and light exposure. Oscillations occur in foragers following experimental exposure to 13 L : 11 D (LD) conditions, but not in brood workers under similar conditions. No significant differences were seen in foraging expression over time in either task in 24 h dark (DD) conditions. Interestingly, the expression of foraging in both undisturbed field and experimentally treated foragers is also significantly correlated with the expression of the circadian clock gene, cycle Our results provide evidence that the regulation of this gene is context-dependent and associated with both ontogenetic and daily behavioural plasticity in field colonies of harvester ants. Our results underscore

  19. Deep vector-based convolutional neural network approach for automatic recognition of colonies of induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muthu Subash Kavitha

    Full Text Available Pluripotent stem cells can potentially be used in clinical applications as a model for studying disease progress. This tracking of disease-causing events in cells requires constant assessment of the quality of stem cells. Existing approaches are inadequate for robust and automated differentiation of stem cell colonies. In this study, we developed a new model of vector-based convolutional neural network (V-CNN with respect to extracted features of the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC colony for distinguishing colony characteristics. A transfer function from the feature vectors to the virtual image was generated at the front of the CNN in order for classification of feature vectors of healthy and unhealthy colonies. The robustness of the proposed V-CNN model in distinguishing colonies was compared with that of the competitive support vector machine (SVM classifier based on morphological, textural, and combined features. Additionally, five-fold cross-validation was used to investigate the performance of the V-CNN model. The precision, recall, and F-measure values of the V-CNN model were comparatively higher than those of the SVM classifier, with a range of 87-93%, indicating fewer false positives and false negative rates. Furthermore, for determining the quality of colonies, the V-CNN model showed higher accuracy values based on morphological (95.5%, textural (91.0%, and combined (93.2% features than those estimated with the SVM classifier (86.7, 83.3, and 83.4%, respectively. Similarly, the accuracy of the feature sets using five-fold cross-validation was above 90% for the V-CNN model, whereas that yielded by the SVM model was in the range of 75-77%. We thus concluded that the proposed V-CNN model outperforms the conventional SVM classifier, which strongly suggests that it as a reliable framework for robust colony classification of iPSCs. It can also serve as a cost-effective quality recognition tool during culture and other experimental

  20. Recognition of Mould Colony on Unhulled Paddy Based on Computer Vision using Conventional Machine-learning and Deep Learning Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Ke; Wang, Zhengjie; Tu, Kang; Wang, Shaojin; Pan, Leiqing

    2016-11-29

    To investigate the potential of conventional and deep learning techniques to recognize the species and distribution of mould in unhulled paddy, samples were inoculated and cultivated with five species of mould, and sample images were captured. The mould recognition methods were built using support vector machine (SVM), back-propagation neural network (BPNN), convolutional neural network (CNN), and deep belief network (DBN) models. An accuracy rate of 100% was achieved by using the DBN model to identify the mould species in the sample images based on selected colour-histogram parameters, followed by the SVM and BPNN models. A pitch segmentation recognition method combined with different classification models was developed to recognize the mould colony areas in the image. The accuracy rates of the SVM and CNN models for pitch classification were approximately 90% and were higher than those of the BPNN and DBN models. The CNN and DBN models showed quicker calculation speeds for recognizing all of the pitches segmented from a single sample image. Finally, an efficient uniform CNN pitch classification model for all five types of sample images was built. This work compares multiple classification models and provides feasible recognition methods for mouldy unhulled paddy recognition.

  1. Recognition of Mould Colony on Unhulled Paddy Based on Computer Vision using Conventional Machine-learning and Deep Learning Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Ke; Wang, Zhengjie; Tu, Kang; Wang, Shaojin; Pan, Leiqing

    2016-11-01

    To investigate the potential of conventional and deep learning techniques to recognize the species and distribution of mould in unhulled paddy, samples were inoculated and cultivated with five species of mould, and sample images were captured. The mould recognition methods were built using support vector machine (SVM), back-propagation neural network (BPNN), convolutional neural network (CNN), and deep belief network (DBN) models. An accuracy rate of 100% was achieved by using the DBN model to identify the mould species in the sample images based on selected colour-histogram parameters, followed by the SVM and BPNN models. A pitch segmentation recognition method combined with different classification models was developed to recognize the mould colony areas in the image. The accuracy rates of the SVM and CNN models for pitch classification were approximately 90% and were higher than those of the BPNN and DBN models. The CNN and DBN models showed quicker calculation speeds for recognizing all of the pitches segmented from a single sample image. Finally, an efficient uniform CNN pitch classification model for all five types of sample images was built. This work compares multiple classification models and provides feasible recognition methods for mouldy unhulled paddy recognition.

  2. Worker lifespan is an adaptive trait during colony establishment in the long-lived ant Lasius niger

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kramer, Boris H.; Schaible, Ralf; Scheuerlein, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Eusociality has been recognized as a strong driver of lifespan evolution. While queens show extraordinary lifespans of 20 years and more, worker lifespan is short and variable. A recent comparative study found that in eusocial species with larger average colony sizes the disparities in the lifespans

  3. Optimization of fuel reloads for a BWR using the ant colony system; Optimizacion de recargas de combustible para un BWR usando el sistema de colonia de hormigas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Esquivel E, J. [Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, Facultad de Ingenieria, Cerro de Coatepec s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, 50110 Toluca, Estado de Mexico (Mexico); Ortiz S, J. J. [ININ, Carretera Mexico-Toluca s/n, 52750 Ocoyoacac, Estado de Mexico (Mexico)], e-mail: jaime.es.jaime@gmail.com

    2009-10-15

    In this work some results obtained during the development of optimization systems are presented, which are employees for the fuel reload design in a BWR. The systems use the ant colony optimization technique. As first instance, a system is developed that was adapted at travel salesman problem applied for the 32 state capitals of Mexican Republic. The purpose of this implementation is that a similarity exists with the design of fuel reload, since the two problems are of combinatorial optimization with decision variables that have similarity between both. The system was coupled to simulator SIMULATE-3, obtaining good results when being applied to an operation cycle in equilibrium for reactors of nuclear power plant of Laguna Verde. (Author)

  4. Analysis of chemical signals in red fire ants by gas chromatography and pattern recognition techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    The combination of gas chromatography and pattern recognition (GC/PR) analysis is a powerful tool for investigating complicated biological problems. Clustering, mapping, discriminant development, etc. are necessary to analyze realistically large chromatographic data sets and to seek meaningful relat...

  5. Ant colony optimization as a descriptor selection in QSPR modeling: Estimation of the λmax of anthraquinones-based dyes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morteza Atabati

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Quantitative structure–property relationship (QSPR studies based on ant colony optimization (ACO were carried out for the prediction of λmax of 9,10-anthraquinone derivatives. ACO is a meta-heuristic algorithm, which is derived from the observation of real ants and proposed to feature selection. After optimization of 3D geometry of structures by the semi-empirical quantum-chemical calculation at AM1 level, different descriptors were calculated by the HyperChem and Dragon softwares (1514 descriptors. A major problem of QSPR is the high dimensionality of the descriptor space; therefore, descriptor selection is the most important step. In this paper, an ACO algorithm was used to select the best descriptors. Then selected descriptors were applied for model development using multiple linear regression. The average absolute relative deviation and correlation coefficient for the calibration set were obtained as 3.3% and 0.9591, respectively, while the average absolute relative deviation and correlation coefficient for the prediction set were obtained as 5.0% and 0.9526, respectively. The results showed that the applied procedure is suitable for prediction of λmax of 9,10-anthraquinone derivatives.

  6. An Ant Colony Optimization algorithm for solving the fixed destination multi-depot multiple traveling salesman problem with non-random parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramadhani, T.; Hertono, G. F.; Handari, B. D.

    2017-07-01

    The Multiple Traveling Salesman Problem (MTSP) is the extension of the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) in which the shortest routes of m salesmen all of which start and finish in a single city (depot) will be determined. If there is more than one depot and salesmen start from and return to the same depot, then the problem is called Fixed Destination Multi-depot Multiple Traveling Salesman Problem (MMTSP). In this paper, MMTSP will be solved using the Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm. ACO is a metaheuristic optimization algorithm which is derived from the behavior of ants in finding the shortest route(s) from the anthill to a form of nourishment. In solving the MMTSP, the algorithm is observed with respect to different chosen cities as depots and non-randomly three parameters of MMTSP: m, K, L, those represents the number of salesmen, the fewest cities that must be visited by a salesman, and the most number of cities that can be visited by a salesman, respectively. The implementation is observed with four dataset from TSPLIB. The results show that the different chosen cities as depots and the three parameters of MMTSP, in which m is the most important parameter, affect the solution.

  7. Do Cuticular Hydrocarbons Provide Sufficient Information for Optimal Sex Allocation in the Ant Formica exsecta?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Zweden, Jelle Stijn; Vitikainen, Emma; D'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2011-01-01

    translates accurately into chemical variability. However, in genetically heterogeneous colonies, too accurate information may encourage the pursuit of individual interests through nepotistic behavior and reduce colony efficiency or cause social disruption. In this study, we estimated how well variability...... of CHC recognition cues reflects colony kin structure in the ant Formica exsecta. Our results show that CHC variability does not covary with kin structure or the overall genetic diversity of the colony, and that patrilines and matrilines can have distinct CHC profiles in some but not all colonies...

  8. Colony density and activity times of the ant Camponotus semitestaceus (hymenoptera:formicidae) in a shrub steppe community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gano, K.A.; Rogers, L.E.

    1983-11-01

    Colony densities and above-ground activity periods were determined for Camponotus semitestaceus colonies within a shrub-steppe community. Colony densities (x +/- SD) averaged 0.088 +/- 0.032 per m/sup 2/ and 0.048 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on two sagebrush-bunchgrass sites and 0.028 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on a burned site. Seventy-five percent of the nest entrances were located alongside the stems of sagebrush, indicating a preference for these microhabitats as nest locations. Above-ground activity times were determined by using time lapse photography. Activity commenced shortly after sunset, when light intensities dropped to 2.5 to 1.0 foot-candles (ca. 27 to 11 lux) and terminated just before sunrise. Light intensity appears to be the primary cue for controlling above-ground activity periods of this species, but temperature also appears to be an important factor. When soil surface temperatures drop to 1.7 to 3.9/sup 0/C, all above-ground activity ceases, irrespective of light intensity. 19 references, 3 figures, 2 tables.

  9. Colony density and activity times of the ant Camponotus semitestaceus (hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a shrub steppe community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gano, K.A.; Rogers, L.E.

    1983-11-01

    Colony densities and above-ground activity periods were determined for Camponotus semitestaceus colonies within a shrub-steppe community. Colony densities (anti x=/- SD) averaged 0.088 +/- 0.032 per m/sup 2/ and 0.048 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on two sagebrush-bunchgrass sites and 0.028 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on a burned site. Seventy-five percent of the nest entrances were located alongside the stems of sagebrush, indicating a preference for these microhabitats as nest locations. Above-ground activity times were determined by using time lapse photography. Activity commenced shortly after sunset, when light intensities dropped to 2.5 to 1.0 foot-candles (ca. 27 to 11 lux) and terminated just before sunrise. Light intensity appears to be the primary cue for controlling above-ground activity periods of this species, but temperature also appears to be an important factor. When soil surface temperatures drop to 1.7 to 3.9/sup 0/C, all above-ground activity ceases, irrespective of light intensity.

  10. Design of real-time communication system for image recognition based colony picking instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qun; Zhang, Rongfu; Yan, Hua; Wu, Huamin

    2017-11-01

    In order to aachieve autommated observatiion and pickinng of monocloonal colonies, an overall dessign and realizzation of real-time commmunication system based on High-throoughput monooclonal auto-piicking instrumment is propossed. The real-time commmunication system is commposed of PCC-PLC commuunication systtem and Centrral Control CComputer (CCC)-PLC communicatioon system. Bassed on RS232 synchronous serial communnication methood to develop a set of dedicated shoort-range commmunication prootocol betweenn the PC and PPLC. Furthermmore, the systemm uses SQL SSERVER database to rrealize the dataa interaction between PC andd CCC. Moreoover, the commmunication of CCC and PC, adopted Socket Ethernnet communicaation based on TCP/IP protoccol. TCP full-dduplex data cannnel to ensure real-time data eexchange as well as immprove system reliability andd security. We tested the commmunication syystem using sppecially develooped test software, thee test results show that the sysstem can realizze the communnication in an eefficient, safe aand stable way between PLC, PC andd CCC, keep thhe real-time conntrol to PLC annd colony inforrmation collecttion.

  11. Specificity in chemical profiles of workers, brood and mutualistic fungi in Atta, Acromyrmex, and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Poulsen, Michael; Drijfhout, Falko; Jones, Graeme; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2007-12-01

    Neotropical attine ants live in obligatory symbiosis with a fungus that they grow for food on a substrate of primarily plant material harvested by workers. Nestmate recognition is likely based on chemical cues as in most other social insects, but recent studies have indicated that both the ants and their mutualistic fungi may contribute to the recognition templates. To investigate the within-colony variation in chemical profiles, we extracted and identified compounds from the cuticle of workers, the postpharyngeal gland of workers, ant pupae and larvae, and the fungal symbiont of three species of higher attine ants: Atta colombica, Acromyrmex echinatior, and Sericomyrmex amabilis. The relative proportions of identified compounds were compared and represented 11 classes: n-alkanes, alkenes, branched methylalkanes, branched dimethylalkanes, trimethylalkanes, branched alkenes, aldehydes, alcohols, acetates, acids, and esters. The chemical profiles in all three species are likely to be sufficiently different to allow discrimination at the species and colony level and sufficiently similar within colonies to generate a relatively constant colony-specific chemical gestalt. The relative likelihood of individual compounds being derived from the ants, the ant brood, or the fungal symbiont are discussed. We hypothesize that hydrocarbons are particularly important as recognition cues because they appear to simultaneously allow the assessment of developmental stages and the identification of symbiont, colony, and species.

  12. Biobjective Optimization of Vibration Performance of Steel-Spring Floating Slab Tracks by Four-Pole Parameter Method Coupled with Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Jin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Steel-spring floating slab tracks are one of the most effective methods to reduce vibrations from underground railways, which has drawn more and more attention in scientific communities. In this paper, the steel-spring floating slab track located in Track Vibration Abatement and Control Laboratory was modeled with four-pole parameter method. The influences of the fastener damping ratio, the fastener stiffness, the steel-spring damping ratio, and the steel-spring stiffness were researched for the rail displacement and the foundation acceleration. Results show that the rail displacement and the foundation acceleration will decrease with the increase of the fastener stiffness or the steel-spring damping ratio. However, the rail displacement and the foundation acceleration have the opposite variation tendency for the fastener damping ratio and the steel-spring stiffness. In order to optimize the rail displacement and the foundation acceleration affected by the fastener damping ratio and the steel-spring stiffness at the same time, a multiobjective ant colony optimization (ACO was employed. Eventually, Pareto optimal frontier of the rail displacement and the foundation acceleration was derived. Furthermore, the desirable values of the fastener damping ratio and the steel-spring stiffness can be obtained according to the corresponding Pareto optimal solution set.

  13. Identification of gene knockout strategies using a hybrid of an ant colony optimization algorithm and flux balance analysis to optimize microbial strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Shi Jing; Salleh, Abdul Hakim Mohamed; Mohamad, Mohd Saberi; Deris, Safaai; Omatu, Sigeru; Yoshioka, Michifumi

    2014-09-28

    Reconstructions of genome-scale metabolic networks from different organisms have become popular in recent years. Metabolic engineering can simulate the reconstruction process to obtain desirable phenotypes. In previous studies, optimization algorithms have been implemented to identify the near-optimal sets of knockout genes for improving metabolite production. However, previous works contained premature convergence and the stop criteria were not clear for each case. Therefore, this study proposes an algorithm that is a hybrid of the ant colony optimization algorithm and flux balance analysis (ACOFBA) to predict near optimal sets of gene knockouts in an effort to maximize growth rates and the production of certain metabolites. Here, we present a case study that uses Baker's yeast, also known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as the model organism and target the rate of vanillin production for optimization. The results of this study are the growth rate of the model organism after gene deletion and a list of knockout genes. The ACOFBA algorithm was found to improve the yield of vanillin in terms of growth rate and production compared with the previous algorithms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Optimal Sizing of a Stand-Alone Hybrid Power System Based on Battery/Hydrogen with an Improved Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiqiang Dong

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available A distributed power system with renewable energy sources is very popular in recent years due to the rapid depletion of conventional sources of energy. Reasonable sizing for such power systems could improve the power supply reliability and reduce the annual system cost. The goal of this work is to optimize the size of a stand-alone hybrid photovoltaic (PV/wind turbine (WT/battery (B/hydrogen system (a hybrid system based on battery and hydrogen (HS-BH for reliable and economic supply. Two objectives that take the minimum annual system cost and maximum system reliability described as the loss of power supply probability (LPSP have been addressed for sizing HS-BH from a more comprehensive perspective, considering the basic demand of load, the profit from hydrogen, which is produced by HS-BH, and an effective energy storage strategy. An improved ant colony optimization (ACO algorithm has been presented to solve the sizing problem of HS-BH. Finally, a simulation experiment has been done to demonstrate the developed results, in which some comparisons have been done to emphasize the advantage of HS-BH with the aid of data from an island of Zhejiang, China.

  15. Ants recognize foes and not friends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrieri, Fernando J.; Nehring, Volker; Jørgensen, Charlotte G.; Nielsen, John; Galizia, C. Giovanni; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    Discriminating among individuals and rejecting non-group members is essential for the evolution and stability of animal societies. Ants are good models for studying recognition mechanisms, because they are typically very efficient in discriminating ‘friends’ (nest-mates) from ‘foes’ (non-nest-mates). Recognition in ants involves multicomponent cues encoded in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Here, we tested whether workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus herculeanus use the presence and/or absence of cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate between nest-mates and non-nest-mates. We supplemented the cuticular profile with synthetic hydrocarbons mixed to liquid food and then assessed behavioural responses using two different bioassays. Our results show that (i) the presence, but not the absence, of an additional hydrocarbon elicited aggression and that (ii) among the three classes of hydrocarbons tested (unbranched, mono-methylated and dimethylated alkanes; for mono-methylated alkanes, we present a new synthetic pathway), only the dimethylated alkane was effective in eliciting aggression. Our results suggest that carpenter ants use a fundamentally different mechanism for nest-mate recognition than previously thought. They do not specifically recognize nest-mates, but rather recognize and reject non-nest-mates bearing odour cues that are novel to their own colony cuticular hydrocarbon profile. This begs for a reappraisal of the mechanisms underlying recognition systems in social insects. PMID:19364750

  16. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line Vej; Drijfhout, Falko P

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its...... rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus....... We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus...

  17. Avoidance of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus in leaf-cutting ants: Learning can take place entirely at the colony dump.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés Arenas

    Full Text Available Plants initially accepted by foraging leaf-cutting ants are later avoided if they prove unsuitable for their symbiotic fungus. Plant avoidance is mediated by the waste produced in the fungus garden soon after the incorporation of the unsuitable leaves, as foragers can learn plant odors and cues from the damaged fungus that are both present in the recently produced waste particles. We asked whether avoidance learning of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus can take place entirely at the colony dump. In order to investigate whether cues available in the waste chamber induce plant avoidance in naïve subcolonies, we exchanged the waste produced by subcolonies fed either fungicide-treated privet leaves or untreated leaves and measured the acceptance of untreated privet leaves before and after the exchange of waste. Second, we evaluated whether foragers could perceive the avoidance cues directly at the dump by quantifying the visits of labeled foragers to the waste chamber. Finally, we asked whether foragers learn to specifically avoid untreated leaves of a plant after a confinement over 3 hours in the dump of subcolonies that were previously fed fungicide-treated leaves of that species. After the exchange of the waste chambers, workers from subcolonies that had access to waste from fungicide-treated privet leaves learned to avoid that plant. One-third of the labeled foragers visited the dump. Furthermore, naïve foragers learned to avoid a specific, previously unsuitable plant if exposed solely to cues of the dump during confinement. We suggest that cues at the dump enable foragers to predict the unsuitable effects of plants even if they had never been experienced in the fungus garden.

  18. Avoidance of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus in leaf-cutting ants: Learning can take place entirely at the colony dump.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arenas, Andrés; Roces, Flavio

    2017-01-01

    Plants initially accepted by foraging leaf-cutting ants are later avoided if they prove unsuitable for their symbiotic fungus. Plant avoidance is mediated by the waste produced in the fungus garden soon after the incorporation of the unsuitable leaves, as foragers can learn plant odors and cues from the damaged fungus that are both present in the recently produced waste particles. We asked whether avoidance learning of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus can take place entirely at the colony dump. In order to investigate whether cues available in the waste chamber induce plant avoidance in naïve subcolonies, we exchanged the waste produced by subcolonies fed either fungicide-treated privet leaves or untreated leaves and measured the acceptance of untreated privet leaves before and after the exchange of waste. Second, we evaluated whether foragers could perceive the avoidance cues directly at the dump by quantifying the visits of labeled foragers to the waste chamber. Finally, we asked whether foragers learn to specifically avoid untreated leaves of a plant after a confinement over 3 hours in the dump of subcolonies that were previously fed fungicide-treated leaves of that species. After the exchange of the waste chambers, workers from subcolonies that had access to waste from fungicide-treated privet leaves learned to avoid that plant. One-third of the labeled foragers visited the dump. Furthermore, naïve foragers learned to avoid a specific, previously unsuitable plant if exposed solely to cues of the dump during confinement. We suggest that cues at the dump enable foragers to predict the unsuitable effects of plants even if they had never been experienced in the fungus garden.

  19. Odour convergence and tolerance between nestmates through trophallaxis and grooming in the ant Camponotus fellah (Dalla Torre)

    OpenAIRE

    Boulay, Raphaël; Katzav-Gozansky, T.; Hefetz, Abraham; Lenoir, Marc

    2004-01-01

    Social isolation provides a useful tool to study nestmate recognition in ants. In Camponotus fellah, reintroduction of 10-day isolated (IS) workers to their colony resulted in intensive trophallaxis and grooming, while longer isolation periods generally provoked rejection of the IS ants. In the first experiment the behaviour of queenless (QL) and queenright (QR) workers towards 10-day IS workers was tested. Trophallaxis of QL or QR with IS workers was of similar magnitude, but was significant...

  20. Nestmate recognition system in a lower attini ant: Mycocepurus smithii | Sistema de reconocimiento de compañeras de nido en la hormiga attini inferior: Mycocepurus smithii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sainz-Borgo

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to determine how the nestmate recognition system operates in Mycocepurus smithii. Behavioural bio-assays were performed in order to identify the nestmate recognition signal. In the field, bio-assays consisted of placing an alien and a nestmate in the nest entrance. In the laboratory, the bio-assays were made using three nestmates and three aliens placed in a Petri dish. The treatments evaluated were: determination of the effect of geographical distance, the volatility of the signal, the source of nestmate recognition signal and the effect of the Post-Pharyngeal Gland (PPG and Mandibular Gland (MG. The PPG hydrocarbons and MG volatiles were analyzed using the Solid Phase Microextraction technique (SPME. The relative intercolonial variations of both glands were studied. In the behavioral bio-assays, agonistic interactions were not detected either in the field or the laboratory. In the field, statistical differences were found in the distance aliens were carried away from the nest entrance. Intercolonial differences were found for MG volatile compounds, and for such compunds between ants immediately collected or isolated for 48 hours. In PPG hydrocarbons no intercolonial differences were found. In conclusion, workers of M. smithii have the skill to discriminate between aliens and nestmates. This is the first study on the behavior of recognition in this species, however, more detailed studies are necessary to a better description of the signals that allow such recognition.

  1. Specificity in chemical profiles of workers, brood and mutualistic fungi in Atta, Acromyrmex, and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Poulsen, Michael; Drijfhout, Falko

    2007-01-01

    Neotropical attine ants live in obligatory symbiosis with a fungus that they grow for food on a substrate of primarily plant material harvested by workers. Nestmate recognition is likely based on chemical cues as in most other social insects, but recent studies have indicated that both the ants...... and their mutualistic fungi may contribute to the recognition templates. To investigate the within-colony variation in chemical profiles, we extracted and identified compounds from the cuticle of workers, the postpharyngeal gland of workers, ant pupae and larvae, and the fungal symbiont of three species of higher...

  2. Optimization of travel salesman problem using the ant colony system and Greedy search; Optimizacion del problema del agente viajero usando el sistema de colonia de hormigas y busqueda Greedy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Esquivel E, J.; Ordonez A, A. [Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, Facultad de Ingenieria, Cerro de Coatepec s/n, Toluca, Estado de Mexico (Mexico); Ortiz S, J. J. [Departamento de Sistemas Nucleares, ININ, Carretera Mexico-Toluca s/n, Ocoyoacac 52750, Estado de Mexico (Mexico)

    2008-07-01

    In this paper we present some results obtained during the development of optimization systems that can be used to design refueling and patterns of control rods in a BWR. These systems use ant colonies and Greedy search. The first phase of this project is to be familiar with these optimization techniques applied to the problem of travel salesman problem (TSP). The utility of TSP study is that, like the refueling design and pattern design of control rods are problems of combinative optimization. Even, the similarity with the problem of the refueling design is remarkable. It is presented some results for the TSP with the 32 state capitals of Mexico country. (Author)

  3. A methodology for obtaining the control rods patterns in a BWR using systems based on ants colonies; Una metodologia para obtener los patrones de barras de control en un BWR usando sistemas basados en colonias de hormigas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ortiz S, J.J. [Depto. de Sistemas Nucleares, ININ, 52045 Ocoyoacac, Estado de Mexico (Mexico); Requena R, I. [Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada (Spain)]. e-mail: jjortiz@nuclear.inin.mx

    2003-07-01

    In this work the AZCATL-PBC system based on a technique of ants colonies for the search of control rods patterns of those reactors of the Nuclear Power station of Laguna Verde (CNLV) is presented. The technique was applied to a transition cycle and one of balance. For both cycles they were compared the k{sub ef} values obtained with a Haling calculation and the control rods pattern proposed by AZCATL-PBC for a burnt one fixed. It was found that the methodology is able to extend the length of the cycle with respect to the Haling prediction, maintaining sure to the reactor. (Author)

  4. Energy Efficient Routing in Wireless Sensor Networks based on Ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF. O. E. OSUAGWU

    2013-09-01

    Sep 1, 2013 ... Ant Colony Optimization, a swarm intelligence based optimization technique, has been successfully used in network routing. In this paper, we introduce a heuristic way to reduce energy consumption in WSNs routing process using Ant Colony Optimization. We introduce three Ant Colony Optimization ...

  5. From so simple a beginning: Enzymatic innovation in fungus-growing ants involved a transition from individual symbiont selection to colony-level selection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    of the partner species. Here we document such a sequence that was connected to a major evolutionary transition in the fungus-growing ants, when the ancestor of the derived leaf-cutting ants shifted from a diet of dry vegetative material to the almost exclusive use of freshly cut leaves. This shift generated...... visible adaptations in the host ants, such as increased worker dimorphism allowing large workers to cut fresh leaves, but comparative studies of the specific fungal adaptations that accompanied the transition have not been done. Here we report the first large comparative data set on enzymatic fungus...... garden profiles and focus on one of these enzymes, a laccase that is believed to oxidize phenols in defensive secondary plant compounds. We show that this laccase is exclusively found in the gardens of leaf-cutting ants where it can be inferred to have arisen by selection at the individual level when...

  6. Strict monandry in the ponerine army ant genus Simopelta suggests that colony size and complexity drive mating system evolution in social insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; O'Donnell, Sean; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2011-01-01

    Altruism in social insects has evolved between closely related full-siblings. It is therefore of considerable interest why some groups have secondarily evolved low within-colony relatedness, which in turn affects the relatedness incentives of within-colony cooperation and conflict. The highest qu...

  7. Sick ants become unsociable

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nicky Peter Maria; Lefevre, T.; Jensen, A.B.

    2012-01-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), we...... show that infected ants radically change their behaviour over time to reduce the risk of colony infection. Infected individuals (i) performed less social interactions than their uninfected counterparts, (ii) did not interact with brood anymore and (iii) spent most of their time outside the nest from...... day 3 post-infection until death. Furthermore, infected ants displayed an increased aggressiveness towards non-nestmates. Finally, infected ants did not alter their cuticular chemical profile, suggesting that infected individuals do not signal their physiological status to nestmates. Our results...

  8. Diet-related modification of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, diminishes intercolony aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Kumar, Ranjit; Suib, Steven L; Silverman, Jules

    2005-04-01

    Territorial boundaries between conspecific social insect colonies are maintained through a highly developed nestmate recognition system modulated by heritable and, in some instances, nonheritable cues. Argentine ants, Linepithema humile, use both genetic and environmentally derived cues to discriminate nestmates from nonnestmates. We explored the possibility that intraspecific aggression in the Argentine ant might diminish when colonies shared a common diet. After segregating recently field-collected colony pairs into high or moderate aggression categories, we examined the effect of one of three diets: two hydrocarbon-rich insect prey, Blattella germanica and Supella longipalpa, and an artificial (insect-free) diet, on the magnitude of aggression loss. Aggression diminished between colony pairs that were initially moderately aggressive. However, initially highly aggressive colony pairs maintained high levels of injurious aggression throughout the study, independent of diet type. Each diet altered the cuticular hydrocarbon profile by contributing unique, diet-specific cues. We suggest that acquisition of common exogenous nestmate recognition cues from shared food sources may diminish aggression and promote fusion in neighboring colonies of the Argentine ant.

  9. The effect of queen and worker adoption on weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) queen fecundity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim; Peng, Renkang; Nielsen, Mogens Gissel

    2012-01-01

    Incipient ant colonies are often under fierce competition, making fast growth crucial for survival. To increase production, colonies can adopt multiple queens (pleometrosis), fuse with other colonies or rob brood from neighboring colonies. However, different adoption strategies might have different...

  10. Recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gimmler, Antje

    2017-01-01

    In this article, I shall examine the cognitive, heuristic and theoretical functions of the concept of recognition. To evaluate both the explanatory power and the limitations of a sociological concept, the theory construction must be analysed and its actual productivity for sociological theory must...... be evaluated. In the first section, I will introduce the concept of recognition as a travelling concept playing a role both on the intellectual stage and in real life. In the second section, I will concentrate on the presentation of Honneth’s theory of recognition, emphasizing the construction of the concept...... and its explanatory power. Finally, I will discuss Honneth’s concept in relation to the critique that has been raised, addressing the debate between Honneth and Fraser. In a short conclusion, I will return to the question of the explanatory power of the concept of recognition....

  11. Comprehensive Evaluation for Operating Efficiency of Electricity Retail Companies Based on the Improved TOPSIS Method and LSSVM Optimized by Modified Ant Colony Algorithm from the View of Sustainable Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongxiao Niu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The electricity market of China is currently in the process of a new institutional reform. Diversified electricity retail entities are gradually being established with the opening of the marketing electricity side. In the face of a complex market environment and fierce competition, the operating efficiency can directly reflect the current market position and development of electricity retail companies. TOPSIS method can make full use of the information of original data, calculate the distance between evaluated objects and the ideal solutions and get the relative proximity, which is generally used in the overall department and comprehensive evaluation of the benefits. Least squares support vector machine (LSSVM, with high convergence precision, helps save the training time of algorithm by solving linear equations and is used to predict the comprehensive evaluation value. Considering the ultimate goal of sustainable development, a comprehensive evaluation model on operating efficiency of electricity retail companies based on the improved TOPSIS method and LSSVM optimized by modified ant colony algorithm is proposed in this paper. Firstly, from the view of sustainable development, an operating efficiency evaluation indicator system is constructed. Secondly, the entropy weight method is applied to empower the indicators objectively. After that, based on the improved TOPSIS method, the reverse problem in the evaluation process is eliminated. According to the relative proximity between the evaluated objects and the absolute ideal solutions, the scores of comprehensive evaluation for operating efficiency can then be ranked. Finally, the LSSVM optimized by modified ant colony algorithm is introduced to realize the simplified expert scoring process and fast calculation in the comprehensive evaluation process, and its improved learning and generalization ability can be used in the comprehensive evaluation of similar projects. The example analysis proves

  12. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    It is easy to comprehend the population biology of social insect colonies [11] using the basic principles which affect the formation of the ant trails. ..... [19] M G Deborah, Ant encounters interaction networks and colony behavior (Princeton Univer- sity Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2010). [20] K Nishinari, D Chowdhury and A ...

  13. Do host species evolve a specific response to slave-making ants?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delattre Olivier

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Social parasitism is an important selective pressure for social insect species. It is particularly the case for the hosts of dulotic (so called slave-making ants, which pillage the brood of host colonies to increase the worker force of their own colony. Such raids can have an important impact on the fitness of the host nest. An arms race which can lead to geographic variation in host defenses is thus expected between hosts and parasites. In this study we tested whether the presence of a social parasite (the dulotic ant Myrmoxenus ravouxi within an ant community correlated with a specific behavioral defense strategy of local host or non-host populations of Temnothorax ants. Social recognition often leads to more or less pronounced agonistic interactions between non-nestmates ants. Here, we monitored agonistic behaviors to assess whether ants discriminate social parasites from other ants. It is now well-known that ants essentially rely on cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate nestmates from aliens. If host species have evolved a specific recognition mechanism for their parasite, we hypothesize that the differences in behavioral responses would not be fully explained simply by quantitative dissimilarity in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, but should also involve a qualitative response due to the detection of particular compounds. We scaled the behavioral results according to the quantitative chemical distance between host and parasite colonies to test this hypothesis. Results Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles were distinct between species, but host species did not show a clearly higher aggression rate towards the parasite than toward non-parasite intruders, unless the degree of response was scaled by the chemical distance between intruders and recipient colonies. By doing so, we show that workers of the host and of a non-host species in the parasitized site displayed more agonistic behaviors (bites and ejections towards parasite

  14. Do host species evolve a specific response to slave-making ants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Social parasitism is an important selective pressure for social insect species. It is particularly the case for the hosts of dulotic (so called slave-making) ants, which pillage the brood of host colonies to increase the worker force of their own colony. Such raids can have an important impact on the fitness of the host nest. An arms race which can lead to geographic variation in host defenses is thus expected between hosts and parasites. In this study we tested whether the presence of a social parasite (the dulotic ant Myrmoxenus ravouxi) within an ant community correlated with a specific behavioral defense strategy of local host or non-host populations of Temnothorax ants. Social recognition often leads to more or less pronounced agonistic interactions between non-nestmates ants. Here, we monitored agonistic behaviors to assess whether ants discriminate social parasites from other ants. It is now well-known that ants essentially rely on cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate nestmates from aliens. If host species have evolved a specific recognition mechanism for their parasite, we hypothesize that the differences in behavioral responses would not be fully explained simply by quantitative dissimilarity in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, but should also involve a qualitative response due to the detection of particular compounds. We scaled the behavioral results according to the quantitative chemical distance between host and parasite colonies to test this hypothesis. Results Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles were distinct between species, but host species did not show a clearly higher aggression rate towards the parasite than toward non-parasite intruders, unless the degree of response was scaled by the chemical distance between intruders and recipient colonies. By doing so, we show that workers of the host and of a non-host species in the parasitized site displayed more agonistic behaviors (bites and ejections) towards parasite than toward non

  15. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Broch, Jens F; Marín, Hermogenes Fernández

    2011-01-01

    -fostering experiment designed to address the influences of genotype and social rearing environment upon individual and social immune defenses. We used a multiply mating leaf-cutting ant, enabling us to test for patriline effects within a colony, as well as cross-colony matriline effects. The worker's father influenced...... social defense, a Pseudonocardia bacteria that helps to control pathogens in the ants' fungus garden, showed a significant colony of origin by rearing environment interaction, whereby ants that acquired the bacteria of a foster colony obtained a less abundant cover of bacteria: one explanation...

  16. Rescue of newborn ants by older Cataglyphis cursor adult workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowbahari, Elise; Amirault, Céline; Hollis, Karen L

    2016-05-01

    Cataglyphis cursor worker ants are capable of highly sophisticated rescue behaviour in which individuals are able to identify what has trapped a nestmate and to direct their behaviour towards that obstacle. Nonetheless, rescue behaviour is constrained by workers' subcaste: whereas foragers, the oldest workers, are able both to give and to receive the most help, the youngest workers, inactives, neither give nor receive any help whatsoever; nurses give and receive intermediate levels of aid, reflecting their intermediate age. Such differences in rescue behaviour across subcastes suggest that age and experience play a critical role. In this species, as in many others in which a sensitive period for nestmate recognition exists, newly enclosed ants, called callows, are adopted by ants belonging not only to different colonies but also to different species; foreign callows receive nearly the same special care provided to resident newborns. Because callows are younger than inactives, which are incapable of soliciting rescue, we wondered whether entrapped callows would receive such aid. In the present study, we artificially ensnared individual callows from their own colony (homocolonial), from a different colony (heterocolonial), and from a different species (heterospecific), and tested each one with groups of five potential C. cursor rescuers, either all foragers or all nurses. Our results show that all three types of callows are able to elicit rescue behaviour from both foragers and nurses. Nonetheless, nurse rescuers are better able to discriminate between the three types of callow victims than are foragers.

  17. The logic of hypersocial colonies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jes Søe

    2012-01-01

    It is no wonder that we are transfixed with fascination when we stand in the midst of an ocean of flowing ants within a single extensive society of one of the invasive species. Normal terms do not fit anymore: this is not just a colony, but a “supercolony.” The iconic supercolonial species...... is the Argentine ant, infamous as a pest and now very well studied, all the way from having its genome sequenced to its global distribution mapped. As the Argentine ant can be the key to understanding other supercolonial and/or invasive ants, it is very timely that Moffett's review (2012) focuses on how we...

  18. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A.

    2013-01-01

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated...... parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few...... guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit...

  19. Honey Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, John R.

    1984-01-01

    Provides background information on honey ants. These ants are found in dry or desert regions of North America, Africa, and Australia. Also provides a list of activities using local species of ants. (JN)

  20. MULTIPLE ANT COLONY SYSTEM FOR A VRP WITH TIME WINDOWS AND SCHEDULED LOADING MÚLTIPLES SISTEMAS DE COLONIAS DE HORMIGAS PARA UN VRP CON VENTANAS DE TIEMPO Y PROGRAMACIÓN DE LA CARGA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Ortega

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The vehicle routing problem with time windows and scheduled loading [VRPTWSL] requires not only the design of routes with time windows and capacity constraints, but also a schedule of the departures of vehicles from the depot given a load time due to the limited resources available to load the demand in the vehicles. A mathematical formulation of the vehicle routing problem with time windows and scheduled loading is presented and a metaheuristics based on Multiple Ant Colony System is proposed and implemented where two ant colonies, each with a single objective function, are organized in a hierarchical way. A time update procedure is incorporated into the ant constructive procedure to update and schedule the departure of a vehicle from the depot when each ant moves to a new customer-node. Constraint programming is used to determine a feasible move to a new customer-node. As [VRPTWSL] incorporates the vehicle departure scheduling, the algorithm presented in this paper has a direct application to real problems, in this way [VRPTWSL] can be taken as an important advance for practical vehicle routing problems.El problema de rutas para vehículos con ventanas de tiempo y programación de la carga no solo requiere el diseño de las rutas que satisfagan las restricciones temporales y de capacidad de los vehículos sino que también la programación de las salidas de los vehículos desde un terminal dado un tiempo de carga debido a los recursos limitados disponibles para cargar las demandas de los clientes en los vehículos. No solo se presenta una formulación del problema de diseño de rutas para vehículos con ventanas de tiempo y programación de la carga, sino que también se propone e implementa una metaheurística basada en múltiples sistemas de colonias de hormigas, cada una con una sola función objetivo, organizadas de manera jerárquica. Se incorpora una forma de actualización de tiempo dentro del procedimiento constructivo para actualizar

  1. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heinze, J.; Cremer, Sylvia; Eckl, N.

    2006-01-01

    Many invasive ant species, such as the Argentine ant or the red imported fire ant, have huge colonies with thousands of mass-foraging workers, which quickly monopolise resources and therefore represent a considerable threat to the native ant fauna. Cardiocondyla obscurior and several other species...

  2. Ant mimicry by an aphid parasitoid, Lysiphlebus fabarum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasekh, Arash; Michaud, J P; Kharazi-Pakdel, Aziz; Allahyari, Hossein

    2010-01-01

    In Iran, Lysiphlebus fabarum (Marshall) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae) is a uniparental parasitoid of the black bean aphid, Aphis fabae Scopoli (Hemiptera: Aphididae), that possesses various highly evolved adaptations for foraging within ant-tended aphid colonies. Direct observations and video recordings were used to analyze the behavior of individual females foraging for A. fabae on bean leaf disks in open arenas in the laboratory. Females exploited aphids as hosts and as a source of food, allocating within-patch time as follows: resting - 10.4%, grooming - 8.2%, searching - 11.5%, antennation (host recognition) - 7.5%, antennation (honeydew solicitation mimicking ants) - 31.9%, abdominal bending (attack preparation) 19.7%, probing with the ovipositor (attack) - 10.8%. The mean handling time for each aphid encountered was 2.0 ± 0.5 min. Females encountered an average of 47.4 ± 6.4 aphids per hour, but laid only 1.2 eggs per hour. The ovipositor insertion time for parasitism ranged from 2 sec to longer than a minute, but most insertions did not result in an egg being laid. A. fabae defensive behaviors included kicking, raising and swiveling the body, and attempts to smear the attacker with cornicle secretions, sometimes with lethal results. Food deprivation for 4-6 h prior to testing increased the frequency of ant mimcry by L. fabarum. Females also used ant-like antennation to reduce A. fabae defensive behavior, e.g. the frequency of kicking. L. fabarum attacks primed A. fabae to be more responsive to subsequent honeydew solicitation, such that experienced females improved their feeding success by alternating between the roles of parasitoid and ant mimic. These results reveal the possibility for mutualisms to evolve between L. fabarum and the ant species that tend A. fabae, since L. fabarum receive ant protection for their progeny and may benefit the ants by improving A. fabae responsiveness to honeydew solicitation.

  3. Introduced fire ants can exclude native ants from critical mutualist-provided resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Shawn M; Barnum, Thomas R; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2013-05-01

    Animals frequently experience resource imbalances in nature. For ants, one resource that may be particularly valuable for both introduced and native species is high-carbohydrate honeydew from hemipteran mutualists. We conducted field and laboratory experiments: (1) to test if red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) competed with native ants for access to mutualisms with aphids, and (2) to quantify the effects of aphid honeydew presence or absence on colony growth of native ants. We focused on native dolichoderine ants (Formicidae, Dolichoderinae) because they are abundant ants that have omnivorous diets that frequently include mutualist-provided carbohydrates. At two sites in the southeastern US, native dolichoderine ants were far less frequent, and fire ants more frequent, at carbohydrate baits than would be expected based on their frequency in pitfall traps. A field experiment confirmed that a native ant species, Dorymyrmex bureni, was only found tending aphids when populations of S. invicta were suppressed. In the laboratory, colonies of native dolichoderine ants with access to both honeydew and insect prey had twice as many workers and over twice as much brood compared to colonies fed only ad libitum insect prey. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that introduced ants compete for access to mutualist-provided carbohydrates with native ants and that these carbohydrates represent critical resources for both introduced and native ants. These results challenge traditional paradigms of arthropod and ant nutrition and contribute to growing evidence of the importance of nutrition in mediating ecological interactions.

  4. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Cremer

    Full Text Available It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus. We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus relies on a combination of parasite-release following introduction and pre-adaptations in mating system, body-size, queen number and recognition efficiency that evolved long before introduction. Our results challenge the notion that supercolonial organization is an inevitable consequence of low genetic variation for chemical recognition cues in small invasive founder populations. We infer that low variation and limited volatility in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles already existed in the native range in combination with low dispersal and a highly viscous population structure. Human transport to relatively disturbed urban areas thus became the decisive factor to induce parasite release, a well established general promoter of invasiveness in non-social animals and plants, but understudied in invasive social insects.

  5. The Evolution of Invasiveness in Garden Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line V.; Drijfhout, Falko P.; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C.; Steiner, Florian M.; Seifert, Bernhard; Hughes, David P.; Schulz, Andreas; Petersen, Klaus S.; Konrad, Heino; Stauffer, Christian; Kiran, Kadri; Espadaler, Xavier; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Aktaç, Nihat; Eilenberg, Jørgen; Jones, Graeme R.; Nash, David R.; Pedersen, Jes S.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus. We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus relies on a combination of parasite-release following introduction and pre-adaptations in mating system, body-size, queen number and recognition efficiency that evolved long before introduction. Our results challenge the notion that supercolonial organization is an inevitable consequence of low genetic variation for chemical recognition cues in small invasive founder populations. We infer that low variation and limited volatility in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles already existed in the native range in combination with low dispersal and a highly viscous population structure. Human transport to relatively disturbed urban areas thus became the decisive factor to induce parasite release, a well established general promoter of invasiveness in non-social animals and plants, but understudied in invasive social insects. PMID:19050762

  6. Del hogar a los juzgados: reclamos familiares ante la Real Audiencia de Santafé a finales del período colonial (1800-1809.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catalina Villegas del Castillo.

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The law is an important source for the historic reconstruction of the family. Colombian historiography has tried to develop this kind of analysis under the premise that it is possible to identify the morality, customs and dominant institutions of the period in question, as well interpret the changes and transformations of historic processes, from the reigning norms of the period studied. These studies have brought to light the situation of women, mothers and wives in a country marked by a strong patriarchal tradition. This article, by contrast, studies the relationship between the family and the State through an examination of court cases. These sources complement the purely formal analysis, in that they allow us to identity how mothers, spouses and children used the dominant religious, moral, political and legal norms in order to defend their interests within the legal process. The court cases also helped establish the dominant models of women and men that judges of the era appealed to and defended in their judicial decisions. This article is based on an examination of lawsuits regarding food claims and opposition-to-marriage trials contained in the collection of Asuntos Civiles (Civil Matters, in the Colonial section of the Archivo General de la Nación.

  7. A statistical approach to identify candidate cues for nestmate recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jelle Stijn van Zweden

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The ability of social insects to discriminate nestmates from non-nestmates is mainly achieved through chemical communication. To ultimately understand this recognition and its decision rules, identification of the recognition cues is essential. Although recognition cues are most likely cuticular hydrocarbons, identifying the exact cues for specific species has remained a daunting task, partly due to the sheer number of odor compounds. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the few species where the recognition cues have been identified, Formica exsecta, has only around ten major hydrocarbons on its cuticle. In this study we use previous results of this species to search for nestmate recognition cues in two other species of ants, Camponotus aethiops and Monomorium pharaonis. Employing chemical distances and observed aggression between colonies, we first ask which type of data normalization, centroid, and distance calculation is most diagnostic to discriminate between nestmate recognition cues and other compounds. We find that using a global centroid instead of a colony centroid significantly improves the analysis. One reason may be that this new approach, unlike previous ones, provides a biologically meaningful way to quantify the chemical distances between nestmates, allowing for within-colony variation in recognition cues. Next, we ask which subset of hydrocarbons most likely represents the cues that the ants use for nestmate recognition, which shows less clear results for C. aethiops and M. pharaonis than for F. exsecta, possibly due to less than ideal datasets. Nonetheless, some compound sets performed better than others, showing that this approach can be used to identify candidate compounds to be tested in bio-assays, and eventually crack the sophisticated code that governs nestmate recognition.

  8. Increased host aggression as an induced defense against slave-making ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennings, Pleuni S.; Foitzik, Susanne

    2011-01-01

    Slave-making ants reduce the fitness of surrounding host colonies through regular raids, causing the loss of brood and frequently queen and worker death. Consequently, hosts developed defenses against slave raids such as specific recognition and aggression toward social parasites, and indeed, we show that host ants react more aggressively toward slavemakers than toward nonparasitic competitors. Permanent behavioral defenses can be costly, and if social parasite impact varies in time and space, inducible defenses, which are only expressed after slavemaker detection, can be adaptive. We demonstrate for the first time an induced defense against slave-making ants: Cues from the slavemaker Protomognathus americanus caused an unspecific but long-lasting behavioral response in Temnothorax host ants. A 5-min within-nest encounter with a dead slavemaker raised the aggression level in T. longispinosus host colonies. Contrarily, encounters with nonparasitic competitors did not elicit aggressive responses toward non-nestmates. Increased aggression can be adaptive if a slavemaker encounter reliably indicates a forthcoming attack and if aggression increases postraid survival. Host aggression was elevated over 3 days, showing the ability of host ants to remember parasite encounters. The response disappeared after 2 weeks, possibly because by then the benefits of increased aggression counterbalance potential costs associated with it. PMID:22476194

  9. A statistical approach to identify candidate cues for nestmate recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Zweden, Jelle; Pontieri, Luigi; Pedersen, Jes Søe

    2014-01-01

    The ability of social insects to discriminate nestmates (NMs) from non-nestmates(nNMs) is mainly achieved through chemical communication. To ultimately understandthis recognition and its decision rules, identification of the recognition cues is essential.Although recognition cues are most likely...... cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), identifying theexact cues for specific species has remained a daunting task, partly due to the sheernumber of odor compounds. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the few species wherethe recognition cues have been identified, Formica exsecta, has only around ten majorhydrocarbons...... on its cuticle. In this study we use previous results of this species to searchfor nestmate recognition cues (NMR cues) in two other species of ants, Camponotusaethiops, and Monomorium pharaonis. Employing chemical distances and observedaggression between colonies, we first ask which type of data...

  10. How to escape from the host nest: imperfect chemical mimicry in eucharitid parasitoids and exploitation of the ants' hygienic behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Bartolo-Reyes, Juan Carlos; Quiroa-Montalván, Claudia M; Cruz-López, Leopoldo; Lenoir, Alain; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2015-04-01

    Communication in ants is based to a great extent on chemical compounds. Recognition of intruders is primarily based on cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profile matching but is prone to being cheated. Eucharitid wasps are specific parasitoids of the brood of ants; the immature stages are either well integrated within the colony or are protected within the host cocoons, whereas adult wasps at emergence must leave their host nest to reproduce and need to circumvent the ant recognition system to escape unscathed. The behavioral interactions between eucharitid wasps and workers of their host, the Neotropical ant Ectatomma tuberculatum, are characterized. In experimental bioassays, newly emerged parasitoids were not violently aggressed. They remained still and were grabbed by ants upon contact and transported outside the nest; host workers were even observed struggling to reject them. Parasitoids were removed from the nest within five minutes, and most were unharmed, although two wasps (out of 30) were killed during the interaction with the ants. We analyzed the CHCs of the ant and its two parasitoids, Dilocantha lachaudii and Isomerala coronata, and found that although wasps shared all of their compounds with the ants, each wasp species had typical blends and hydrocarbon abundance was also species specific. Furthermore, the wasps had relatively few CHCs compared to E. tuberculatum (22-44% of the host components), and these were present in low amounts. Wasps, only partially mimicking the host CHC profile, were immediately recognized as alien and actively removed from the nest by the ants. Hexane-washed wasps were also transported to the refuse piles, but only after being thoroughly inspected and after most of the workers had initially ignored them. Being recognized as intruder may be to the parasitoids' advantage, allowing them to quickly leave the natal nest, and therefore enhancing the fitness of these very short lived parasitoids. We suggest that eucharitids take advantage

  11. Low levels of nestmate discrimination despite high genetic differentiation in the invasive pharaoh ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna M; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Pedersen, Jes Søe

    2010-01-01

    -called supercolonies that have been described for some invasive ant species, but general conclusions about the role of these cues are hampered by only few species being studied. Here we use data on cuticular hydrocarbons, aggression and microsatellite genetic markers to investigate the interdependence of chemical...... recognition cues, genetic distance and nestmate discrimination in the pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis), a widespread pest species, and ask whether introduced populations of this species are genetically differentiated and exhibit intraspecific aggression. Results Microsatellite analyses of a total of 35...... colonies. There was a positive correlation between geographical and genetic distance, but no other significant relationships were detected between aggression, chemical profile, genetic distance and geographical distance. Conclusions The pharaoh ant has a global invasion history of numerous independent...

  12. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) feed off a fungus they cultivate in a mutualistic symbiosis in underground chambers by providing it substrate they collect outside the colony. The tribe of Attine ants ranges from small colonies of the paleo- and basal Attine species with a few hundred workers...... that forage on crude substrates such as insect frass and dry plant material, to large colonies of the leaf-cutting ants with several thousands to several million workers that provide live plant material to their fungus gardens. Leaf-cutting ants are the dominant herbivores of the Neo-tropics, and have a major...... contribution to cycling of nitrogen and phosphorus in their direct environment and are, furthermore, considered pest species as they have a large impact on human agriculture. These factors make leaf-cutting ants an ideal study subject to better understand the mechanisms that make this mutualistic symbiosis so...

  13. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen Fredsted, Palle; Gertsch, Pia J.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan (Koos)

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  14. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Boomsma, JJ

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  15. Non-destructive estimation of Oecophylla smaragdina colony biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pinkalski, Christian Alexander Stidsen; Offenberg, Joachim; Jensen, Karl-Martin Vagn

    In most ecosystems, ants are a dominant part of the arthropod community. However, understanding of their importance has been hampered by limited availability of data on ant abundance. We developed a model to estimate the size (biomass and number of workers) of Oecophylla smaragdina colonies...... in mango plantations in Darwin, Australia. The total nest volume of O. smaragdina colonies in a tree was related to the activity of the ants (R2=0.85), estimated as the density of ant trails in the tree. Subsequently, the relation between nest volume and ant biomass (R2=0.70) was added to enable...... a prediction of ant biomass directly from ant activity. With this combined regression the ant biomass in a tree equaled 244.5 g fresh mass*ant activity. Similarly, the number of workers in trees was estimated using the relationship between nest volume and worker numbers (R2=0.84). Based on the model, five O...

  16. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    that forage on crude substrates such as insect frass and dry plant material, to large colonies of the leaf-cutting ants with several thousands to several million workers that provide live plant material to their fungus gardens. Leaf-cutting ants are the dominant herbivores of the Neo-tropics, and have a major...

  17. Improved ant algorithms for software testing cases generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shunkun; Man, Tianlong; Xu, Jiaqi

    2014-01-01

    Existing ant colony optimization (ACO) for software testing cases generation is a very popular domain in software testing engineering. However, the traditional ACO has flaws, as early search pheromone is relatively scarce, search efficiency is low, search model is too simple, positive feedback mechanism is easy to produce the phenomenon of stagnation and precocity. This paper introduces improved ACO for software testing cases generation: improved local pheromone update strategy for ant colony optimization, improved pheromone volatilization coefficient for ant colony optimization (IPVACO), and improved the global path pheromone update strategy for ant colony optimization (IGPACO). At last, we put forward a comprehensive improved ant colony optimization (ACIACO), which is based on all the above three methods. The proposed technique will be compared with random algorithm (RND) and genetic algorithm (GA) in terms of both efficiency and coverage. The results indicate that the improved method can effectively improve the search efficiency, restrain precocity, promote case coverage, and reduce the number of iterations.

  18. Emergency networking: famine relief in ant colonies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sendova-Franks, A.B.; Hayward, R.; Wulf, B.; Klimek, T.; James, R.; Planque, R.; Britton, N.F.; Franks, N.R.

    2009-01-01

    Resource distribution is fundamental to social organization, but it poses a dilemma. How to facilitate the spread of useful resources but restrict harmful substances? This dilemma reaches a zenith in famine relief. Survival depends on distributing food fast but that could increase vulnerability to

  19. First evidence for slave rebellion: enslaved ant workers systematically kill the brood of their social parasite protomognathus americanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achenbach, Alexandra; Foitzik, Susanne

    2009-04-01

    During the process of coevolution, social parasites have evolved sophisticated strategies to exploit the brood care behavior of their social hosts. Slave-making ant queens invade host colonies and kill or eject all adult host ants. Host workers, which eclose from the remaining brood, are tricked into caring for the parasite brood. Due to their high prevalence and frequent raids, following which stolen host broods are similarly enslaved, slave-making ants exert substantial selection upon their hosts, leading to the evolution of antiparasite adaptations. However, all host defenses shown to date are active before host workers are parasitized, whereas selection was thought to be unable to act on traits of already enslaved hosts. Yet, here we demonstrate the rebellion of enslaved Temnothorax workers, which kill two-thirds of the female pupae of the slave-making ant Protomognathus americanus. Thereby, slaves decrease the long-term parasite impact on surrounding related host colonies. This novel antiparasite strategy of enslaved workers constitutes a new level in the coevolutionary battle after host colony defense has failed. Our discovery is analogous to recent findings in hosts of avian brood parasites where perfect mimicry of parasite eggs leads to the evolution of chick recognition as a second line of defense.

  20. Foliar Substrate Affects Cuticular Hydrocarbon Profiles and Intraspecific Aggression in the Leafcutter Ant Atta sexdens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lohan Valadares

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs are traditionally considered to be one of the most important chemical cues used in the nestmate recognition process of social hymenopterans. However, it has been suggested that in the leafcutter ant genus Atta, it is not the CHCs, but the alarm pheromone that is involved in the nestmate recognition process. In this study we used a laboratory population of Atta sexdens to explore the association between their CHC profile variation and intraspecific aggression. In the first part of the experiment, four colonies were divided into two groups with distinct diets to stimulate differentiation of their CHC profiles. In the second part of the experiment, all colonies received the same diet to examine resemblance of chemical profiles. At the end of each part of the experiment we extracted the CHCs from workers. The results demonstrated that colonies that shared the same food resource had similar cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Furthermore, colonies were significantly more aggressive towards conspecifics that used a different foliar substrate and consequently had greater differences in their cuticular chemical composition. This study suggests that the CHC profiles of A. sexdens can be affected by the foliar substrates used, and that the CHCs are used in the nestmate recognition process of this species.

  1. The Rules of Aggression: How Genetic, Chemical and Spatial Factors Affect Intercolony Fights in a Dominant Species, the Mediterranean Acrobat Ant Crematogaster scutellaris.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filippo Frizzi

    Full Text Available Nest-mate recognition plays a key role in the biology of ants. Although individuals coming from a foreign nest are, in most cases, promptly rejected, the degree of aggressiveness towards non nest-mates may be highly variable among species and relies on genetic, chemical and environmental factors. We analyzed intraspecific relationships among neighboring colonies of the dominant Mediterranean acrobat ant Crematogaster scutellaris integrating genetic, chemical and behavioral analyses. Colony structure, parental relationships between nests, cuticular hydrocarbons profiles (CHCs and aggressive behavior against non nest-mates were studied in 34 nests located in olive tree trunks. Bayesian clustering analysis of allelic variation at nine species-specific microsatellite DNA markers pooled nests into 14 distinct clusters, each representing a single colony, confirming a polydomous arrangement of nests in this species. A marked genetic separation among colonies was also detected, probably due to long distance dispersion of queens and males during nuptial flights. CHCs profiles varied significantly among colonies and between nests of the same colony. No relationship between CHCs profiles and genetic distances was detected. The level of aggressiveness between colonies was inversely related to chemical and spatial distance, suggesting a 'nasty neighbor' effect. Our findings also suggest that CHCs profiles in C. scutellaris may be linked to external environmental factors rather than genetic relationships.

  2. Aplicación del Método de la Colonia de Hormigas Mixto a la optimización de intercambiadores de calor de tubo y coraza//Application of the Mixed Ant Colony Method to the optimization of tube and shell heat exchangers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maida Bárbara Reyes‐Rodríguez

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Los procesos de transferencia de calor sonuno de los problemas más importantes a resolver en el campo de la Ingeniería. Entre los equipos más usados en la industria para realizar la transferencia de calor están los intercambiadores de calor de tubo y coraza. En el presente trabajo se desarrolla el procedimiento para la optimización del diseño de estos equipos utilizando el método de Kern y aplicando el algoritmo de la colonia de hormigas. Se aplica el mismo a tres ejemplos concretos y los resultados obtenidos se comparan con los obtenidos aplicando otros métodos de la inteligencia artificial. Se optimizan los principales parámetros geométricos de los intercambiadores de calor de tubo y coraza para lograr un menor costo de los mismos. Se demuestra la eficacia del nuevo procedimiento MACO (Mixed Ant Colony Optimization, en el proceso de optimización desde el punto de vista económico utilizando diferentes casos de estudios.Palabras claves: intercambiadores de calor, colonia de hormigas, método de Kern.______________________________________________________________________________AbstractHeat transfer processes are one of the most important problems to be solved in the field of Engineering. Among the most widely used equipment for heat transfer in the industry are the shell and tube heat exchangers. This paper develops the procedure for optimizing the design of shell and tube heat exchangers using the method of Kern and applying the ant colony algorithm. The procedure has been applied to three specific examples and the results obtained are compared with those obtained by applying other methods of artificial intelligence. The main geometric parameters of shell and tube heat exchangers are optimized, to achieve a lower cost of the exchanger. The efficacy of the new procedure MACO (Mixed Ant Colony Optimization for the optimization process from economically point of view was demonstrated, using different case studies.Key words: heat

  3. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2017-01-01

    Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) offers an ‘infra-language’ of the social that allows one to trace social relations very dynamically, while at the same time dissolving human agency, thus providing a flat and de-centred way into sociology. However, ANT struggles with its theoretical design that may lead......, it offers an ‘infra-language’ of reflexive relations while maintaining ANT’s de-centred approach. This would enable us to conceptualize actor-networks as non-homogeneous, dynamic and connecting different societal rationales while maintaining the main strengths of ANT.......Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) offers an ‘infra-language’ of the social that allows one to trace social relations very dynamically, while at the same time dissolving human agency, thus providing a flat and de-centred way into sociology. However, ANT struggles with its theoretical design that may lead...

  4. The effect carbohydrate consumption on Argentine ants' nutritional ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Chou, Cheng T.

    2009-01-01

    As a result of accidental introduction, the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, has successfully invaded many parts of the world including the California coast. Argentine ants are extraordinarily effective in displacing native ants. This study aims to link animal behavior and growth to resource consumption. We examined how different diets affect Argentine ant behavior. We hypothesized that having a diet composed of both carbohydrate and protein may increase colony size and activity le...

  5. The metapleural gland of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-11-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions of the MG, sanitation and chemical defence, have received the strongest empirical support; two additional possible functions, recognition odour and territorial marking, are less well supported. The design of the MG is unusual for insects; glandular secretions are stored in a rigid, non-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional morphology, phylogenetic transitions and chemical ecology of the MGs of both the derived and the unstudied early-branching (basal) ant lineages is needed to elucidate the evolutionary origin and diversification of the MG of ants. © 2010 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2010 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  6. Signals can trump rewards in attracting seed-dispersing ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle M Turner

    Full Text Available Both rewards and signals are important in mutualisms. In myrmecochory, or seed dispersal by ants, the benefits to plants are relatively well studied, but less is known about why ants pick up and move seeds. We examined seed dispersal by the ant Aphaenogaster rudis of four co-occurring species of plants, and tested whether morphology, chemical signaling, or the nutritional quality of fatty seed appendages called elaiosomes influenced dispersal rates. In removal trials, ants quickly collected diaspores (seeds plus elaiosomes of Asarum canadense, Trillium grandiflorum, and Sanguinaria canadensis, but largely neglected those of T. erectum. This discrepancy was not explained by differences in the bulk cost-benefit ratio, as assessed by the ratio of seed to elaiosome mass. We also provisioned colonies with diaspores from one of these four plant species or no diaspores as a control. Colonies performed best when fed S. canadensis diaspores, worst when fed T. grandiflorum, and intermediately when fed A. canadense, T. erectum, or no diaspores. Thus, the nutritional rewards in elaiosomes affected colony performance, but did not completely predict seed removal. Instead, high levels of oleic acid in T. grandiflorum elaiosomes may explain why ants disperse these diaspores even though they reduce ant colony performance. We show for the first time that different elaiosome-bearing plants provide rewards of different quality to ant colonies, but also that ants appear unable to accurately assess reward quality when encountering seeds. Instead, we suggest that signals can trump rewards as attractants of ants to seeds.

  7. Fire ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. Poisonous Ingredient Fire ant venom contains a chemical called ... Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 140. Otten EJ. Venomous animal injuries. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill ...

  8. Colonial Institutions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McAtackney, Laura; Palmer, Russell

    2016-01-01

    Archaeologically based explorations of colonialism or institutions are common case-studies in global historical archaeology, but the “colonial institution”—the role of institutions as operatives of colonialism—has often been neglected. In this thematic edition we argue that in order to fully...... understand the interconnected, global world one must explicitly dissect the colonial institution as an entwined, dual manifestation that is central to understanding both power and power relations in the modern world. Following Ann Laura Stoler, we have selected case studies from the Australia, Europe, UK...... and the USA which reveal that the study of colonial institutions should not be limited to the functional life of these institutions—or solely those that take the form of monumental architecture—but should include the long shadow of “imperial debris” (Stoler 2008) and immaterial institutions....

  9. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Sandra Breum; Ferrari, Matthew; Evans, Harry C.

    2012-01-01

    Coevolution between ant colonies and their rare specialized parasites are intriguing, because lethal infections of workers may correspond to tolerable chronic diseases of colonies, but the parasite adaptations that allow stable coexistence with ants are virtually unknown. We explore the trade......-offs experienced by Ophiocordyceps parasites manipulating ants into dying in nearby graveyards. We used field data from Brazil and Thailand to parameterize and fit a model for the growth rate of graveyards. We show that parasite pressure is much lower than the abundance of ant cadavers suggests...

  10. Tamaño y composición de la colonia de tres especies de hormigas del género Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae en la porción central del desierto del Monte, Argentina Colony size and composition in three Pogonomyrmex ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in the central Monte desert, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz E. Nobua Behrmann

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available El tamaño de la colonia es un atributo fundamental en la biología de las hormigas ya que está asociado a características ecológicamente relevantes, como sus estrategias de alimentación. Mientras que el tamaño de la colonia de varias especies de hormigas granívoras del género Pogonomyrmex de América del Norte se ha estudiado en detalle, no existe tal información para las especies de América del Sur. En este trabajo, se determinó el tamaño y la composición de la colonia y se describió la estructura del nido de tres especies de Pogonomyrmex que habitan la porción central del desierto del Monte en Argentina: P. mendozanus Cuezzo & Claver, P. inermis Forel y P. rastratus Mayr. Para ello, se excavaron dos nidos de cada especie y se recolectaron todos los individuos encontrados. Las tres especies tienen colonias pequeñas, compuestas por 300-1.100 individuos, de los cuales aproximadamente el 70% son obreras adultas. La estructura de sus nidos es relativamente simple, similar a la de la mayoría de las especies norteamericanas estudiadas, pero con un menor desarrollo en profundidad y un número menor de cámaras; probablemente se deba al menor número de obreras que poseen. Estas características (colonias pequeñas y nidos poco desarrollados son consideradas típicas para las especies del género Pogonomyrmex de América del Sur, lo que las diferencia de la mayoría de sus congéneres estudiados en América del Norte.Colony size in ants is associated with important ecological characteristics such as foraging strategy. Though colony size has been studied with some detail for several North American species of Pogonomyrmex harvester ants, it remains unknown for South American species. We studied colony size, composition, and nest structure of three species of Pogonomyrmex harvester ants inhabiting the central Monte desert in Argentina: P. mendozanus Cuezzo & Claver, P. inermis Forel and P. rastratus Mayr. We excavated two nests of each

  11. The use of weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) in tropical agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    Canopy dwelling weaver ants are widely distributed throughout the Old World Tropics where they build up high densities on their host trees. If managed properly the high number of ants will control a range of pest insects and benefit crop production. Simultaneously the ant larvae production, fuelled...... by the consumed pest insects, can be harvested and utilised for nutrition as they are tasty and high in proteins, vitamins and minerals. Thus, plantations may function as ant farms and in addition to plant production also hosts the production of edible animal protein. In this setup harmful pest insects are turned...... farming as a way forward to solve an increasing future demand for protein. Weaver ant farming may build on natural food collected by the ants or alternatively be boosted by feeding the ant colonies actively with protein and sugar. In both cases, when ant biocontrol is combined with ant farming...

  12. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    an increasing need to understand which factors promote the ecological dominance of these species, and particularly how the discrimination of both conspecifics and heterospecifics (including parasites) might influence structure and ecological success of invasive populations. In this PhD thesis I investigated...... the discrimination behavior of the invasive pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) as a model for other invasive and supercolonial ant species. The pharaoh ant is one of the few ant species that can be reared in the laboratory for many generations. Furthermore, the possibility to do controlled crosses of colonies...... provides the unique opportunity to establish colonies of different genetic composition. These traits make this species a suitable study subject to set up behavioral experiments that aim to investigate which factors, and to which extent, might influence the inter- and intraspecific discrimination abilities...

  13. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hooper-Bui, L.M.; Kwok, E.S.C.; Buchholz, B.A.; Rust, M.K.; Eastmond, D.A.; Vogel, J.S.

    2015-01-01

    Trophallaxis between individual worker ants and the toxicant load in dead and live Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in colonies exposed to fipronil and hydramethylnon experimental baits were examined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). About 50% of the content of the crop containing trace levels of 14 C-sucrose, 14 C-hydramethylnon, and 14 C-fipronil was shared between single donor and recipient ants. Dead workers and queens contained significantly more hydramethylnon (122.7 and 22.4 amol/μg ant, respectively) than did live workers and queens (96.3 and 10.4 amol/μg ant, respectively). Dead workers had significantly more fipronil (420.3 amol/μg ant) than did live workers (208.5 amol/μg ant), but dead and live queens had equal fipronil levels (59.5 and 54.3 amol/μg ant, respectively). The distribution of fipronil differed within the bodies of dead and live queens; the highest amounts of fipronil were recovered in the thorax of dead queens whereas live queens had the highest levels in the head. Resurgence of polygynous ant colonies treated with hydramethylnon baits may be explained by queen survival resulting from sublethal doses due to a slowing of trophallaxis throughout the colony. Bait strategies and dose levels for controlling insect pests need to be based on the specific toxicant properties and trophic strategies for targeting the entire colony.

  14. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper-Bui, L. M.; Kwok, E. S. C.; Buchholz, B. A.; Rust, M. K.; Eastmond, D. A.; Vogel, J. S.

    2015-10-01

    Trophallaxis between individual worker ants and the toxicant load in dead and live Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in colonies exposed to fipronil and hydramethylnon experimental baits were examined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). About 50% of the content of the crop containing trace levels of 14C-sucrose, 14C-hydramethylnon, and 14C-fipronil was shared between single donor and recipient ants. Dead workers and queens contained significantly more hydramethylnon (122.7 and 22.4 amol/μg ant, respectively) than did live workers and queens (96.3 and 10.4 amol/μg ant, respectively). Dead workers had significantly more fipronil (420.3 amol/μg ant) than did live workers (208.5 amol/μg ant), but dead and live queens had equal fipronil levels (59.5 and 54.3 amol/μg ant, respectively). The distribution of fipronil differed within the bodies of dead and live queens; the highest amounts of fipronil were recovered in the thorax of dead queens whereas live queens had the highest levels in the head. Resurgence of polygynous ant colonies treated with hydramethylnon baits may be explained by queen survival resulting from sublethal doses due to a slowing of trophallaxis throughout the colony. Bait strategies and dose levels for controlling insect pests need to be based on the specific toxicant properties and trophic strategies for targeting the entire colony.

  15. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hooper-Bui, L.M. [Department of Environmental Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Kwok, E.S.C. [Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Buchholz, B.A., E-mail: buchholz2@llnl.gov [Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States); Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Rust, M.K. [Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Eastmond, D.A. [Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Vogel, J.S. [Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States)

    2015-10-15

    Trophallaxis between individual worker ants and the toxicant load in dead and live Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in colonies exposed to fipronil and hydramethylnon experimental baits were examined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). About 50% of the content of the crop containing trace levels of {sup 14}C-sucrose, {sup 14}C-hydramethylnon, and {sup 14}C-fipronil was shared between single donor and recipient ants. Dead workers and queens contained significantly more hydramethylnon (122.7 and 22.4 amol/μg ant, respectively) than did live workers and queens (96.3 and 10.4 amol/μg ant, respectively). Dead workers had significantly more fipronil (420.3 amol/μg ant) than did live workers (208.5 amol/μg ant), but dead and live queens had equal fipronil levels (59.5 and 54.3 amol/μg ant, respectively). The distribution of fipronil differed within the bodies of dead and live queens; the highest amounts of fipronil were recovered in the thorax of dead queens whereas live queens had the highest levels in the head. Resurgence of polygynous ant colonies treated with hydramethylnon baits may be explained by queen survival resulting from sublethal doses due to a slowing of trophallaxis throughout the colony. Bait strategies and dose levels for controlling insect pests need to be based on the specific toxicant properties and trophic strategies for targeting the entire colony.

  16. Ants exhibit asymmetric hybridization in a mosaic hybrid zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purcell, Jessica; Zahnd, Sacha; Athanasiades, Anouk; Türler, Rebecca; Chapuisat, Michel; Brelsford, Alan

    2016-10-01

    Research on hybridization between species provides unparalleled insights into the pre- and postzygotic isolating mechanisms that drive speciation. In social organisms, colony-level incompatibilities may provide additional reproductive barriers not present in solitary species, and hybrid zones offer an opportunity to identify these barriers. Here, we use genotyping-by-sequencing to sequence hundreds of markers in a hybrid zone between two socially polymorphic ant species, Formica selysi and Formica cinerea. We characterize the zone, determine the frequency of hybrid workers, infer whether hybrid queens or males are produced and investigate whether hybridization is influenced by colony social organization. We also compare cuticular hydrocarbon profiles and aggression levels between the two species. The hybrid zone exhibits a mosaic structure. The asymmetric distribution of hybrids skewed towards F. cinerea suggests a pattern of unidirectional nuclear gene flow from F. selysi into F. cinerea. The occurrence of backcrossed individuals indicates that hybrid queens and/or males are fertile, and the presence of the F. cinerea mitochondrial haplotype in 97% of hybrids shows that successful F1 hybrids will generally have F. cinerea mothers and F. selysi fathers. We found no evidence that social organization contributes to speciation, because hybrids occur in both single-queen and multiple-queen colonies. Strongly differentiated cuticular hydrocarbon profiles and heightened interspecific aggression further reveal that species recognition cues are both present and perceived. The discovery of fertile hybrids and asymmetrical gene flow is unusual in ants, and this hybrid zone will therefore provide an ideal system with which to investigate speciation in social insects. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Ants (Formicidae): models for social complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Chris R; Dolezal, Adam; Eliyahu, Dorit; Holbrook, C Tate; Gadau, Jürgen

    2009-07-01

    The family Formicidae (ants) is composed of more than 12,000 described species that vary greatly in size, morphology, behavior, life history, ecology, and social organization. Ants occur in most terrestrial habitats and are the dominant animals in many of them. They have been used as models to address fundamental questions in ecology, evolution, behavior, and development. The literature on ants is extensive, and the natural history of many species is known in detail. Phylogenetic relationships for the family, as well as within many subfamilies, are known, enabling comparative studies. Their ease of sampling and ecological variation makes them attractive for studying populations and questions relating to communities. Their sociality and variation in social organization have contributed greatly to an understanding of complex systems, division of labor, and chemical communication. Ants occur in colonies composed of tens to millions of individuals that vary greatly in morphology, physiology, and behavior; this variation has been used to address proximate and ultimate mechanisms generating phenotypic plasticity. Relatedness asymmetries within colonies have been fundamental to the formulation and empirical testing of kin and group selection theories. Genomic resources have been developed for some species, and a whole-genome sequence for several species is likely to follow in the near future; comparative genomics in ants should provide new insights into the evolution of complexity and sociogenomics. Future studies using ants should help establish a more comprehensive understanding of social life, from molecules to colonies.

  18. Aphid egg protection by ants: a novel aspect of the mutualism between the tree-feeding aphid Stomaphis hirukawai and its attendant ant Lasius productus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Kenji; Yashiro, Toshihisa

    2006-10-01

    Aphids often form mutualistic associations with ants, in which the aphids provide the ants with honeydew and the ants defend the aphids from predators. In this paper, we report aphid egg protection by ants as a novel aspect of the deeply interdependent relationship between a tree-feeding aphid and its attendant ant. The ant Lasius productus harbours oviparous females, males, and eggs of the hinoki cypress-feeding aphid Stomaphis hirukawai in its nests in winter. We investigated the behaviour of ants kept with aphid eggs in petri dishes to examine whether the ants recognise the aphid eggs and tend them or only provide a refuge for the aphids. Workers carried almost all of the aphid eggs into the nest within 24 h. The ants indiscriminately tended aphid eggs collected from their own colonies and those from other ant colonies. The ants cleaned the eggs and piled them up in the nest, and egg tending by ants dramatically increased aphid egg survival rates. Starving the ants showed no significant effect on aphid egg survivorship. Without ants, aphid eggs were rapidly killed by fungi. These results suggested that grooming by the ants protected the aphid eggs, at least, against pathogenic fungi. This hygienic service afforded by the ants seems indispensable for egg survival of these aphids in an environment rich in potentially pathogenic microorganisms.

  19. Cryptococcus neoformans carried by Odontomachus bauri ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Santos de Jesus

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is the most common causative agent of cryptococcosis worldwide. Although this fungus has been isolated from a variety of organic substrates, several studies suggest that hollow trees constitute an important natural niche for C. neoformans. A previously surveyed hollow of a living pink shower tree (Cassia grandis positive for C. neoformans in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was chosen for further investigation. Odontomachus bauri ants (trap-jaw ants found inside the hollow were collected for evaluation as possible carriers of Cryptococcus spp. Two out of 10 ants were found to carry phenoloxidase-positive colonies identified as C. neoformans molecular types VNI and VNII. The ants may have acted as a mechanical vector of C. neoformans and possibly contributed to the dispersal of the fungi from one substrate to another. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the association of C. neoformans with ants of the genus Odontomachus.

  20. Collective search by ants in microgravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie M. Countryman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The problem of collective search is a tradeoff between searching thoroughly and covering as much area as possible. This tradeoff depends on the density of searchers. Solutions to the problem of collective search are currently of much interest in robotics and in the study of distributed algorithms, for example to design ways that without central control robots can use local information to perform search and rescue operations. Ant colonies operate without central control. Because they can perceive only local, mostly chemical and tactile cues, they must search collectively to find resources and to monitor the colony's environment. Examining how ants in diverse environments solve the problem of collective search can elucidate how evolution has led to diverse forms of collective behavior. An experiment on the International Space Station in January 2014 examined how ants (Tetramorium caespitum perform collective search in microgravity. In the ISS experiment, the ants explored a small arena in which a barrier was lowered to increase the area and thus lower ant density. In microgravity, relative to ground controls, ants explored the area less thoroughly and took more convoluted paths. It appears that the difficulty of holding on to the surface interfered with the ants’ ability to search collectively. Ants frequently lost contact with the surface, but showed a remarkable ability to regain contact with the surface.

  1. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    The attine ant symbiosis is characterized by ancient but varying degrees of diffuse co-evolution between the ants and their fungal cultivars. Domesticated fungi became dependent on vertical transmission by queens and the ant colonies came to rely on their symbiotic fungus for food and thus......, indirectly, on fungal enzymes to break down the plant material brought in by the ants as fungal substrate. The more than 210 extant fungus-growing ant species differ considerably in colony size, social complexity and substrate-use. Only the derived leaf-cutting ants are specialized on using fresh leaves...... as garden substrate, whereas the more basal genera use leaf litter, insect feces and insect carcasses. We hypothesized that enzyme activity of fungal symbionts has co-evolved with substrate use and we measured enzyme activities of fungus gardens in the field to test this, focusing particularly on plant...

  2. Entomopathogens Isolated from Invasive Ants and Tests of Their Pathogenicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Fernanda Miori de Zarzuela

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Some ant species cause severe ecological and health impact in urban areas. Many attempts have been tested to control such species, although they do not always succeed. Biological control is an alternative to chemical control and has gained great prominence in research, and fungi and nematodes are among the successful organisms controlling insects. This study aimed to clarify some questions regarding the biological control of ants. Invasive ant species in Brazil had their nests evaluated for the presence of entomopathogens. Isolated entomopathogens were later applied in colonies of Monomorium floricola under laboratory conditions to evaluate their effectiveness and the behavior of the ant colonies after treatment. The entomopathogenic nematodes Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp. and the fungi Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Paecilomyces sp. were isolated from the invasive ant nests. M. floricola colonies treated with Steinernema sp. and Heterorhabditis sp. showed a higher mortality of workers than control. The fungus Beauveria bassiana caused higher mortality of M. floricola workers. However, no colony reduction or elimination was observed in any treatment. The defensive behaviors of ants, such as grooming behavior and colony budding, must be considered when using fungi and nematodes for biological control of ants.

  3. Why do house-hunting ants recruit in both directions?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Planqué, R.; Dechaume-Moncharmont, F.-X.; Franks, N.R.; Kovacs, T.; Marshall, J.A.R.

    2007-01-01

    To perform tasks, organisms often use multiple procedures. Explaining the breadth of such behavioural repertoires is not always straightforward. During house hunting, colonies of Temnothorax albipennis ants use a range of behaviours to organise their emigrations. In particular, the ants use tandem

  4. Patterns of male parentage in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Boomsma, JJ

    2003-01-01

    Ant queens from eight species, covering three genera of lower and two genera of higher attine ants, have exclusively or predominantly single mating. The ensuing full-sib colonies thus have a strong potential reproductive conflict between the queen and the workers over male production...

  5. The cavity-nest ant Temnothorax crassispinus prefers larger nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrus, S

    Colonies of the ant Temnothorax crassispinus inhabit mostly cavities in wood and hollow acorns. Typically in the field, nest sites that can be used by the ant are a limited resource. In a field experiment, it was investigated whether the ants prefer a specific size of nest, when different ones are available. In July 2011, a total of 160 artificial nests were placed in a beech-pine forest. Four artificial nests (pieces of wood with volume cavities, ca 415, 605, 730, and 980 mm 3 , respectively) were located on each square meter of the experimental plot. One year later, shortly before the emergence of new sexuals, the nests were collected. In July 2012, colonies inhabited more frequently bigger nests. Among queenright colonies, the ones which inhabited bigger nests had more workers. However, there was no relationship between volume of nest and number of workers for queenless colonies. Queenright colonies from bigger nests produced more sexual individuals, but there was no correlation between number of workers and sex allocation ratio, or between volume of nest and sex allocation ratio. In a laboratory experiment where ant colonies were kept in 470 and 860 mm 3 nests, larger colonies allocated more energy to produce sexual individuals. The results of this study show the selectivity of T. crassispinus ants regarding the size of nest cavity, and that the nest volume has an impact on life history parameters.

  6. The Pied Piper: A Parasitic Beetle's Melodies Modulate Ant Behaviours.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Di Giulio

    Full Text Available Ants use various communication channels to regulate their social organisation. The main channel that drives almost all the ants' activities and behaviours is the chemical one, but it is long acknowledged that the acoustic channel also plays an important role. However, very little is known regarding exploitation of the acoustical channel by myrmecophile parasites to infiltrate the ant society. Among social parasites, the ant nest beetles (Paussus are obligate myrmecophiles able to move throughout the colony at will and prey on the ants, surprisingly never eliciting aggression from the colonies. It has been recently postulated that stridulatory organs in Paussus might be evolved as an acoustic mechanism to interact with ants. Here, we survey the role of acoustic signals employed in the Paussus beetle-Pheidole ant system. Ants parasitised by Paussus beetles produce caste-specific stridulations. We found that Paussus can "speak" three different "languages", each similar to sounds produced by different ant castes (workers, soldiers, queen. Playback experiments were used to test how host ants respond to the sounds emitted by Paussus. Our data suggest that, by mimicking the stridulations of the queen, Paussus is able to dupe the workers of its host and to be treated as royalty. This is the first report of acoustic mimicry in a beetle parasite of ants.

  7. The Pied Piper: A Parasitic Beetle's Melodies Modulate Ant Behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giulio, Andrea; Maurizi, Emanuela; Barbero, Francesca; Sala, Marco; Fattorini, Simone; Balletto, Emilio; Bonelli, Simona

    2015-01-01

    Ants use various communication channels to regulate their social organisation. The main channel that drives almost all the ants' activities and behaviours is the chemical one, but it is long acknowledged that the acoustic channel also plays an important role. However, very little is known regarding exploitation of the acoustical channel by myrmecophile parasites to infiltrate the ant society. Among social parasites, the ant nest beetles (Paussus) are obligate myrmecophiles able to move throughout the colony at will and prey on the ants, surprisingly never eliciting aggression from the colonies. It has been recently postulated that stridulatory organs in Paussus might be evolved as an acoustic mechanism to interact with ants. Here, we survey the role of acoustic signals employed in the Paussus beetle-Pheidole ant system. Ants parasitised by Paussus beetles produce caste-specific stridulations. We found that Paussus can "speak" three different "languages", each similar to sounds produced by different ant castes (workers, soldiers, queen). Playback experiments were used to test how host ants respond to the sounds emitted by Paussus. Our data suggest that, by mimicking the stridulations of the queen, Paussus is able to dupe the workers of its host and to be treated as royalty. This is the first report of acoustic mimicry in a beetle parasite of ants.

  8. Fuzzy Rules for Ant Based Clustering Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amira Hamdi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides a new intelligent technique for semisupervised data clustering problem that combines the Ant System (AS algorithm with the fuzzy c-means (FCM clustering algorithm. Our proposed approach, called F-ASClass algorithm, is a distributed algorithm inspired by foraging behavior observed in ant colonyT. The ability of ants to find the shortest path forms the basis of our proposed approach. In the first step, several colonies of cooperating entities, called artificial ants, are used to find shortest paths in a complete graph that we called graph-data. The number of colonies used in F-ASClass is equal to the number of clusters in dataset. Hence, the partition matrix of dataset founded by artificial ants is given in the second step, to the fuzzy c-means technique in order to assign unclassified objects generated in the first step. The proposed approach is tested on artificial and real datasets, and its performance is compared with those of K-means, K-medoid, and FCM algorithms. Experimental section shows that F-ASClass performs better according to the error rate classification, accuracy, and separation index.

  9. ANTS AS BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS FOR MONITORING CHANGES IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS: LESSONS FOR MONITORING PROTECTED AREAS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The responses of ant communities to structural change (removal of an invasive were studied in a replicated experiment in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. The results from sampling of ant communities by pit-fall trapping were validated by mapping ant colonies on the experimental plo...

  10. The Antsy Social Network: Determinants of Nest Structure and Arrangement in Asian Weaver Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Devarajan, Kadambari

    2016-01-01

    Asian weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) are arboreal ants that are known to form mutualistic complexes with their host trees. They are eusocial ants that build elaborate nests in the canopy in tropical areas. A colony comprises of multiple nests, usually on multiple trees, and the boundaries of the colony may be difficult to identify. However, they provide the ideal model for studying group living in invertebrates since there are a definite number of nests for a given substrate, the tree. H...

  11. Social interactions promote adaptive resource defense in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes; Heeb, Eva Linda; Neupert, Stefanie

    2017-01-01

    Social insects vigorously defend their nests against con- and heterospecific competitors. Collective defense is also seen at highly profitable food sources. Aggressive responses are elicited or promoted by several means of communication, e.g. alarm pheromones and other chemical markings. In this study, we demonstrate that the social environment and interactions among colony members (nestmates) modulates the propensity to engage in aggressive behavior and therefore plays an important role in allocating workers to a defense task. We kept Formica rufa workers in groups or isolated for different time spans and then tested their aggressiveness in one-on-one encounters with other ants. In groups of more than 20 workers that are freely interacting, individuals are aggressive in one-on-one encounters with non-nestmates, whereas aggressiveness of isolated workers decreases with increasing isolation time. We conclude that ants foraging collectively and interacting frequently, e.g. along foraging trails and at profitable food sources, remain in a social context and thereby maintain high aggressiveness against potential competitors. Our results suggest that the nestmate recognition system can be utilized at remote sites for an adaptive and flexible tuning of the response against competitors.

  12. Video Shot Boundary Recognition Based on Adaptive Locality Preserving Projections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongliang Xiao

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A novel video shot boundary recognition method is proposed, which includes two stages of video feature extraction and shot boundary recognition. Firstly, we use adaptive locality preserving projections (ALPP to extract video feature. Unlike locality preserving projections, we define the discriminating similarity with mode prior probabilities and adaptive neighborhood selection strategy which make ALPP more suitable to preserve the local structure and label information of the original data. Secondly, we use an optimized multiple kernel support vector machine to classify video frames into boundary and nonboundary frames, in which the weights of different types of kernels are optimized with an ant colony optimization method. Experimental results show the effectiveness of our method.

  13. Ant nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    A new Hubble Space Telescope image of a celestial object called the Ant Nebula may shed new light on the future demise of our Sun. The image is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/pictures/wfpc . The nebula, imaged on July 20, 1997, and June 30, 1998, by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, was observed by Drs. Raghvendra Sahai and John Trauger of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; Bruce Balick of the University of Washington in Seattle; and Vincent Icke of Leiden University in the Netherlands. JPL designed and built the camera. The Ant Nebula, whose technical name is Mz3, resembles the head and thorax of an ant when observed with ground-based telescopes. The new Hubble image, with 10 times the resolution revealing 100 times more detail, shows the 'ant's' body as a pair of fiery lobes protruding from a dying, Sun- like star. The Ant Nebula is located between 3,000 and 6,000 light years from Earth in the southern constellation Norma. The image challenges old ideas about what happens to dying stars. This observation, along with other pictures of various remnants of dying stars called planetary nebulae, shows that our Sun's fate will probably be much more interesting, complex and dramatic than astronomers previously believed. Although the ejection of gas from the dying star in the Ant Nebula is violent, it does not show the chaos one might expect from an ordinary explosion, but instead shows symmetrical patterns. One possibility is that the central star has a closely orbiting companion whose gravitational tidal forces shape the outflowing gas. A second possibility is that as the dying star spins, its strong magnetic fields are wound up into complex shapes like spaghetti in an eggbeater. Electrically charged winds, much like those in our Sun's solar wind but millions of times denser and moving at speeds up to 1,000 kilometers per second (more than 600 miles per second) from the star, follow the twisted field lines on their way out into space

  14. Influence of task switching costs on colony homeostasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanson, Raphaël; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2015-06-01

    In social insects, division of labour allows colonies to optimise the allocation of workers across all available tasks to satisfy colony requirements. The maintenance of stable conditions within colonies (homeostasis) requires that some individuals move inside the nest to monitor colony needs and execute unattended tasks. We developed a simple theoretical model to explore how worker mobility inside the nest and task switching costs influence the maintenance of stable levels of task-associated stimuli. Our results indicate that worker mobility in large colonies generates important task switching costs and is detrimental to colony homeostasis. Our study suggests that the balance between benefits and costs associated with the mobility of workers patrolling inside the nest depends on colony size. We propose that several species of ants with diverse life-history traits should be appropriate to test the prediction that the proportion of mobile workers should vary during colony ontogeny.

  15. The natural history of the arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter R. Tschinkel

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available The arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, is the most dominant arboreal ant in the pine forests of the coastal plain of northern Florida. The majority of pine trees harbor a colony of these ants. The colonies inhabit multiple chambers abandoned by bark-mining caterpillars, especially those of the family Cossidae, in the outer bark of living pines. They also inhabit ground level termite galleries in the bark, often locating the queen in galleries. The density of chambers and ants is highest in the base of the tree and drops sharply with height on the trunk. Because chambers are formed in the inner layer of bark, they gradually move outward as more bark layers are laid down, eventually sloughing off the tree's outer surface. Chambers have a mean lifetime of about 25 yr. The abundant chambers in pine bark are excavated by a small population of caterpillars and accumulate over decades. Ant colonies also inhabit abandoned galleries of woodboring beetles in dead branches in the crowns of pines. Because newly mated queens found colonies in abandoned woodboring beetle galleries in the first dead branches that form on pine saplings, C. ashmeadi is dependent on cavities made by other insects throughout its life cycle, and does little if any excavation of its own. Mature colonies nest preferentially in chambers greater than 10 cm2 in area, a relatively rare chamber size. In natural pine forests, this does not seem to limit the ant's populations.

  16. Colonialism, customary law and the post-colonial state in Africa: the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Colonialism became a fact of life in many African countries. An effect of colonialism especially in the former British colonized countries was the transplantation of the British legal system, which led to recognition of both systems and the gradual relegation of the indigenous system otherwise called customary law. The use and ...

  17. Host ant independent oviposition in the parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürst, Matthias A; Nash, David Richard

    2010-01-01

    Parasitic Maculinea alcon butterflies can only develop in nests of a subset of available Myrmica ant species, so female butterflies have been hypothesized to preferentially lay eggs on plants close to colonies of the correct host ants. Previous correlational investigations of host......-ant-dependent oviposition in this and other Maculinea species have, however, shown equivocal results, leading to a long-term controversy over support for this hypothesis. We therefore conducted a controlled field experiment to study the egg-laying behaviour of M. alcon. Matched potted Gentiana plants were set out close...... to host-ant nests and non-host-ant nests, and the number and position of eggs attached were assessed. Our results show no evidence for host-ant-based oviposition in M. alcon, but support an oviposition strategy based on plant characteristics. This suggests that careful management of host-ant distribution...

  18. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Favorite Name: Category: Share: Yes No, Keep Private Fire Ant Bites Share | Fire ants are aggressive, venomous insects that have pinching ... across the United States, even into Puerto Rico. Fire ant stings usually occur on the feet or ...

  19. Gigantism in honeybees: Apis cerana queens reared in mixed-species colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ken; Hepburn, H. R.; He, Shaoyu; Radloff, S. E.; Neumann, P.; Fang, Xiang

    2006-07-01

    The development of animals depends on both genetic and environmental effects to a varying extent. Their relative influences can be evaluated in the social insects by raising the intracolonial diversity to an extreme in nests consisting of workers from more than one species. In this study, we studied the effects of mixed honeybee colonies of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana on the rearing of grafted queen larvae of A. cerana. A. mellifera sealed worker brood was introduced into A. cerana colonies and on emergence, the adults were accepted. Then, A. cerana larvae were grafted for queen rearing into two of these mixed-species colonies. Similarly, A. cerana larvae and A. mellifera larvae were also grafted conspecifically as controls. The success rate of A. cerana queen rearing in the test colonies was 64.5%, surpassing all previous attempts at interspecific queen rearing. After emergence, all virgin queens obtained from the three groups ( N=90) were measured morphometrically. The A. cerana queens from the mixed-species colonies differed significantly in size and pigmentation from the A. cerana control queens and closely approximated the A. mellifera queens. It is inferred that these changes in the A. cerana queens reared in the mixed-species colonies can be attributed to feeding by heterospecific nurse bees and/or chemical differences in royal jelly. Our data show a strong impact of environment on the development of queens. The results further suggest that in honeybees the cues for brood recognition can be learned by heterospecific workers after eclosion, thereby providing a novel analogy to slave making in ants.

  20. Hornets Have It: A Conserved Olfactory Subsystem for Social Recognition in Hymenoptera?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine Couto

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Eusocial Hymenoptera colonies are characterized by the presence of altruistic individuals, which rear their siblings instead of their own offspring. In the course of evolution, such sterile castes are thought to have emerged through the process of kin selection, altruistic traits being transmitted to following generation if they benefit relatives. By allowing kinship recognition, the detection of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs might be instrumental for kin selection. In carpenter ants, a female-specific olfactory subsystem processes CHC information through antennal detection by basiconic sensilla. It is still unclear if other families of eusocial Hymenoptera use the same subsystem for sensing CHCs. Here, we examined the existence of such a subsystem in Vespidae (using the hornet Vespa velutina, a family in which eusociality emerged independently of ants. The antennae of both males and female hornets contain large basiconic sensilla. Sensory neurons from the large basiconic sensilla exclusively project to a conspicuous cluster of small glomeruli in the antennal lobe, with anatomical and immunoreactive features that are strikingly similar to those of the ant CHC-sensitive subsystem. Extracellular electrophysiological recordings further show that sensory neurons within hornet basiconic sensilla preferentially respond to CHCs. Although this subsystem is not female-specific in hornets, the observed similarities with the olfactory system of ants are striking. They suggest that the basiconic sensilla subsystem could be an ancestral trait, which may have played a key role in the advent of eusociality in these hymenopteran families by allowing kin recognition and the production of altruistic behaviors toward relatives.

  1. Indigenous weaver ants and fruit fly control in Tanzanian smallholder mango production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirkegaard, Nina; Offenberg, Joachim; Msogoya, Theodosy

    2016-01-01

    Weaver ant colonies in mango trees are reported to deter oviposition by fruit flies into the developing fruits and, with controlled ant colonies, this can be sufficiently effective to become incorporated into commercial practice. A widely-offered explanation for this deterrent effect is that patr......Weaver ant colonies in mango trees are reported to deter oviposition by fruit flies into the developing fruits and, with controlled ant colonies, this can be sufficiently effective to become incorporated into commercial practice. A widely-offered explanation for this deterrent effect...... mango growers in Tanzania, where typical practice is to harvestmature, but not ripe, fruits for local sale. Initial interviews with growers provide an estimate of 10-25% crop losses due to fruit fly infestation and no strong perception of any significant impact of weaver ant colonisation on these losses...

  2. The differential response of workers and queens of the ant Lasius niger to an environment marked by workers: ants dislike the unknown.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devigne, Cédric; de Biseau, Jean-Christophe

    2012-11-01

    It is well known that ants can use cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) as a specific recognition cue. Most previous studies addressed the perception of CHCs occurring on the cuticle. However, the presence of CHCs in the environment (e.g., on the substrate) and the role of these compounds as a signal cue are less clear. In this study of the ant L. niger, CHCs were extracted from corpses of workers, from the legs of workers and from filter paper marked by workers. Behavioural choice tests were then performed to study the reactions of workers and queens to CHC passively deposited on the substrate by walking workers. A GC-MS analysis of the CHCs revealed a complex mixture of 28 peaks composed of linear alkanes, alkenes and mono-, di- or trimethylalkane. This mixture was consistently present in the three sources tested (corpses of workers, the tarsus of workers and paper marked by walking workers). Nevertheless, discriminant analyses distinguished clearly among the three types of profiles. The results of our behavioural experiments showed that the workers were able to distinguish between marked and unmarked papers but that they exhibited no preferences for different types of marked papers (papers marked by workers from their own colony or papers marked by workers from a different colony). In queens, the perception of marked papers depended on age or physiological state. Just-mated queens did not discriminate between unmarked papers and papers marked by an alien colony. In contrast, the egg-laying queens 3 days after mating significantly favoured the marked papers. We discuss the ecological relevance of the differences in decision-making between castes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    den Boer, Susanne; Stürup, Marlene; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2015-01-01

    The eusocial ants are unique in that females (queens) acquire and store sperm on a single mating flight early in adult life. This event largely determines the size (possibly millions of workers), longevity (possibly decades) and genetic variation of the colonies that queens found, but our...... understanding of the fundamental biology of ejaculate production, transfer and physiological function remains extremely limited. We studied the ejaculation process in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica and found that it starts with the appearance of a clear pre-ejaculatory fluid (PEF) at the tip...

  4. Aplicación de un algoritmo ACO al problema de taller de flujo de permutación con tiempos de preparación dependientes de la secuencia y minimización de makespan An ant colony algorithm for the permutation flowshop with sequence dependent setup times and makespan minimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Salazar Hornig

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available En este trabajo se estudió el problema de secuenciamiento de trabajos en el taller de flujo de permutación con tiempos de preparación dependientes de la secuencia y minimización de makespan. Para ello se propuso un algoritmo de optimización mediante colonia de hormigas (ACO, llevando el problema original a una estructura semejante al problema del vendedor viajero TSP (Traveling Salesman Problem asimétrico, utilizado para su evaluación problemas propuestos en la literatura y se compara con una adaptación de la heurística NEH (Nawaz-Enscore-Ham. Posteriormente se aplica una búsqueda en vecindad a la solución obtenida tanto por ACO como NEH.This paper studied the permutation flowshop with sequence dependent setup times and makespan minimization. An ant colony algorithm which turns the original problem into an asymmetric TSP (Traveling Salesman Problem structure is presented, and applied to problems proposed in the literature and is compared with an adaptation of the NEH heuristic. Subsequently a neighborhood search was applied to the solution obtained by the ACO algorithm and the NEH heuristic.

  5. Designing communicating colonies of biomimetic microcapsules

    OpenAIRE

    Kolmakov, German V.; Yashin, Victor V.; Levitan, Steven P.; Balazs, Anna C.

    2010-01-01

    Using computational modeling, we design colonies of biomimetic microcapsules that exploit chemical mechanisms to communicate and alter their local environment. As a result, these synthetic objects can self-organize into various autonomously moving structures and exhibit ant-like tracking behavior. In the simulations, signaling microcapsules release agonist particles, whereas target microcapsules release antagonist particles and the permeabilities of both capsule types depend on the local part...

  6. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, B.; Dijkstra, M. B.; Mueller, U. G.

    2009-01-01

    Eusocial insects offer special opportunities for the comparative study of sperm traits because sperm competition is absent (in species with obligatory monandry) or constrained (in lineages where queens mate multiply but never remate later in life). We measured sperm length in 19 species of fungus......-growing ants, representing 9 of the 12 recognized genera, and mapped these onto the ant phylogeny. We show that average sperm length across species is highly variable and decreases with mature colony size in basal genera with singly mated queens, suggesting that sperm production or storage constraints affect...... the evolution of sperm length. Sperm length does not decrease further in multiply mating leaf-cutting ants, despite substantial further increases in colony size. In a combined analysis, sexual dimorphism explained 63.1% of the variance in sperm length between species. As colony size was not a significant...

  7. The Organization of Foraging in the Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2011-01-01

    Although natural selection in ants acts most strongly at the colony, or superorganismal level, foraging patterns have rarely been studied at that level, focusing instead on the behavior of individual foragers or groups of foragers. The experiments and observations in this paper reveal in broad strokes how colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), allocate their available labor to foraging, how they disperse that force within their territory, and how this force changes with colony size, season and worker age. Territory area is positively related to colony size and the number of foragers, more so during the spring than fall. Changes of colony size and territory area are driven by seasonal variation of sexual and worker production, which in turn drive seasonal variation of worker age-distribution. During spring sexual production, colonies shrink because worker production falls below replacement. This loss is proportional to colony size, causing forager density in the spring to be negatively related to colony and territory size. In the fall, colonies emphasize worker production, bringing colony size back up. However, because smaller colonies curtailed spring worker production less than larger ones, their fall forager populations are proportionally greater, causing them to gain territory at the expense of large colonies. Much variation of territory area remains unexplained and can probably be attributed to pressure from neighboring colonies. Boundaries between territories are characterized by “no ants' zones” mostly devoid of fire ants. The forager population can be divided into a younger group of recruitable workers that wait for scouts to activate them to help retrieve large food finds. About one-third of the recruits wait near openings in the foraging tunnels that underlie the entire territory, while two-thirds wait in the nest. Recruitment to food is initially very rapid and local from the foraging tunnels, while sustained

  8. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra B Andersen

    Full Text Available Coevolution between ant colonies and their rare specialized parasites are intriguing, because lethal infections of workers may correspond to tolerable chronic diseases of colonies, but the parasite adaptations that allow stable coexistence with ants are virtually unknown. We explore the trade-offs experienced by Ophiocordyceps parasites manipulating ants into dying in nearby graveyards. We used field data from Brazil and Thailand to parameterize and fit a model for the growth rate of graveyards. We show that parasite pressure is much lower than the abundance of ant cadavers suggests and that hyperparasites often castrate Ophiocordyceps. However, once fruiting bodies become sexually mature they appear robust. Such parasite life-history traits are consistent with iteroparity--a reproductive strategy rarely considered in fungi. We discuss how tropical habitats with high biodiversity of hyperparasites and high spore mortality has likely been crucial for the evolution and maintenance of iteroparity in parasites with low dispersal potential.

  9. Ant fat extraction with a Soxhlet extractor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Chris R; Tschinkel, Walter R

    2009-07-01

    Stored fat can be informative about the relative age of an ant, its nutritional status, and the nutritional status of the colony. Several methods are available for the quantification of stored fat. Before starting a project involving fat extraction, investigators should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different methods in order to choose the one that is best suited to the question being addressed. This protocol, although not as accurate as some alternatives, facilitates the rapid quantification of many individuals.

  10. How load-carrying ants avoid falling over: mechanical stability during foraging in Atta vollenweideri grass-cutting ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Moll

    Full Text Available Foraging workers of grass-cutting ants (Atta vollenweideri regularly carry grass fragments larger than their own body. Fragment length has been shown to influence the ants' running speed and thereby the colony's food intake rate. We investigated whether and how grass-cutting ants maintain stability when carrying fragments of two different lengths but identical mass.Ants carried all fragments in an upright, backwards-tilted position, but held long fragments more vertically than short ones. All carrying ants used an alternating tripod gait, where mechanical stability was increased by overlapping stance phases of consecutive steps. The overlap was greatest for ants carrying long fragments, resulting in more legs contacting the ground simultaneously. For all ants, the projection of the total centre of mass (ant and fragment was often outside the supporting tripod, i.e. the three feet that would be in stance for a non-overlapping tripod gait. Stability was only achieved through additional legs in ground contact. Tripod stability (quantified as the minimum distance of the centre of mass to the edge of the supporting tripod was significantly smaller for ants with long fragments. Here, tripod stability was lowest at the beginning of each step, when the center of mass was near the posterior margin of the supporting tripod. By contrast, tripod stability was lowest at the end of each step for ants carrying short fragments. Consistently, ants with long fragments mainly fell backwards, whereas ants carrying short fragments mainly fell forwards or to the side. Assuming that transporting ants adjust neither the fragment angle nor the gait, they would be less stable and more likely to fall over.In grass-cutting ants, the need to maintain static stability when carrying long grass fragments has led to multiple kinematic adjustments at the expense of a reduced material transport rate.

  11. How load-carrying ants avoid falling over: mechanical stability during foraging in Atta vollenweideri grass-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Karin; Roces, Flavio; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Foraging workers of grass-cutting ants (Atta vollenweideri) regularly carry grass fragments larger than their own body. Fragment length has been shown to influence the ants' running speed and thereby the colony's food intake rate. We investigated whether and how grass-cutting ants maintain stability when carrying fragments of two different lengths but identical mass. Ants carried all fragments in an upright, backwards-tilted position, but held long fragments more vertically than short ones. All carrying ants used an alternating tripod gait, where mechanical stability was increased by overlapping stance phases of consecutive steps. The overlap was greatest for ants carrying long fragments, resulting in more legs contacting the ground simultaneously. For all ants, the projection of the total centre of mass (ant and fragment) was often outside the supporting tripod, i.e. the three feet that would be in stance for a non-overlapping tripod gait. Stability was only achieved through additional legs in ground contact. Tripod stability (quantified as the minimum distance of the centre of mass to the edge of the supporting tripod) was significantly smaller for ants with long fragments. Here, tripod stability was lowest at the beginning of each step, when the center of mass was near the posterior margin of the supporting tripod. By contrast, tripod stability was lowest at the end of each step for ants carrying short fragments. Consistently, ants with long fragments mainly fell backwards, whereas ants carrying short fragments mainly fell forwards or to the side. Assuming that transporting ants adjust neither the fragment angle nor the gait, they would be less stable and more likely to fall over. In grass-cutting ants, the need to maintain static stability when carrying long grass fragments has led to multiple kinematic adjustments at the expense of a reduced material transport rate.

  12. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Miler

    Full Text Available When an antlion captures a foraging ant, the victim's nestmates may display rescue behaviour. This study tested the hypothesis that the expression of rescue behaviour depends on the life expectancy of the captured ant. This hypothesis predicts that the expression of rescue behaviour will be less frequent when the captured ant has a lower life expectancy than when it has a higher life expectancy because such a response would be adaptive at the colony level. Indeed, significant differences were found in the frequency of rescue behaviours in response to antlion victims with differing life expectancies. In agreement with prediction, victims with lower life expectancies were rescued less frequently, and those rescues had a longer latency and shorter duration. There was also a qualitative difference in the behaviour of rescuers to victims from the low and high life expectancy groups. Several explanations for these findings are proposed.

  13. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miler, Krzysztof

    2016-01-01

    When an antlion captures a foraging ant, the victim's nestmates may display rescue behaviour. This study tested the hypothesis that the expression of rescue behaviour depends on the life expectancy of the captured ant. This hypothesis predicts that the expression of rescue behaviour will be less frequent when the captured ant has a lower life expectancy than when it has a higher life expectancy because such a response would be adaptive at the colony level. Indeed, significant differences were found in the frequency of rescue behaviours in response to antlion victims with differing life expectancies. In agreement with prediction, victims with lower life expectancies were rescued less frequently, and those rescues had a longer latency and shorter duration. There was also a qualitative difference in the behaviour of rescuers to victims from the low and high life expectancy groups. Several explanations for these findings are proposed.

  14. Spatiotemporal resource distribution and foraging strategies of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanan, Michele

    2014-01-01

    The distribution of food resources in space and time is likely to be an important factor governing the type of foraging strategy used by ants. However, no previous systematic attempt has been made to determine whether spatiotemporal resource distribution is in fact correlated with foraging strategy across the ants. In this analysis, I present data compiled from the literature on the foraging strategy and food resource use of 402 species of ants from across the phylogenetic tree. By categorizing the distribution of resources reported in these studies in terms of size relative to colony size, spatial distribution relative to colony foraging range, frequency of occurrence in time relative to worker life span, and depletability (i.e., whether the colony can cause a change in resource frequency), I demonstrate that different foraging strategies are indeed associated with specific spatiotemporal resource attributes. The general patterns I describe here can therefore be used as a framework to inform predictions in future studies of ant foraging behavior. No differences were found between resources collected via short-term recruitment strategies (group recruitment, short-term trails, and volatile recruitment), whereas different resource distributions were associated with solitary foraging, trunk trails, long-term trail networks, group raiding, and raiding. In many cases, ant species use a combination of different foraging strategies to collect diverse resources. It is useful to consider these foraging strategies not as separate options but as modular parts of the total foraging effort of a colony. PMID:25525497

  15. Dispersal Polymorphisms in Invasive Fire Ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson A Helms

    Full Text Available In the Found or Fly (FoF hypothesis ant queens experience reproduction-dispersal tradeoffs such that queens with heavier abdomens are better at founding colonies but are worse flyers. We tested predictions of FoF in two globally invasive fire ants, Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius, 1804 and S. invicta (Buren, 1972. Colonies of these species may produce two different monogyne queen types-claustral queens with heavy abdomens that found colonies independently, and parasitic queens with small abdomens that enter conspecific nests. Claustral and parasitic queens were similarly sized, but the abdomens of claustral queens weighed twice as much as those of their parasitic counterparts. Their heavier abdomens adversely impacted morphological predictors of flight ability, resulting in 32-38% lower flight muscle ratios, 55-63% higher wing loading, and 32-33% higher abdomen drag. In lab experiments maximum flight durations in claustral S. invicta queens decreased by about 18 minutes for every milligram of abdomen mass. Combining our results into a simple fitness tradeoff model, we calculated that an average parasitic S. invicta queen could produce only 1/3 as many worker offspring as a claustral queen, but could fly 4 times as long and have a 17- to 36-fold larger potential colonization area. Investigations of dispersal polymorphisms and their associated tradeoffs promises to shed light on range expansions in invasive species, the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies, and the selective forces driving the recurrent evolution of parasitism in ants.

  16. Long-term disease dynamics for a specialized parasite of ant societies: a field study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loreto, Raquel G; Elliot, Simon L; Freitas, Mayara L R; Pereira, Thairine M; Hughes, David P

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have investigated how social insects behave when a parasite is introduced into their colonies. These studies have been conducted in the laboratory, and we still have a limited understanding of the dynamics of ant-parasite interactions under natural conditions. Here we consider a specialized parasite of ant societies (Ophiocordyceps camponoti-rufipedis infecting Camponotus rufipes) within a rainforest. We first established that the parasite is unable to develop to transmission stage when introduced within the host nest. Secondly, we surveyed all colonies in the studied area and recorded 100% prevalence at the colony level (all colonies were infected). Finally, we conducted a long-term detailed census of parasite pressure, by mapping the position of infected dead ants and foraging trails (future hosts) in the immediate vicinity of the colonies over 20 months. We report new dead infected ants for all the months we conducted the census--at an average of 14.5 cadavers/month/colony. Based on the low infection rate, the absence of colony collapse or complete recovery of the colonies, we suggest that this parasite represents a chronic infection in the ant societies. We also proposed a "terminal host model of transmission" that links the age-related polyethism to the persistence of a parasitic infection.

  17. Revolutionizing Remote Exploration with ANTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S.; Truszkowski, W.

    2002-05-01

    We are developing the Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) architecture based on an insect colony analogue for the cost-effective, efficient, systematic survey of remote or inaccessible areas with multiple object targets, including planetary surface, marine, airborne, and space environments. The mission context is the exploration in the 2020s of the most compelling remaining targets in the solar system: main belt asteroids. Main belt asteroids harbor important clues to Solar System origins and evolution which are central to NASA's goals in Space Science. Asteroids are smaller than planets, but their number is far greater, and their combined surface area likely dwarfs the Earth's. An asteroid survey will dramatically increase our understanding of the local resources available for the Human Exploration and Development of Space. During the mission composition, shape, gravity, and orbit parameters could be returned to Earth for perhaps several thousand asteroids. A survey of this area will rival the great explorations that encircled this globe, opened up the New World, and laid the groundwork for the progress and challenges of the last centuries. The ANTS architecture for a main belt survey consists of a swarm of as many as a thousand or more highly specialized pico-spacecraft that form teams to survey as many as one hundred asteroids a month. Multi-level autonomy is critical for ANTS and the objective of the proposed study is to work through the implications and constraints this entails. ANTS couples biologically inspired autonomic control for basic functions to higher level artificial intelligence that together enable individual spacecraft to operate as specialized, cooperative, social agents. This revolutionary approach postulates highly advanced, but familiar, components integrated and operated in a way that uniquely transcends any evolutionary extrapolation of existing trends and enables thousand-spacecraft missions.

  18. Mutualistic fungi control crop diversity in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2005-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants rear clonal fungi for food and transmit the fungi from mother to daughter colonies so that symbiont mixing and conflict, which result from competition between genetically different clones, are avoided. Here we show that despite millions of years of predominantly vertical...... transmission, the domesticated fungi actively reject mycelial fragments from neighboring colonies, and that the strength of these reactions are in proportion to the overall genetic difference between these symbionts. Fungal incompatibility compounds remain intact during ant digestion, so that fecal droplets...

  19. The search rate of the African weaver ant in cashew

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Signe; Axelsen, Jørgen Aagaard; Lemming, Katrine Hansen

    2015-01-01

    Oecophylla longinoda is a species of eusocial colony living ants that prey upon other insects to feed their larva. Many of these insects are considered pests. An ecosystem model of the interactions between an O. longinoda colony and its potential prey is under construction by the team behind...... this article, and it is unknown which functional response equations are useful for eusocial insect colonies. We investigated the search rate of O. longinoda using artificial feeding experiments in a Tanzanian cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) orchard to determine the search efficiency of the ants......, and to assess which functional response equation can be used for eusocial insects. Artificial feeding experiments consisted of providing each of ten colonies 50 pieces of sardine (175 mg dry weight in average) in cashew trees at time 0 and counting the remaining food items at four intervals of 45 minutes during...

  20. Worker senescence and the sociobiology of aging in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giraldo, Ysabel Milton; Traniello, James F. A.

    2014-01-01

    Senescence, the decline in physiological and behavioral function with increasing age, has been the focus of significant theoretical and empirical research in a broad array of animal taxa. Preeminent among invertebrate social models of aging are ants, a diverse and ecologically dominant clade of eusocial insects characterized by reproductive and sterile phenotypes. In this review, we critically examine selection for worker lifespan in ants and discuss the relationship between functional senescence, longevity, task performance, and colony fitness. We did not find strong or consistent support for the hypothesis that demographic senescence in ants is programmed, or its corollary prediction that workers that do not experience extrinsic mortality die at an age approximating their lifespan in nature. We present seven hypotheses concerning how selection could favor extended worker lifespan through its positive relationship to colony size and predict that large colony size, under some conditions, should confer multiple and significant fitness advantages. Fitness benefits derived from long worker lifespan could be mediated by increased resource acquisition, efficient division of labor, accuracy of collective decision-making, enhanced allomaternal care and colony defense, lower infection risk, and decreased energetic costs of workforce maintenance. We suggest future avenues of research to examine the evolution of worker lifespan and its relationship to colony fitness, and conclude that an innovative fusion of sociobiology, senescence theory, and mechanistic studies of aging can improve our understanding of the adaptive nature of worker lifespan in ants. PMID:25530660

  1. Nonrelatives inherit colony resources in a primitive termite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johns, Philip M; Howard, Kenneth J; Breisch, Nancy L; Rivera, Anahi; Thorne, Barbara L

    2009-10-13

    The evolution of eusociality, especially how selection would favor sterility or subfertility of most individuals within a highly social colony, is an unresolved paradox. Eusociality evolved independently in diverse taxa, including insects (all ants and termites; some bees, wasps, thrips, and beetles), snapping shrimp, and naked mole rats. Termites have received comparatively less focus than the haplodiploid Hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps); however, they are the only diploid group with highly complex colonies and an extraordinary diversity of castes. In this study we staged encounters between unrelated colonies of primitive dampwood termites, Zootermopsis nevadensis, mimicking natural meetings that occur under bark. During encounters, kings and/or queens were killed and surviving members merged into one colony. After encounters, members of both unrelated colonies cooperated as a single social unit. We determined the colony of origin of replacement reproductives that emerged after death of kings and/or queens. Here, we document that replacement reproductives developed from workers in either or both original colonies, inherited the merged resources of the colony, and sometimes interbred. Because this species shares many characteristics with ancestral termites, these findings demonstrate how ecological factors could have promoted the evolution of eusociality by accelerating and enhancing direct fitness opportunities of helper offspring, rendering relatedness favoring kin selection less critical.

  2. Effects of substrate, ant and fungal species on plant fiber degradation in a fungus-gardening ant symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMilto, Alexandria M; Rouquette, Monte; Mueller, Ulrich G; Kellner, Katrin; Seal, Jon N

    2017-04-01

    Fungus-gardening or attine ants have outsourced most of their digestive function to a symbiotic fungus. The ants feed their fungus - essentially an external digestive organ - a variety of substrates of botanical origin, including fresh and dried flowers, leaves and insect frass (processed leaves). Although plant tissues are rich in fibers (lignocelluloses, hemicelluloses, pectins and starches) and the symbiotic fungus possesses the genetic and enzymatic machinery to metabolize these compounds, the highly derived attines, the leaf-cutters (Atta and Acromyrmex), are known to produce fiber-rich waste. While leaf-cutting ants are important consumers of primary plant tissue, there have been fewer studies on physiological activity of fungi grown by closely related ant species in the genus Trachymyrmex, which generally grow related species of fungi, have smaller colonies and consume a wider variety of fungal substrates in addition to fresh leaves and flowers. In this study, we measured the cellulase activity of the fungus-gardening ants Atta texana, Trachymyrmex arizonensis and T. septentrionalis. We then quantified fiber consumption of the fungus-gardening ants Trachymyrmex septentrionalis and Trachymyrmex arizonensis by comparing the amounts and percentages present in their food and in fungus garden refuse during a controlled feeding experiment over the span of several months. Finally, we compared waste composition of T. arizonensis colonies growing different fungal strains, because this species is known to cultivate multiple strains of Leucoagaricus in its native range. The leaf-cutting ant A. texana was found to have lower cellulytic activity than T. arizonensis or T. septentrionalis. Total lignocellulose and hemicellulose amounts were significantly lower in refuse piles than in the substrates fed to the Trachymyrmex colonies, thus these fibers were consumed by the fungal symbionts of these ant species. Although lignocellulose utilization was similar in two distinct

  3. Leaf endophyte load influences fungal garden development in leaf-cutting ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Bael Sunshine A

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous work has shown that leaf-cutting ants prefer to cut leaf material with relatively low fungal endophyte content. This preference suggests that fungal endophytes exact a cost on the ants or on the development of their colonies. We hypothesized that endophytes may play a role in their host plants’ defense against leaf-cutting ants. To measure the long-term cost to the ant colony of fungal endophytes in their forage material, we conducted a 20-week laboratory experiment to measure fungal garden development for colonies that foraged on leaves with low or high endophyte content. Results Colony mass and the fungal garden dry mass did not differ significantly between the low and high endophyte feeding treatments. There was, however, a marginally significant trend toward greater mass of fungal garden per ant worker in the low relative to the high endophyte treatment. This trend was driven by differences in the fungal garden mass per worker from the earliest samples, when leaf-cutting ants had been foraging on low or high endophyte leaf material for only 2 weeks. At two weeks of foraging, the mean fungal garden mass per worker was 77% greater for colonies foraging on leaves with low relative to high endophyte loads. Conclusions Our data suggest that the cost of endophyte presence in ant forage material may be greatest to fungal colony development in its earliest stages, when there are few workers available to forage and to clean leaf material. This coincides with a period of high mortality for incipient colonies in the field. We discuss how the endophyte-leaf-cutter ant interaction may parallel constitutive defenses in plants, whereby endophytes reduce the rate of colony development when its risk of mortality is greatest.

  4. Comparative studies of the secretome of fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Linde, Tore; Grell, Morten Nedergaard; Schiøtt, Morten

    2009-01-01

    Leafcutter ants of the species Acromyrmex echinatior live in symbiosis with the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. The ants harvest fragments of leaves and carry them to the nest where they place the material on the fungal colony. The fungus secretes a wide array of proteins to degrade the leaves...... into nutrients that the ants can feed on. The focus of this study is to discover, characterize and compare the secreted proteins. In order to do so cDNA libraries are constructed from mRNA extracted from the fungus material. The most efficient technology to screen cDNA libraries selectively for secreted...

  5. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    The attine ant symbiosis is characterized by ancient but varying degrees of diffuse co-evolution between the ants and their fungal cultivars. Domesticated fungi became dependent on vertical transmission by queens and the ant colonies came to rely on their symbiotic fungus for food and thus...... as garden substrate, whereas the more basal genera use leaf litter, insect feces and insect carcasses. We hypothesized that enzyme activity of fungal symbionts has co-evolved with substrate use and we measured enzyme activities of fungus gardens in the field to test this, focusing particularly on plant...... essential for the symbiosis in general, but have contributed specifically to the evolution of the symbiosis....

  6. The Evolutionary Ecology of Multi-Queen Breeding in Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huszár, Dóra Borbála

    Ants, like other social insects, have evolved cooperative societies based on kinship. Colonies headed by a single breeding queen (monogyny) was the ancestral state but today ca. half of the ant species live in multi-queen societies (polygyny), which can sometimes reach extreme sizes (supercolony...... that only ants, not the other obligatorily social insects were able to decrease social and sexual conflicts sufficiently to make polygyny reach obligate form in some species. This can be explained by general ant biology, such as perennial lifehistories, foraging on foot instead of wings and having one...... mating event in life instead of ongoing events between pairs. Second, by empirical studies on the native ant species Myrmica rubra we were able to demonstrate that the three social syndromes can co-exist within populations, but with possible overlap in certain traits. Genetic and morphology results...

  7. The use of artificial nests by weaver ants: a preliminary field observation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are managed in tropical plantations for their biocontrol of pests and to produce ant larvae as a food source. Main management objectives are to increase ant densities and colony longevity. As weaver ant nests are susceptible to harsh weather, rain storms may decimate...... populations or destroy colonies. The ants, however, show adaptive nesting behavior, which may mitigate storm impact. This study tested whether Oecophylla smaragdina was willing to use plastic bottles as safe artificial nesting sites, and whether adoption of artificial nests was seasonally related to harsh...... weather. Bottles were used for nesting throughout the stormy rainy season in a pomelo plantation with an open canopy, whereas in a mango plantation with a denser canopy the ants, after initial colonisation, left the bottles again at the end of the rainy season, especially in the calmer part...

  8. Nutrition modifies critical thermal maximum of a dominant canopy ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bujan, Jelena; Kaspari, Michael

    2017-10-01

    While adaptive responses to climate gradients are increasingly documented, little is known about how individuals alter their upper thermal tolerances. Long-term increases in dietary carbohydrates can elevate upper thermal tolerances in insects. We explored how the nutritional state of a Neotropical canopy ant governs its CT max - the temperature at which individuals lose muscle control. We predicted that Azteca chartifex workers recently fed a carbohydrate-rich diet, such as honeydew and extrafloral nectar, would use that energy to increase their CT max . Moreover, if a carbohydrate-rich diet increases CT max , then we predicted that ants from colonies with high CT max s feed at a lower trophic level, and thus have a higher carbon:nitrogen ratio. We used A. chartifex colonies from a long-term fertilization experiment where phosphorus addition increased A. chartifex foraging activity with respect to controls. As foraging activity can be governed by resource availability, we first measured CT max of field collected colonies. In freshly collected field colonies, CT max was 2°C higher in control plots. This difference disappeared when ants were provided with only water for 10h. Ants were then provided with a 10% sucrose solution ad lib which increased CT max by 5°C. We thus support the hypothesis that enhanced carbohydrate nutrition enables higher thermal tolerance, but this does not appear to be linked to colony trophic status, higher carbon:nitrogen ratios, or higher total body phosphorus. This short-term thermal plasticity linked to carbohydrate nutrition demonstrates the importance of ant diet in shaping their physiological traits. It is especially relevant to ant species that maintain high abundance by feeding on plant exudates. In a rapidly warming world, carbohydrate availability and use may represent a new element for predicting population and community responses of herbivorous insects. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Indirect recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Christian; Rachman, Noer Fauzi

    2018-01-01

    Government institutions and local people in Indonesia have entrenched, resurrected, and reinvented space through their different territorial and property claims. From colonial times, onward, government institutions have dissolved local political orders and territorialized and reordered spatial...... categories are struggled over, and groups of actors seek to legitimate their presence, their activities, and their resource use by occupation, mapping, and construction of "public" infrastructure. In the case of conservation in the Mount Halimun-Salak National Park, we find that rather than one overarching...... important legal and political work. After the authoritarian New Order regime, in particular, claims to citizenship worked as indirect property claims, and indirect recognition of such claims are important because they serve as pragmatic proxies for formal property rights. Two case studies examine how people...

  10. The importance of ants in cave ecology, with new records and behavioral observations of ants in Arizona caves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert B. Pape

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The importance of ants as elements in cave ecology has been mostly unrecognized. A global list of ant species recorded from caves, compiled from a review of existing literature, is presented. This paper also reviews what is currently known about ants occurring in Arizona (USA caves. The diversity and distribution represented in these records suggests ants are relatively common cave visitors (trogloxenes. A general utilization of caves by ants within both temperate and tropical latitudes may be inferred from this combined evidence. Observations of ant behavior in Arizona caves demonstrate a low level and sporadic, but persistent, use of these habitats and their contained resources by individual ant colonies. Documentation of Neivamyrmex sp. preying on cave-inhabiting arthropods is reported here for the first time. Observations of hypogeic army ants in caves suggests they may not penetrate to great vertical depth in search of prey, but can be persistent occupants in relatively shallow, horizontal sections of caves where they may prey on endemic cave animals. First cave records for ten ant species are reported from Arizona caves. These include two species of Neivamyrmex (N. nigrescens Cresson and Neivamyrmex sp.; Formicidae: Dorylinae, four myrmicines (Pheidole portalensis Wilson, Pheidole cf. porcula Wheeler, Solenopsis aurea Wheeler and Stenamma sp. Westwood, one dolichoderine (Forelius keiferi Wheeler and three formicines (Lasius arizonicus Wheeler, L. sitiens Wilson, and Camponotus sp. Mayr.

  11. Recruitment strategies and colony size in social insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Planque, R.; van den Berg, G.J.B.; Franks, N.R.

    2010-01-01

    Ants use a great variety of recruitment methods to forage for food or find new nests, including tandem running, group recruitment and scent trails. It has been known for some time that there is a loose correlation across many taxa between species-specific mature colony size and recruitment method.

  12. Behavioural and chemical studies of discrimination processes in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex laticeps nigrosetosus (Forel, 1908

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Souza

    Full Text Available Leaf-cutting ants live in symbiosis with a basidiomycete fungus that is exploited as a source of nutrients for ant larvae. Tests of brood transport revealed that Acromyrmex laticeps nigrosetosus workers did not discriminate a concolonial brood from an alien brood. The same result was observed with tests of fungus transport. Adult workers showed no aggressive behaviour to workers from other alien colonies (non-nestmates. There was no qualitative variation in the chemical profiles of larvae, pupae and adult workers from the different colonies. However, quantitative differences were observed between the different colonies. Hypotheses about the lack of intraspecific aggression in this subspecies of ants are discussed.

  13. INTRODUCTION The tailor or weaver ants of genus Oecophylla ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    INTRODUCTION. The tailor or weaver ants of genus Oecophylla. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are eusocial insects. They are obligately arboreal and are known for their unique nest building behaviour where workers construct nests by weaving together leaves using larval silk. Colonies can be extremely large with a mature ...

  14. Energy Efficient Routing in Wireless Sensor Networks based on Ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN's) have become an important and challenging research area in recent years. Wireless Sensor Networks consisting of nodes with limited power are deployed to gather useful information from the field. In WSNs it is critical to collect the information in an energy efficient manner. Ant Colony ...

  15. A genetic component to size in queens of the ant, Formica truncorum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bargum, Katja; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Sundström, L.

    2004-01-01

    . In this study, we present the first evidence of an additive genetic component to queen size in ants, using maternal half sib analysis. We also compared intra-colony size variation in colonies with high (queen doubly mated) versus low (queen singly mated) genetic variability. We found a high and significant...

  16. Distinctive fungal communities in an obligate African ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Christopher C M; Martins, Dino J; Pelaez, Julianne N; Billen, Johan P J; Pringle, Anne; Frederickson, Megan E; Pierce, Naomi E

    2017-03-15

    Three ant species nest obligately in the swollen-thorn domatia of the African ant-plant Vachellia ( Acacia ) drepanolobium , a model system for the study of ant-defence mutualisms and species coexistence. Here we report on the characteristic fungal communities generated by these ant species in their domatia. First, we describe behavioural differences between the ant species when presented with a cultured fungal isolate in the laboratory. Second, we use DNA metabarcoding to show that each ant species has a distinctive fungal community in its domatia, and that these communities remain characteristic of the ant species over two Kenyan sampling locations separated by 190 km. Third, we find that DNA extracted from female alates of Tetraponera penzigi and Crematogaster nigriceps contained matches for most of the fungal metabarcodes from those ant species' domatia, respectively. Fungal hyphae and other debris are also visible in sections of these alates' infrabuccal pockets. Collectively, our results indicate that domatium fungal communities are associated with the ant species occupying the tree. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first record of such ant-specific fungal community-level differences on the same myrmecophytic host species. These differences may be shaped by ant behaviour in the domatia, and by ants vectoring fungi when they disperse to establish new colonies. The roles of the fungi with respect to the ants and their host plant remain to be determined. © 2017 The Author(s).

  17. Specializations of birds that attend army ant raids: an ecological approach to cognitive and behavioral studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Sean; Logan, Corina J; Clayton, Nicola S

    2012-11-01

    Tropical birds forage at army ant raids on several continents. Obligate foraging at army ant raids evolved several times in the Neotropical true antbird family (Thamnophilidae), and recent evidence suggests a diversity of bird species from other families specialize to varying degrees on army ant exploitation. Army ant raids offer access to high prey densities, but the ant colonies are mobile and widely spaced. Successful army ant exploitation requires solving a complex foraging problem because army ant raids are unpredictable in space and time. Birds can counteract the challenges posed by the ants by using strategies that raise their chances of detecting army ant raids, and birds can use additional strategies to track army ant colonies they have located. Some features of army ant biology, such as their conspicuous swarms and columns, above-ground activity, and regular cycles of behavior, provide opportunities for birds to increase their effectiveness at exploiting raids. Changes in sensory, cognitive and behavioral systems may all contribute to specialized army ant exploitation in a bird population. The combination of specializations that are employed may vary independently among bird species and populations. The degree of army ant exploitation by birds varies geographically with latitude and elevation, and with historical patterns such as centers of distribution of obligate thamnophilid antbirds. We predict the set of specializations a given bird population exhibits will depend on local ecology, as well as phylogenetic history. Comparative approaches that focus on these patterns may indicate ecological and evolutionary factors that have shaped the costs and benefits of this foraging strategy. The development of army ant exploitation in individual birds is poorly understood, and individual expression of these specializations may depend on a combination of genetic adaptation with cognitive plasticity, possibly including social and experiential learning. Future

  18. Application of ant colony optimization for reconfiguration of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The shipboard power system (SPS) supplies energy to sophisticated systems of weapons, navigation, services and communication. Due to battle damage or faults, electric energy delivery may be interrupted to critical loads. Reconfiguration of electrical network in the SPS is necessary, to either restore the service to all the ...

  19. Hybrid Bee Ant Colony Algorithm for Effective Load Balancing And ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF. OLIVER OSUAGWA

    Cloud Computing is new paradigm in computing that promises a delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet). Cloud. Computing is a new ...

  20. Ant colony induced decision trees for intrusion detection

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Botes, FH

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In the ashes of Moore’s Law, companies have to acclimatise to the vast increase of data flowing through their networks. Reports on information breaches and hackers claiming ransom for company data are rampant. We live in a world where data...

  1. Hybrid Bee Ant Colony Algorithm for Effective Load Balancing And ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cloud Computing is new paradigm in computing that promises a delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet). Cloud Computing is a new ...

  2. Colony foundation in the ponerine ant, Mesoponera caffraria (F ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1989-05-19

    May 19, 1989 ... The quantity of each brood stage in each nest was recorded daily for. 90 days after the first egg was laid. Queens soon occupied the Lubbock nests. Initially they dug a single chamber adjacent to the entrance and laid their first eggs there. Four queens dug secondary tunnels deeper into the Lubbock nests.

  3. Effective ANT based Routing Algorithm for Data Replication in MANETs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.J. Nithya Nandhini

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In mobile ad hoc network, the nodes often move and keep on change its topology. Data packets can be forwarded from one node to another on demand. To increase the data accessibility data are replicated at nodes and made as sharable to other nodes. Assuming that all mobile host cooperative to share their memory and allow forwarding the data packets. But in reality, all nodes do not share the resources for the benefits of others. These nodes may act selfishly to share memory and to forward the data packets. This paper focuses on selfishness of mobile nodes in replica allocation and routing protocol based on Ant colony algorithm to improve the efficiency. The Ant colony algorithm is used to reduce the overhead in the mobile network, so that it is more efficient to access the data than with other routing protocols. This result shows the efficiency of ant based routing algorithm in the replication allocation.

  4. Transgenerational effects and the cost of ant tending in aphids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tegelaar, Karolina; Glinwood, Robert; Pettersson, Jan; Leimar, Olof

    2013-11-01

    In mutualistic interactions, partners obtain a net benefit, but there may also be costs associated with the provision of benefits for a partner. The question of whether aphids suffer such costs when attended by ants has been raised in previous work. Transgenerational effects, where offspring phenotypes are adjusted based on maternal influences, could be important in the mutualistic interaction between aphids and ants, in particular because aphids have telescoping generations where two offspring generations can be present in a mature aphid. We investigated the immediate and transgenerational influence of ant tending on aphid life history and reproduction by observing the interaction between the facultative myrmecophile Aphis fabae and the ant Lasius niger over 13 aphid generations in the laboratory. We found that the effect of ant tending changes dynamically over successive aphid generations after the start of tending. Initially, total aphid colony weight, aphid adult weight and aphid embryo size decreased compared with untended aphids, consistent with a cost of ant association, but these differences disappeared within four generations of interaction. We conclude that transgenerational effects are important in the aphid-ant interactions and that the costs for aphids of being tended by ants can vary over generations.

  5. Pre-adaptive cadmium tolerance in the black garden ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grześ, Irena M; Okrutniak, Mateusz

    2016-04-01

    The black garden ant Lasius niger is a common component of habitats subjected to anthropological stress. The species can develop very abundant populations in metal-polluted areas. In this study, we raised the question of its tolerance to Cd pollution. Workers of L. niger were collected from 54 colonies, originating from 19 sites located along an increasing gradient of Cd pollution in Poland. Ants were exposed to a range of dietary Cd concentrations in a controlled 14-day laboratory experiment in order to test Cd-sensitivity in the investigated ants. The level of ant mortality was recorded as the endpoint of the experiment. We used much higher concentrations of dietary Cd than those the ants are most likely exposed to in field conditions. The investigated ants were highly Cd-tolerant; even a very high dietary Cd concentration of approx. 1300 mg/kg did not affect mortality of workers when compared to the control. Mortality was unrelated to Cd-pollution along the pollution gradient, meaning that high Cd-tolerance can be found even in ants from unpolluted areas. The results stress the importance of pre-adaptive mechanisms in the development of metal tolerance in ants. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Do ants need to be old and experienced to teach?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Elizabeth L; Robinson, Elva J H; Marshall, James A R; Sendova-Franks, Ana B; Franks, Nigel R

    2012-04-15

    Learning is widespread in invertebrates. However, whether social insects improve their recruitment skills with experience is only beginning to be investigated. Tandem running is a one-to-one form of recruitment used by certain species of ant. It is a remarkable communication system that meets widely accepted criteria for teaching in non-human animals. Here, we determined experimentally to what extent participation in, and efficient execution of, tandem running depends on either the age or the experience of worker ants. To investigate these issues, we constructed colonies of the ant Temnothorax albipennis with different compositions of inexperienced and experienced workers from different age cohorts and then examined which ants participated in tandem runs when they emigrated. Our results show that the ability to participate actively in recruitment by tandem running is present in all worker age groups but the propensity to participate varies with experience rather than age per se. Experienced individuals were more likely to engage in tandem runs, either as leaders or as followers, than young inexperienced individuals, and older experienced ants were more likely to lead tandems than older inexperienced ants. Young inexperienced ants led faster, more rapidly dispersing and less accurately orientated tandem runs than the older experienced ants. Our study suggests that experience (rather than age per se) coupled to stimulus threshold responses might interact to promote a division of labour so that a suitable number of workers actively participate in tandem runs.

  7. The invasion biology and sociogenetics of pharaoh ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard

    ? or ?tramps?, though often considered negative influences, can also be seen as natural experiments, generating a number of questions in the fields of ecology and evolution. Pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharaonis) are very successful invaders of human habitation in most parts of the world. Individual pharaoh ants...... of invasion biology and evolution in social insects. I have developed methods for establishing colonies of different genetic composition through controlled crossings of genetically different colonies, and established that measurable genetic as well as morphological variation exists between different......, a region where they are very common. Employing species?specific microsatellite markers, I found a structure of multiple introductions and isolation of colonies even on relatively small geographical scales. Enemy release is a central concept in invasion biology, frequently proposed to play an important part...

  8. The evolution of extreme polyandry in social insects: insights from army ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, Matthias Benjamin; Moritz, Robin Frederik Alexander; Kraus, Frank Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    The unique nomadic life-history pattern of army ants (army ant adaptive syndrome), including obligate colony fission and strongly male-biased sex-ratios, makes army ants prone to heavily reduced effective population sizes (Ne). Excessive multiple mating by queens (polyandry) has been suggested to compensate these negative effects by increasing genetic variance in colonies and populations. However, the combined effects and evolutionary consequences of polyandry and army ant life history on genetic colony and population structure have only been studied in a few selected species. Here we provide new genetic data on paternity frequencies, colony structure and paternity skew for the five Neotropical army ants Eciton mexicanum, E. vagans, Labidus coecus, L. praedator and Nomamyrmex esenbeckii; and compare those data among a total of nine army ant species (including literature data). The number of effective matings per queen ranged from about 6 up to 25 in our tested species, and we show that such extreme polyandry is in two ways highly adaptive. First, given the detected low intracolonial relatedness and population differentiation extreme polyandry may counteract inbreeding and low Ne. Second, as indicated by a negative correlation of paternity frequency and paternity skew, queens maximize intracolonial genotypic variance by increasingly equalizing paternity shares with higher numbers of sires. Thus, extreme polyandry is not only an integral part of the army ant syndrome, but generally adaptive in social insects by improving genetic variance, even at the high end spectrum of mating frequencies.

  9. Evolutionary transition from single to multiple mating in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Poul; Gertsch, P J; Frydenberg, J

    1999-01-01

    Queens of leafcutter ants exhibit the highest known levels of multiple mating (up to 10 mates per queen) among ants. Multiple mating may have been selected to increase genetic diversity among nestmate workers, which is hypothesized to be critical in social systems with large, long-lived colonies...... under severe pressure of pathogens. Advanced fungus-growing (leafcutter) ants have large numbers (104-106 workers) and long-lived colonies, whereas basal genera in the attine tribe have small (... to have lower queen mating frequencies, similar to those found in most other ants. We tested this prediction by analysing queen mating frequency and colony kin structure in three basal attine species: Myrmicocrypta ednaella, Apterostigma collare and Cyphomyrmex longiscapus. Microsatellite marker analyses...

  10. Evolutionary transition from single to multiple mating in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Frydenberg, Jane

    1999-01-01

    Queens of leafcutter ants exhibit the highest known levels of multiple mating (up to 10 mates per queen) among ants. Multiple mating may have been selected to increase genetic diversity among nestmate workers, which is hypothesized to be critical in social systems with large, long-lived colonies...... under severe pressure of pathogens. Advanced fungus-growing (leafcutter) ants have large numbers (104-106 workers) and long-lived colonies, whereas basal genera in the attine tribe have small (workers) colonies with probably substantially shorter lifespans. Basal attines are therefore expected...... and highly productive social structure of the higher attine ants, which is fully dependent on the rearing of an ancient clonal fungus, may have necessitated high genetic diversity among nestmate workers. This is not the case in the lower attines, which rear fungi that were more recently derived from free...

  11. Plant defences against ants provide a pathway to social parasitism in butterflies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Patricelli, Dario; Barbero, Francesca; Occhipinti, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    , Myrmica workers upregulated five genes whose products bind and detoxify this biocide, and their colonies were more tolerant of it than other common ant genera, consistent with an observed ability to occupy the competitor-free spaces surrounding Origanum. A cost is potential colony destruction by Ma. arion...... the exploitation of sequential hosts by the phytophagous-predaceous butterfly Maculinea arion, whose larvae initially feed on Origanum vulgare flowerheads before switching to parasitize Myrmica ant colonies for their main period of growth. Gravid female butterflies were attracted to Origanum plants that emitted...... high levels of the monoterpenoid volatile carvacrol, a condition that occurred when ants disturbed their roots: we also found that Origanum expressed four genes involved in monoterpene formation when ants were present, accompanied by a significant induction of jasmonates. When exposed to carvacrol...

  12. Novel Degree Constrained Minimum Spanning Tree Algorithm Based on an Improved Multicolony Ant Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuemei Sun

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Degree constrained minimum spanning tree (DCMST refers to constructing a spanning tree of minimum weight in a complete graph with weights on edges while the degree of each node in the spanning tree is no more than d (d ≥ 2. The paper proposes an improved multicolony ant algorithm for degree constrained minimum spanning tree searching which enables independent search for optimal solutions among various colonies and achieving information exchanges between different colonies by information entropy. Local optimal algorithm is introduced to improve constructed spanning tree. Meanwhile, algorithm strategies in dynamic ant, random perturbations ant colony, and max-min ant system are adapted in this paper to optimize the proposed algorithm. Finally, multiple groups of experimental data show the superiority of the improved algorithm in solving the problems of degree constrained minimum spanning tree.

  13. Variable interaction specificity and symbiont performance in Panamanian Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2014-01-01

    ) ants produce carbohydrate active enzymes that degrade plant material collected by the ants and offer them food in exchange. The spectrum of these enzyme activities is an important symbiont service to the host but may vary among cultivar genotypes. The sympatric occurrence of several Trachymyrmex...... and Sericomyrmex higher attine ants in Gamboa, Panama provided the opportunity to do a quantitative study of species-level interaction-specificity. Results We genotyped the ants for Cytochrome Oxidase and their Leucoagaricus fungal cultivars for ITS rDNA. Combined with activity measurements for 12 carbohydrate...... active enzymes, these data allowed us to test whether garden enzyme activity was affected by fungal strain, farming ants or combinations of the two. We detected two cryptic ant species, raising ant species number from four to six, and we show that the 38 sampled colonies reared a total of seven fungal...

  14. Studying the Complex Communities of Ants and Their Symbionts Using Ecological Network Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivens, Aniek B F; von Beeren, Christoph; Blüthgen, Nico; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2016-01-01

    Ant colonies provide well-protected and resource-rich environments for a plethora of symbionts. Historically, most studies of ants and their symbionts have had a narrow taxonomic scope, often focusing on a single ant or symbiont species. Here we discuss the prospects of studying these assemblies in a community ecology context using the framework of ecological network analysis. We introduce three basic network metrics that we consider particularly relevant for improving our knowledge of ant-symbiont communities: interaction specificity, network modularity, and phylogenetic signal. We then discuss army ant symbionts as examples of large and primarily parasitic communities, and symbiotic sternorrhynchans as examples of generally smaller and primarily mutualistic communities in the context of these network analyses. We argue that this approach will provide new and complementary insights into the evolutionary and ecological dynamics between ants and their many associates, and will facilitate comparisons across different ant-symbiont assemblages as well as across different types of ecological networks.

  15. Prudent Protomognathus and despotic Leptothorax duloticus: Differential costs of ant slavery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hare, James F.; Alloway, Thomas M.

    2001-01-01

    The concept of ant slavery rests on the untested assumption that slave-making ants impose fitness costs on colonies of the species they raid. We tested that assumption by comparing the summertime seasonal productivity of Leptothorax spp. colonies in field exclosures without slavemakers, with a colony of the obligatory slave-making ant Protomognathus americanus, or with a colony of the obligatory slavemaker Leptothorax duloticus. Leptothorax longispinosus colonies placed in exclosures with P. americanus colonies did not differ significantly in any demographic attribute from colonies in exclosures without slavemakers. By contrast, Leptothorax curvispinosus colonies exposed to L. duloticus experienced significant reductions in dealate queens, workers, and larvae relative to control colonies exclosed without slavemakers. The pronounced difference in the impact of these slavemakers on their host-species populations correlates with differences in the behavior of the slavemakers observed in the laboratory and likely explains why P. americanus is more abundant than L. duloticus in nature. It seems that more advanced social parasites, like anatomical parasites, evolve to minimize their impact on their hosts, and thus can be regarded as “prudent social parasites.” PMID:11572933

  16. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, A. P. M.; Attili-Angelis, D.; Baron, N. C.; Groenewald, Johannes Z.; Crous, Pedro W.; Pagnocca, F. C.

    Isolates of Teratosphaeriaceae have frequently been found in the integument of attine ants, proving to be common and diverse in this microenvironment. The LSU phylogeny of the ant-isolated strains studied revealed that they cluster in two main lineages. The first was associated with the genus

  17. Serotonin depresses feeding behaviour in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falibene, Agustina; Rössler, Wolfgang; Josens, Roxana

    2012-01-01

    Feeding behaviour is a complex functional system that relies on external signals and the physiological state of the animal. This is also the case in ants as they vary their feeding behaviour according to food characteristics, environmental conditions and - as they are social insects - to the colony's requirements. The biogenic amine serotonin (5-HT) was shown to be involved in the control and modulation of many actions and processes related to feeding in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In this study, we investigated whether 5-HT affects nectar feeding in ants by analysing its effect on the sucking-pump activity. Furthermore, we studied 5-HT association with tissues and neuronal ganglia involved in feeding regulation. Our results show that 5-HT promotes a dose-dependent depression of sucrose feeding in Camponotus mus ants. Orally administered 5-HT diminished the intake rate by mainly decreasing the volume of solution taken per pump contraction, without modifying the sucrose acceptance threshold. Immunohistochemical studies all along the alimentary canal revealed 5-HT-like immunoreactive processes on the foregut (oesophagus, crop and proventriculus), while the midgut and hindgut lacked 5-HT innervation. Although the frontal and suboesophageal ganglia contained 5-HT immunoreactive cell bodies, serotonergic innervation in the sucking-pump muscles was absent. The results are discussed in the frame of a role of 5-HT in feeding control in ants. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Density-Dependent Benefits in Ant-Hemipteran Mutualism? The Case of the Ghost Ant Tapinoma melanocephalum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the Invasive Mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Aiming; Kuang, Beiqing; Gao, Yingrui; Liang, Guangwen

    2015-01-01

    Although density-dependent benefits to hemipterans from ant tending have been measured many times, few studies have focused on integrated effects such as interactions between ant tending, natural enemy density, and hemipteran density. In this study, we tested whether the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis is affected by tending by ghost ants (Tapinoma melanocephalum), the presence of parasitoids, mealybug density, parasitoid density and interactions among these factors. Our results showed that mealybug colony growth rate and percentage parasitism were significantly affected by ant tending, parasitoid presence, and initial mealybug density separately. However, there were no interactions among the independent factors. There were also no significant interactions between ant tending and parasitoid density on either mealybug colony growth rate or percentage parasitism. Mealybug colony growth rate showed a negative linear relationship with initial mealybug density but a positive linear relationship with the level of ant tending. These results suggest that benefits to mealybugs are density-independent and are affected by ant tending level. PMID:25886510

  19. Pseudacteon decapitating flies: Potential vectors of a fire ant virus?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valles, S.M.; Porter, S.D.

    2007-01-01

    Solenopsis invicta virus (SINV-1) is a positive-stranded RNA virus recently found to infect all stages of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Valles et al. 2004; Valles and Strong 2005). SINV-1 and a second genotype have been tentatively assigned to the Dicistroviridae (Mayo 2002). Infected individuals or colonies did not exhibit any immediate, discernible symptoms in the field. However, under stress from introduction into the laboratory, brood death was often observed among infected colonies, ultimately leading to the death of the entire colony (Valles et al. 2004). These characteristics are consistent with other insect-infecting positive-stranded RNA viruses. They often persist as inapparent, asymptomatic infections that, under certain conditions, induce replication within the host, resulting in observable symptoms and often death (Christian and Scotti 1998; Fernandez et al. 2002). The SINV infection rate among colonies was reported to be around 25% in Gainesville, Florida (Valles et al. 2004; Valles and Strong 2005). SINV vertical and horizontal transmission were inferred based on RT-PCR detection of virus genome in eggs and successful colony to colony transfer under lab conditions (Valles et al. 2004). However, the exact mechanisms by which the virus is spread from nest to nest in the field are unknown. Our results indicate that SINV does not replicate within Pseudacteon decapitating flies that parasitize S. invicta. Flies appeared to develop normally from SINV-infected S. invicta workers. Mechanical transmission of SINV to uninfected ants by oviposition appears unlikely

  20. Long-term memory of individual identity in ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dreier, Stéphanie Agnès Jeanine; Van Zweden, Jelle Stijn; D'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2007-01-01

    Remembering individual identities is part of our own everyday social life. Surprisingly, this ability has recently been shown in two social insects. While paper wasps recognize each other individually through their facial markings, the ant, Pachycondyla villosa, uses chemical cues. In both species......, individual recognition is adaptive since it facilitates the maintenance of stable dominance hierarchies among individuals, and thus reduces the cost of conflict within these small societies. Here, we investigated individual recognition in Pachycondyla ants by quantifying the level of aggression between pairs...

  1. Gamergates in the Australian ant subfamily Myrmeciinae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietemann, Vincent; Peeters, Christian; Hölldobler, Bert

    2004-09-01

    Ant workers can mate and reproduce in a few hundreds of species belonging to the phylogenetically basal poneromorph subfamilies (sensu Bolton 2003). We report the first occurrence of gamergates (i.e. mated reproductive workers) in a myrmeciomorph subfamily. In a colony of Myrmecia pyriformis that was collected without a queen, workers continued to be produced over a period of 3 years in the laboratory. Behavioural observations and ovarian dissections indicated that three workers were mated and produced the diploid offspring. The Myrmeciinae are thus another taxon in which the selective benefits of sexual reproduction by workers can be investigated.

  2. Symbiont interactions in a tripartite mutualism: exploring the presence and impact of antagonism between two fungus-growing ant mutualists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Poulsen

    Full Text Available Mutualistic associations are shaped by the interplay of cooperation and conflict among the partners involved, and it is becoming increasingly clear that within many mutualisms multiple partners simultaneously engage in beneficial interactions. Consequently, a more complete understanding of the dynamics within multipartite mutualism communities is essential for understanding the origin, specificity, and stability of mutualisms. Fungus-growing ants cultivate fungi for food and maintain antibiotic-producing Pseudonocardia actinobacteria on their cuticle that help defend the cultivar fungus from specialized parasites. Within both ant-fungus and ant-bacterium mutualisms, mixing of genetically distinct strains can lead to antagonistic interactions (i.e., competitive conflict, which may prevent the ants from rearing multiple strains of either of the mutualistic symbionts within individual colonies. The success of different ant-cultivar-bacterium combinations could ultimately be governed by antagonistic interactions between the two mutualists, either as inhibition of the cultivar by Pseudonocardia or vice versa. Here we explore cultivar-Pseudonocardia antagonism by evaluating in vitro interactions between strains of the two mutualists, and find frequent antagonistic interactions both from cultivars towards Pseudonocardia and vice versa. To test whether such in vitro antagonistic interactions affect ant colonies in vivo, we performed sub-colony experiments using species of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants. We created novel ant-fungus-bacterium pairings in which there was antagonism from one, both, or neither of the ants' microbial mutualists, and evaluated the effect of directional antagonism on cultivar biomass and Pseudonocardia abundance on the cuticle of workers within sub-colonies. Despite the presence of frequent in vitro growth suppression between cultivars and Pseudonocardia, antagonism from Pseudonocardia towards the cultivar did not reduce sub-colony

  3. Interactions Increase Forager Availability and Activity in Harvester Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pless, Evlyn; Queirolo, Jovel; Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Crow, Sam; Allen, Kelsey; Mathur, Maya B; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-01-01

    Social insect colonies use interactions among workers to regulate collective behavior. Harvester ant foragers interact in a chamber just inside the nest entrance, here called the 'entrance chamber'. Previous studies of the activation of foragers in red harvester ants show that an outgoing forager inside the nest experiences an increase in brief antennal contacts before it leaves the nest to forage. Here we compare the interaction rate experienced by foragers that left the nest and ants that did not. We found that ants in the entrance chamber that leave the nest to forage experienced more interactions than ants that descend to the deeper nest without foraging. Additionally, we found that the availability of foragers in the entrance chamber is associated with the rate of forager return. An increase in the rate of forager return leads to an increase in the rate at which ants descend to the deeper nest, which then stimulates more ants to ascend into the entrance chamber. Thus a higher rate of forager return leads to more available foragers in the entrance chamber. The highest density of interactions occurs near the nest entrance and the entrances of the tunnels from the entrance chamber to the deeper nest. Local interactions with returning foragers regulate both the activation of waiting foragers and the number of foragers available to be activated.

  4. Interactions Increase Forager Availability and Activity in Harvester Ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evlyn Pless

    Full Text Available Social insect colonies use interactions among workers to regulate collective behavior. Harvester ant foragers interact in a chamber just inside the nest entrance, here called the 'entrance chamber'. Previous studies of the activation of foragers in red harvester ants show that an outgoing forager inside the nest experiences an increase in brief antennal contacts before it leaves the nest to forage. Here we compare the interaction rate experienced by foragers that left the nest and ants that did not. We found that ants in the entrance chamber that leave the nest to forage experienced more interactions than ants that descend to the deeper nest without foraging. Additionally, we found that the availability of foragers in the entrance chamber is associated with the rate of forager return. An increase in the rate of forager return leads to an increase in the rate at which ants descend to the deeper nest, which then stimulates more ants to ascend into the entrance chamber. Thus a higher rate of forager return leads to more available foragers in the entrance chamber. The highest density of interactions occurs near the nest entrance and the entrances of the tunnels from the entrance chamber to the deeper nest. Local interactions with returning foragers regulate both the activation of waiting foragers and the number of foragers available to be activated.

  5. Ant functional responses along environmental gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnan, Xavier; Cerdá, Xim; Retana, Javier

    2014-11-01

    Understanding species distributions and diversity gradients is a central challenge in ecology and requires prior knowledge of the functional traits mediating species' survival under particular environmental conditions. While the functional ecology of plants has been reasonably well explored, much less is known about that of animals. Ants are among the most diverse, abundant and ecologically significant organisms on earth, and they perform a great variety of ecological functions. In this study, we analyse how the functional species traits present in ant communities vary along broad gradients in climate, productivity and vegetation type in the south-western Mediterranean. To this end, we compiled one of the largest animal databases to date: it contains information on 211 local ant communities (including eight climate variables, productivity, and vegetation type) and 124 ant species, for which 10 functional traits are described. We used traits that characterize different dimensions of the ant functional niche with respect to morphology, life history and behaviour at both individual and colony level. We calculated two complementary functional trait community indices ('trait average' and 'trait dissimilarity') for each trait, and we analysed how they varied along the three different gradients using generalized least squares models that accounted for spatial autocorrelation. Our results show that productivity, vegetation type and, to a lesser extent, each climate variable per se might play an important role in shaping the occurrence of functional species traits in ant communities. Among the climate variables, temperature and precipitation seasonality had a much higher influence on functional responses than their mean values, whose effects were almost lacking. Our results suggest that strong relationships might exist between the abiotic environment and the distribution of functional traits among south-western Mediterranean ant communities. This finding indicates that

  6. Interaction specificity between leaf-cutting ants and vertically transmitted Pseudonocardia bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Sandra B; Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2015-02-25

    The obligate mutualism between fungus-growing ants and microbial symbionts offers excellent opportunities to study the specificity and stability of multi-species interactions. In addition to cultivating fungus gardens, these ants have domesticated actinomycete bacteria to defend gardens against the fungal parasite Escovopsis and possibly other pathogens. Panamanian Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants primarily associate with actinomycetes of the genus Pseudonocardia. Colonies are inoculated with one of two vertically transmitted phylotypes (Ps1 or Ps2), and maintain the same phylotype over their lifetime. We performed a cross-fostering experiment to test whether co-adaptations between ants and bacterial phylotypes have evolved, and how this affects bacterial growth and ant prophylactic behavior after infection with Escovopsis. We show that Pseudonocardia readily colonized ants irrespective of their colony of origin, but that the Ps2 phylotype, which was previously shown to be better able to maintain its monocultural integrity after workers became foragers than Ps1, reached a higher final cover when grown on its native host than on alternative hosts. The frequencies of major grooming and weeding behaviors co-varied with symbiont/host combinations, showing that ant behavior also was affected when cuticular actinomycete phylotypes were swapped. These results show that the interactions between leaf-cutting ants and Pseudonocardia bear signatures of mutual co-adaptation within a single ant population.

  7. A specialist herbivore uses chemical camouflage to overcome the defenses of an ant-plant mutualism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan R Whitehead

    Full Text Available Many plants and ants engage in mutualisms where plants provide food and shelter to the ants in exchange for protection against herbivores and competitors. Although several species of herbivores thwart ant defenses and extract resources from the plants, the mechanisms that allow these herbivores to avoid attack are poorly understood. The specialist insect herbivore, Piezogaster reclusus (Hemiptera: Coreidae, feeds on Neotropical bull-horn acacias (Vachellia collinsii despite the presence of Pseudomyrmex spinicola ants that nest in and aggressively defend the trees. We tested three hypotheses for how P. reclusus feeds on V. collinsii while avoiding ant attack: (1 chemical camouflage via cuticular surface compounds, (2 chemical deterrence via metathoracic defense glands, and (3 behavioral traits that reduce ant detection or attack. Our results showed that compounds from both P. reclusus cuticles and metathoracic glands reduce the number of ant attacks, but only cuticular compounds appear to be essential in allowing P. reclusus to feed on bull-horn acacia trees undisturbed. In addition, we found that ant attack rates to P. reclusus increased significantly when individuals were transferred between P. spinicola ant colonies. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that chemical mimicry of colony-specific ant or host plant odors plays a key role in allowing P. reclusus to circumvent ant defenses and gain access to important resources, including food and possibly enemy-free space. This interaction between ants, acacias, and their herbivores provides an excellent example of the ability of herbivores to adapt to ant defenses of plants and suggests that herbivores may play an important role in the evolution and maintenance of mutualisms.

  8. SEASONAL AND DIURNAL ACTIVITY PATTERNS IN ANT (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE) COMMUNITIES IN A VEGETATION TRANSITION REGION OF SOUTHEASTERN NEW MEXICO

    Science.gov (United States)

    The densities of active ant colonies were estimated in three habitats: creosotebush shrubland, grassland, and shinnery-oak mesquite dunes. Diurnal foraging patterns were studied at bait boards. Species richness of ant communities in this transitional region (8-12 species) was co...

  9. Synthetic quorum sensing in model microcapsule colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shum, Henry; Balazs, Anna C.

    2017-08-01

    Biological quorum sensing refers to the ability of cells to gauge their population density and collectively initiate a new behavior once a critical density is reached. Designing synthetic materials systems that exhibit quorum sensing-like behavior could enable the fabrication of devices with both self-recognition and self-regulating functionality. Herein, we develop models for a colony of synthetic microcapsules that communicate by producing and releasing signaling molecules. Production of the chemicals is regulated by a biomimetic negative feedback loop, the “repressilator” network. Through theory and simulation, we show that the chemical behavior of such capsules is sensitive to both the density and number of capsules in the colony. For example, decreasing the spacing between a fixed number of capsules can trigger a transition in chemical activity from the steady, repressed state to large-amplitude oscillations in chemical production. Alternatively, for a fixed density, an increase in the number of capsules in the colony can also promote a transition into the oscillatory state. This configuration-dependent behavior of the capsule colony exemplifies quorum-sensing behavior. Using our theoretical model, we predict the transitions from the steady state to oscillatory behavior as a function of the colony size and capsule density.

  10. The native ant, Tapinoma melanocephalum, improves the survival of an invasive mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis, by defending it from parasitoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Dong-Dong; Michaud, J P; Li, Pan; Zhou, Zhong-Shi; Xu, Zai-Fu

    2015-10-27

    Mutualistic ants can protect their partners from natural enemies in nature. Aenasius bambawalei is an important parasitoid of the the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis. We hypothesized that mutualism between native ants and mealybugs would favor survival of mealybugs. To test this, we examined effects of tending by the native mutualistic ant Tapinoma melanocephalum on growth of P. solenopsis colonies on Chinese hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, in a field setting. Ant workers with access to honeydew of mealybugs lived much longer than those provisioned only with water in the laboratory, and number of ant workers foraging increased significantly with growth of mealybug colonies in the field. In later observations, there were significant differences in densities of mealybugs between ant-tended and -excluded treatments. Survival rate of mealybugs experiencing parasitoid attack was significantly higher on ant-tended plants than on ant-excluded plants. When the parasitoid was excluded, there was no difference in survival rate of mealybugs between ant-tended and -excluded plants. In most cases, ants directly attacked the parasitoid, causing the parasitoid to take evasive action. We conclude that native ants such as T. melanocephalum have the potential to facilitate invasion and spread of P. solenopsis in China by providing them with protection from parasitoids.

  11. Exploitation Strategies in Social Parasites of Fungus Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clement, Janni Dolby

    . Inquilines are usually close relatives of their host and so share ancestral characteristics (Emery’s rule). They are dependent on being fully integrated into their host’s colony throughout their lives in order to reproduce. Most inquiline ants have completely lost their sterile worker caste. Exceptions...... to this are Acromyrmex insinuator and Acromyrmex ameliae, parasites of fungus-growing ants. By still producing a worker caste both species offers a rare opportunity to study adaptive features in parasite worker behaviour. Furthermore can closely related inquiline-host combinations give us an insight in the trade...

  12. The invasion biology and sociogenetics of pharaoh ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard

    been introduced multiple times from an as of yet unknown native range, but little is known about their local mode of spread and propagule pressure. To learn more, I investigated the population genetic structure and phylogeography of pharaoh ants on different geographical scales in Thailand and malaysia...... in the success of introduced species. To investigate the enemy release hypothesis in Pharaoh ants, I screened introduced populations from several localities around the world for the presence of the presumed detrimental intracellular bacterium Wolbachia. Wolbachia was frequently present in introduced colonies...

  13. Ant colony algorithm for analysis of gene interaction in high-dimensional association data Algoritmo colônia de formigas para análise de interação gênica em dados de associação de alta dimensão

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romdhane Rekaya

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available In recent years there has been much focus on the use of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP fine genome mapping to identify causative mutations for traits of interest; however, many studies focus only on the marginal effects of markers, ignoring potential gene interactions. Simulation studies have show that this approach may not be powerful enough to detect important loci when gene interactions are present. While several studies have examined potential gene interaction, they tend to focus on a small number of SNP markers. Given the prohibitive computation cost of modeling interactions in studies involving a large number SNP, methods need to be develop that can account for potential gene interactions in a computationally efficient manner. This study adopts a machine learning approach by adapting the ant colony optimization algorithm (ACA, coupled with logistic regression on haplotypes and genotypes, for association studies involving large numbers of SNP markers. The proposed method is compared to haplotype analysis, implemented using a sliding window (SW/H, and single locus genotype association (RG. Each algorithm was evaluated using a binary trait simulated using an epistatic model and HapMap ENCODE genotype data. Results show that the ACA outperformed SW/H and RG under all simulation scenarios, yielding substantial increases in power to detect genomic regions associated with the simulated trait.Nos últimos anos muita atenção tem sido dada ao uso de polimorfismos de nucleotídeos simples (SNP para mapeamento fino do genoma, visando identificar mutações efetivas em características de interesse; todavia, muitos estudos focam apenas os efeitos marginais dos marcadores, ignorando as potenciais interações entre genes. Estudos de simulação tem mostrado que esta abordagem pode não ser poderosa o suficiente para detectar loci importantes quando interações entre genes estão presentes. Vários estudos tem examinado potenciais interações g

  14. At the brink of supercoloniality: genetic, behavioral and chemical assessments of population structure of the desert ant Cataglyphis niger

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maya eSaar

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The nesting habits of ants play an important role in structuring ant populations. They vary from monodomy, a colony occupies a single nest, via polydomy, a colony occupies multiple adjacent nests, to supercoloniality, a colony spans over large territories comprising dozen to thousands nests without having any boundaries. The population structure of the desert ant Cataglyphis niger, previously considered to form supercolonies, was studied using genetic, chemical and behavioral tools in plots of 50x50 meters at two distinct populations. At the Palmahim site, the plot comprised 15 nests that according to the genetic analysis constituted three colonies. Likewise at the Rishon Leziyyon site 14 nests constituted 5 genetic colonies. In both sites, both chemical analysis and the behavioral (aggression tests confirmed the colony genetic architecture. The behavioral tests also revealed that aggression between colonies within a population was higher than that exhibited between colonies of different populations, suggesting the occurrence of the nasty neighbor phenomenon. In contrast to supercolony structure previously reported in another population of this species, the presently studied populations were composed of polydomous colonies. However, both the genetic and chemical data revealed that the inter-colonial differences between sites were larger than those within site, suggesting some within-site population viscosity. Thus, C. niger exhibits flexible nesting characteristics, from polydomy to supercoloniality, and can be considered at the brink of supercoloniality. We attribute the differences in population structure among sites to the intensity of intraspecific competition.

  15. Current and potential ant impacts in the Pacific region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loope, Lloyd L.; Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2007-01-01

    . They generally have multiple queens per colony, are unicolonial (lacking internest aggression), quickly recruit to food items, thrive in a variety of habitats including disturbed areas, and can be highly aggressive to other ant species (McGlynn 1999). Hawaii’s arthropod fauna evolved in the absence of ants and has been observed by many biologists to be highly vulnerable to displacement by non-native ants. Pacific island biotas have also very likely suffered greatly from displacement by ants. However, in contrast to Hawaii, virtually nothing has been published on effects of non-native ants on native arthropod fauna elsewhere on Pacific islands, with the exception of the Galapagos archipelago, which may have at least four species of endemic ants (Lubin 1984, Nishida and Evenhuis 2000) and New Caledonia (Jourdan et al. 2001, Le Breton et al. 2005). In addition, many ant species in the Pacific have long been a nuisance for humans, and significant agricultural impacts have occurred from ants tending hemipteran insects of crop plants.

  16. Thelytokous parthenogenesis by queens in the dacetine ant Pyramica membranifera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Fuminori; Touyama, Yoshifumi; Gotoh, Ayako; Kitahiro, Shungo; Billen, Johan

    2010-08-01

    Thelytokous parthenogenesis in which diploid females are produced from unfertilized eggs, was recently reported for some ant species. Here, we document thelytokous reproduction by queens in the polygynous species Pyramica membranifera. Queens that emerged in the laboratory were kept with or without workers under laboratory conditions. Independent colony founding was successful for a few queens if prey was provided. All artificial colonies, which started with a newly emerged queen and workers produced new workers and some of the colonies also produced female sexuals. Some of the female sexuals shed their wings in the laboratory and started formation of new polygynous colonies. Workers had no ovaries and thus, were obligatorily sterile.

  17. Specters of Colonialism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muhr, Sara Louise; Azad, Salam

    2013-01-01

    This paper investigates how an organization in Sweden, a country normally not considered among the former colonial powers, is still haunted by the specters of a western colonial history. Based on in-depth interviews as well as participant observation in the headquarters of a Swedish multinational...... organization, we show how an overarching colonial discourse – although not acknowledged – shapes the experience that foreign employees have of work. This leaves foreign workers in an integration dilemma, as they are expected to suppress home-country values and identities in order to become accepted, while...... at the same time they always are bound to fail to become ‘Swedish’ because of the same foreign origins. Although Swedish culture – partly by distancing itself from having a colonial past – has successfully built up an image of openness, we argue that without acknowledging and confronting the role...

  18. Ant Foraging As an Indicator of Tropical Dry Forest Restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Flores, J; Osorio-Beristain, M; Martínez-Garza, C

    2016-08-01

    Variation in foraging behavior may indicate differences in food availability and allow assessment of restoration actions. Ants are prominent bioindicators used in assessing ecological responses to disturbance. However, behavioral data have been poorly incorporated as an index. The foraging performance of red harvester ants was quantified in order to evaluate the success of a restoration ecology experiment in the tropical dry forest of Sierra de Huautla, Morelos, in central Mexico. Foraging performance by granivorous, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, ants was diminished after 6 and 8 years of cattle grazing and wood harvest were excluded as part of a restoration experiment in a highly degraded biome. Despite investing more time in foraging, ant colonies in exclusion plots showed lower foraging success and acquired less seed biomass than colonies in control plots. In line with the predictions of optimal foraging theory, in restored plots where ant foraging performance was poor, ants harvested a higher diversity of seeds. Reduced foraging success and increased harvest of non-preferred foods in exclusion plots were likely due to the growth of herbaceous vegetation, which impedes travel by foragers. Moreover, by 8 years of exclusion, 37% of nests in exclusion plots had disappeared compared to 0% of nests in control plots. Ants' foraging success and behavior were sensitive to changes in habitat quality due to the plant successional process triggered by a restoration intervention. This study spotlights on the utility of animal foraging behavior in the evaluation of habitat restoration programs. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Ants and ant scent reduce bumblebee pollination of artificial flowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cembrowski, Adam R; Tan, Marcus G; Thomson, James D; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-01-01

    Ants on flowers can disrupt pollination by consuming rewards or harassing pollinators, but it is difficult to disentangle the effects of these exploitative and interference forms of competition on pollinator behavior. Using highly rewarding and quickly replenishing artificial flowers that simulate male or female function, we allowed bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) to forage (1) on flowers with or without ants (Myrmica rubra) and (2) on flowers with or without ant scent cues. Bumblebees transferred significantly more pollen analogue both to and from ant-free flowers, demonstrating that interference competition with ants is sufficient to modify pollinator foraging behavior. Bees also removed significantly less pollen analogue from ant-scented flowers than from controls, making this the first study to show that bees can use ant scent to avoid harassment at flowers. Ant effects on pollinator behavior, possibly in addition to their effects on pollen viability, may contribute to the evolution of floral traits minimizing ant visitation.

  20. The molecular clockwork of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Krista K; Kutowoi, Alexander; Wurm, Yannick; Shoemaker, Dewayne; Meier, Rudolf; Bloch, Guy

    2012-01-01

    The circadian clock is a core molecular mechanism that allows organisms to anticipate daily environmental changes and adapt the timing of behaviors to maximize efficiency. In social insects, the ability to maintain the appropriate temporal order is thought to improve colony efficiency and fitness. We used the newly sequenced fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) genome to characterize the first ant circadian clock. Our results reveal that the fire ant clock is similar to the clock of the honeybee, a social insect with an independent evolutionary origin of sociality. Gene trees for the eight core clock genes, period, cycle, clock, cryptochrome-m, timeout, vrille, par domain protein 1 & clockwork orange, show ant species grouping closely with honeybees and Nasonia wasps as an outgroup to the social Hymenoptera. Expression patterns for these genes suggest that the ant clock functions similar to the honeybee clock, with period and cry-m mRNA levels increasing during the night and cycle and clockwork orange mRNAs cycling approximately anti-phase to period. Gene models for five of these genes also parallel honeybee models. In particular, the single ant cryptochrome is an ortholog of the mammalian-type (cry-m), rather than Drosophila-like protein (cry-d). Additionally, we find a conserved VPIFAL C-tail region in clockwork orange shared by insects but absent in vertebrates. Overall, our characterization of the ant clock demonstrates that two social insect lineages, ants and bees, share a similar, mammalian-like circadian clock. This study represents the first characterization of clock genes in an ant and is a key step towards understanding socially-regulated plasticity in circadian rhythms by facilitating comparative studies on the organization of circadian clockwork.

  1. The molecular clockwork of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krista K Ingram

    Full Text Available The circadian clock is a core molecular mechanism that allows organisms to anticipate daily environmental changes and adapt the timing of behaviors to maximize efficiency. In social insects, the ability to maintain the appropriate temporal order is thought to improve colony efficiency and fitness. We used the newly sequenced fire ant (Solenopsis invicta genome to characterize the first ant circadian clock. Our results reveal that the fire ant clock is similar to the clock of the honeybee, a social insect with an independent evolutionary origin of sociality. Gene trees for the eight core clock genes, period, cycle, clock, cryptochrome-m, timeout, vrille, par domain protein 1 & clockwork orange, show ant species grouping closely with honeybees and Nasonia wasps as an outgroup to the social Hymenoptera. Expression patterns for these genes suggest that the ant clock functions similar to the honeybee clock, with period and cry-m mRNA levels increasing during the night and cycle and clockwork orange mRNAs cycling approximately anti-phase to period. Gene models for five of these genes also parallel honeybee models. In particular, the single ant cryptochrome is an ortholog of the mammalian-type (cry-m, rather than Drosophila-like protein (cry-d. Additionally, we find a conserved VPIFAL C-tail region in clockwork orange shared by insects but absent in vertebrates. Overall, our characterization of the ant clock demonstrates that two social insect lineages, ants and bees, share a similar, mammalian-like circadian clock. This study represents the first characterization of clock genes in an ant and is a key step towards understanding socially-regulated plasticity in circadian rhythms by facilitating comparative studies on the organization of circadian clockwork.

  2. Procedures to mititgate the impact of Solenopsis invicta Virus 3 in fire ant (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) rearing facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    During the initial characterization of Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3), virus-infected fire ant colonies were retrieved from the field and maintained in the laboratory rearing facility at the USDA, Gainesville, FL. During this time, all S. invicta colonies housed in the facility contracted SINV...

  3. Chemical Integration of Myrmecophilous Guests in Aphaenogaster Ant Nests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Lenoir

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Social insect nests provide a safe and favourable shelter to many guests and parasites. In Aphaenogaster senilis nests many guests are tolerated. Among them we studied the chemical integration of two myrmecophile beetles, Sternocoelis hispanus (Coleoptera: Histeridae and Chitosa nigrita (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae, and a silverfish. Silverfishes bear low quantities of the host hydrocarbons (chemical insignificance, acquired probably passively, and they do not match the colony odour. Both beetle species use chemical mimicry to be accepted; they have the same specific cuticular hydrocarbon profile as their host. They also match the ant colony odour, but they keep some specificity and can be recognised by the ants as a different element. Sternocoelis are always adopted in other conspecific colonies of A. senilis with different delays. They are adopted in the twin species A. iberica but never in A. simonellii or A. subterranea. They are readopted easily into their mother colony after an isolation of different durations until one month. After isolation they keep their hydrocarbons quantity, showing that they are able to synthesize them. Nevertheless, their profile diverges from the host colony, indicating that they adjust it in contact with the hosts. This had never been demonstrated before in myrmecophile beetles. We suggest that the chemical mimicry of Sternocoelis is the result of a coevolution with A. senilis with a possible cleaning symbiosis.

  4. Precision Rescue Behavior in North American Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine Taylor

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Altruistic behavior, in which one individual provides aid to another at some cost to itself, is well documented. However, some species engage in a form of altruism, called rescue, that places the altruist in immediate danger. Here we investigate one such example, namely rescuing victims captured by predators. In a field experiment with two North American ant species, Tetramorium sp. E and Prenolepis imparis, individuals were held in artificial snares simulating capture. T. sp. E, but not P. imparis, exhibited digging, pulling, and snare biting, the latter precisely targeted to the object binding the victim. These results are the first to document precision rescue in a North American ant species; moreover, unlike rescue in other ants, T. sp. E rescues conspecifics from different colonies, mirroring their atypical social behavior, namely the lack of aggression between non-nestmate (heterocolonial conspecifics. In a second, observational study designed to demonstrate rescue from an actual predator, T. sp. E victims were dropped into an antlion's pit and the behavior of a single rescuer was observed. Results showed that T. sp. E not only attempted to release the victim, but also risked attacking the predator, suggesting that precision rescue may play an important role in this species' antipredator behavior.

  5. Association between Pseudonocardia symbionts and Atta leaf-cutting ants suggested by improved isolation methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Sarah E; Poulsen, Michael; Gorosito, Norma B; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián; Masiulionis, Virginia E; Currie, Cameron R

    2013-03-01

    Fungus-growing ants associate with multiple symbiotic microbes, including Actinobacteria for production of antibiotics. The best studied of these bacteria are within the genus Pseudonocardia, which in most fungus-growing ants are conspicuously visible on the external cuticle of workers. However, given that fungus-growing ants in the genus Atta do not carry visible Actinobacteria on their cuticle, it is unclear if this genus engages in the symbiosis with Pseudonocardia. Here we explore whether improving culturing techniques can allow for successful isolation of Pseudonocardia from Atta cephalotes leaf-cutting ants. We obtained Pseudonocardia from 9 of 11 isolation method/colony component combinations from all 5 colonies intensively sampled. The most efficient technique was bead-beating workers in phosphate buffer solution, then plating the suspension on carboxymethylcellulose medium. Placing these strains in a fungus-growing ant-associated Pseudonocardia phylogeny revealed that while some strains grouped with clades of Pseudonocardia associated with other genera of fungus-growing ants, a large portion of the isolates fell into two novel phylogenetic clades previously not identified from this ant-microbe symbiosis. Our findings suggest that Pseudonocardia may be associated with Atta fungus-growing ants, potentially internalized, and that localizing the symbiont and exploring its role is necessary to shed further light on the association.

  6. Serpentine soils affect heavy metal tolerance but not genetic diversity in a common Mediterranean ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frizzi, Filippo; Masoni, Alberto; Çelikkol, Mine; Palchetti, Enrico; Ciofi, Claudio; Chelazzi, Guido; Santini, Giacomo

    2017-08-01

    Natural habitats with serpentine soils are rich in heavy metal ions, which may significantly affect ecological communities. Exposure to metal pollutants results, for instance, in a reduction of population genetic diversity and a diffused higher tolerance towards heavy metals. In this study, we investigated whether chronic exposure to metals in serpentine soils affect accumulation patterns, tolerance towards metal pollutants, and genetic diversity in ants. In particular, we studied colonies of the common Mediterranean ant, Crematogaster scutellaris, along a contamination gradient consisting of two differently contaminated forests and a reference soil with no geogenic contamination. We first evaluated the metal content in both soil and ants' body. Then, we tested for tolerance towards metal pollutants by evaluating the mortality of ants fed with nickel (Ni) solutions of increasing concentrations. Finally, differences in genetic diversity among ants from different areas were assessed using eight microsatellite loci. Interestingly, a higher tolerance to nickel solutions was found in ants sampled in sites with intermediate levels of heavy metals. This may occur, because ants inhabiting strongly contaminated areas tend to accumulate higher amounts of contaminants. Additional ingestion of toxicants beyond the saturation threshold would lead to death. There was no difference in the genetic diversity among ant colonies sampled in different sites. This was probably the result of queen mediated gene flow during nuptial flights across uncontaminated and contaminated areas of limited geographical extent. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Keep the nest clean: survival advantages of corpse removal in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diez, Lise; Lejeune, Philippe; Detrain, Claire

    2014-07-01

    Sociality increases exposure to pathogens. Therefore, social insects have developed a wide range of behavioural defences, known as 'social immunity'. However, the benefits of these behaviours in terms of colony survival have been scarcely investigated. We tested the survival advantage of prophylaxis, i.e. corpse removal, in ants. Over 50 days, we compared the survival of ants in colonies that were free to remove corpses with those that were restricted in their corpse removal. From Day 8 onwards, the survival of adult workers was significantly higher in colonies that were allowed to remove corpses normally. Overall, larvae survived better than adults, but were slightly affected by the presence of corpses in the nest. When removal was restricted, ants removed as many corpses as they could and moved the remaining corpses away from brood, typically to the nest corners. These results show the importance of nest maintenance and prophylactic behaviour in social insects.

  8. Water stress strengthens mutualism among ants, trees, and scale insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth G Pringle

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant-plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant-plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism.

  9. Distributed representation of social odors indicates parallel processing in the antennal lobe of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes

    2011-11-01

    In colonies of eusocial Hymenoptera cooperation is organized through social odors, and particularly ants rely on a sophisticated odor communication system. Neuronal information about odors is represented in spatial activity patterns in the primary olfactory neuropile of the insect brain, the antennal lobe (AL), which is analog to the vertebrate olfactory bulb. The olfactory system is characterized by neuroanatomical compartmentalization, yet the functional significance of this organization is unclear. Using two-photon calcium imaging, we investigated the neuronal representation of multicomponent colony odors, which the ants assess to discriminate friends (nestmates) from foes (nonnestmates). In the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, colony odors elicited spatial activity patterns distributed across different AL compartments. Activity patterns in response to nestmate and nonnestmate colony odors were overlapping. This was expected since both consist of the same components at differing ratios. Colony odors change over time and the nervous system has to constantly adjust for this (template reformation). Measured activity patterns were variable, and variability was higher in response to repeated nestmate than to repeated nonnestmate colony odor stimulation. Variable activity patterns may indicate neuronal plasticity within the olfactory system, which is necessary for template reformation. Our results indicate that information about colony odors is processed in parallel in different neuroanatomical compartments, using the computational power of the whole AL network. Parallel processing might be advantageous, allowing reliable discrimination of highly complex social odors.

  10. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Armitage, Sophie A O; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2006-01-01

    Ant queens are among the most long-lived insects known. They mate early in adult life and maintain millions of viable sperm in their sperm storage organ until they die many years later. Because they never re-mate, the reproductive success of queens is ultimately sperm-limited, but it is not known...... what selective forces determine the upper limit to sperm storage. Here we show that sperm storage carries a significant cost of reduced immunity during colony founding. Newly mated queens of the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica upregulate their immune response shortly after completing their nest burrow......, probably as an adaptive response to a greater exposure to pathogens in the absence of grooming workers. However, the immune response nine days after colony founding is negatively correlated with the amount of sperm in the sperm storage organ, indicating that short-term survival is traded off against long...

  11. Association between Pseudonocardia symbionts and Atta leaf-cutting ants suggested by improved isolation methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marsh, Sarah E.; Poulsen, Michael; Gorosito, Norma B.

    2013-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants associate with multiple symbiotic microbes, including Actinobacteria for production of antibiotics. The best studied of these bacteria are within the genus Pseudonocardia, which in most fungus-growing ants are conspicuously visible on the external cuticle of workers. However......, given that fungus-growing ants in the genus Atta do not carry visible Actinobacteria on their cuticle, it is unclear if this genus engages in the symbiosis with Pseudonocardia. Here we explore whether improving culturing techniques can allow for successful isolation of Pseudonocardia from Atta...... cephalotes leaf-cutting ants. We obtained Pseudonocardia from 9 of 11 isolation method/colony component combinations from all 5 colonies intensively sampled. The most efficient technique was bead-beating workers in phosphate buffer solution, then plating the suspension on carboxymethylcellulose medium...

  12. Predatory behavior of Pseudodorus clavatus (Diptera, Syrphidae on aphids tended by ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Bächtold

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Predatory behavior of Pseudodorus clavatus (Diptera, Syrphidae on aphids tended by ants. In this study, we examined the interactions between myrmecophilous aphids, their ant-guards and a predatory syrphid species, Pseudodorus clavatus (F.. Larvae of this predator were found in the colonies of three aphid species: Aphis gossypii, A. spiraecola and Toxoptera sp., which were tended by eight ant species, especially Camponotus. Hoverfly larvae managed to infiltrate the aphid colonies and consume nymphs. Predator larvae exhibited inconspicuous movements and were not detected by ants which were commonly observed touching and antennating the larvae they come into contact. These results suggest that behavioral and chemical cues are involved in the infiltration and on the successful predation of syrphids upon aphids.

  13. Diversity of Species and Behavior of Hymenopteran Parasitoids of Ants: A Review

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    Jean-Paul Lachaud

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Reports of hymenopterans associated with ants involve more than 500 species, but only a fraction unambiguously pertain to actual parasitoids. In this paper, we attempt to provide an overview of both the diversity of these parasitoid wasps and the diversity of the types of interactions they have formed with their ant hosts. The reliable list of parasitoid wasps using ants as primary hosts includes at least 138 species, reported between 1852 and 2011, distributed among 9 families from 3 superfamilies. These parasitoids exhibit a wide array of biologies and developmental strategies: ecto- or endoparasitism, solitary or gregarious, and idio- or koinobiosis. All castes of ants and all developmental stages, excepting eggs, are possible targets. Some species parasitize adult worker ants while foraging or performing other activities outside the nest; however, in most cases, parasitoids attack ant larvae either inside or outside their nests. Based on their abundance and success in attacking ants, some parasitoid wasps like diapriids and eucharitids seem excellent potential models to explore how parasitoids impact ant colony demography, population biology, and ant community structure. Despite a significant increase in our knowledge of hymenopteran parasitoids of ants, most of them remain to be discovered.

  14. Foraging ants trade off further for faster: use of natural bridges and trunk trail permanency in carpenter ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loreto, Raquel G.; Hart, Adam G.; Pereira, Thairine M.; Freitas, Mayara L. R.; Hughes, David P.; Elliot, Simon L.

    2013-10-01

    Trail-making ants lay pheromones on the substrate to define paths between foraging areas and the nest. Combined with the chemistry of these pheromone trails and the physics of evaporation, trail-laying and trail-following behaviours provide ant colonies with the quickest routes to food. In relatively uniform environments, such as that provided in many laboratory studies of trail-making ants, the quickest route is also often the shortest route. Here, we show that carpenter ants ( Camponotus rufipes), in natural conditions, are able to make use of apparent obstacles in their environment to assist in finding the fastest routes to food. These ants make extensive use of fallen branches, twigs and lianas as bridges to build their trails. These bridges make trails significantly longer than their straight line equivalents across the forest floor, but we estimate that ants spend less than half the time to reach the same point, due to increased carriage speed across the bridges. We also found that these trails, mainly composed of bridges, are maintained for months, so they can be characterized as trunk trails. We suggest that pheromone-based foraging trail networks in field conditions are likely to be structured by a range of potentially complex factors but that even then, speed remains the most important consideration.

  15. Alkaloid venom weaponry of three Megalomyrmex thief ants and the behavioral response of Cyphomyrmex costatus host ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M M; Jones, Tappey H; Longino, John T; Weatherford, Robert G; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2015-04-01

    Social parasites exploit other societies by invading and stealing resources. Some enter protected nests using offensive chemical weaponry made from alkaloid-based venom. We characterized the venoms of three Megalomyrmex thief ant species (M. mondabora, M. mondaboroides, and M. silvestrii) that parasitize the fungus-growing ants, and developed an ethogram to describe host ant reactions to raiding M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii parasites. We compared piperidine, pyrrolidine, and pyrolizidine venom alkaloid structures with synthetic samples from previous studies, and describe the novel stereochemistry of trans 2-hexyl-5-[8-oxononyl]-pyrrolidine (3) from M. mondabora. We showed that workers of Cyphomyrmex costatus, the host of M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii, react to a sting by Megalomyrmex parasites mainly with submissive behavior, playing dead or retreating. Host submission also followed brief antennal contact. The behavior of C. costatus ants observed in this study was similar to that of Cyphomyrmex cornutus, host of M. mondabora, suggesting that the alkaloidal venoms with pyrrolidines from M. mondabora, piperidines from M. mondaboroides, and pyrolizidines from M. silvestrii may function similarly as appeasement and repellent allomones against host ants, despite their different chemical structure. With the use of these chemical weapons, the Megalomyrmex thief ants are met with little host resistance and easily exploit host colony resources.

  16. Tropical parabiotic ants: Highly unusual cuticular substances and low interspecific discrimination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmitt Thomas

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Associations between animal species require that at least one of the species recognizes its partner. Parabioses are associations of two ant species which co-inhabit the same nest. Ants usually possess an elaborate nestmate recognition system, which is based on cuticular hydrocarbons and allows them to distinguish nestmates from non-nestmates through quantitative or qualitative differences in the hydrocarbon composition. Hence, living in a parabiotic association probably necessitates changes of the nestmate recognition system in both species, since heterospecific ants have to be accepted as nestmates. Results In the present study we report highly unusual cuticular profiles in the parabiotic species Crematogaster modiglianii and Camponotus rufifemur from the tropical rainforest of Borneo. The cuticle of both species is covered by a set of steroids, which are highly unusual surface compounds. They also occur in the Dufour gland of Crematogaster modiglianii in high quantities. The composition of these steroids differed between colonies but was highly similar among the two species of a parabiotic nest. In contrast, hydrocarbon composition of Cr. modiglianii and Ca. rufifemur differed strongly and only overlapped in three regularly occurring and three trace compounds. The hydrocarbon profile of Camponotus rufifemur consisted almost exclusively of methyl-branched alkenes of unusually high chain lengths (up to C49. This species occurred in two sympatric, chemically distinct varieties with almost no hydrocarbons in common. Cr. modiglianii discriminated between these two varieties. It only tolerated workers of the Ca. rufifemur variety it was associated with, but attacked the respective others. However, Cr. modiglianii did not distinguish its own Ca. rufifemur partner from allocolonial Ca. rufifemur workers of the same variety. Conclusion We conclude that there is a mutual substance transfer between Cr. modiglianii and Ca. rufifemur

  17. EVOLUTIONARY TRANSITIONS IN ENZYME ACTIVITY OF ANT FUNGUS GARDENS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Schiøtt, Morten; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2010-01-01

    an association with a monophyletic clade of specialized symbionts. In conjunction with the transition to specialized symbionts, the ants advanced in colony size and social complexity. Here we provide a comparative study of the functional specialization in extracellular enzyme activities in fungus gardens across...... the attine phylogeny. We show that, relative to sister clades, gardens of higher-attine ants have enhanced activity of protein-digesting enzymes, whereas gardens of leaf-cutting ants also have increased activity of starch-digesting enzymes. However, the enzyme activities of lower-attine fungus gardens...... are targeted primarily towards partial degradation of plant cell walls, reflecting a plesiomorphic state of non-domesticated fungi. The enzyme profiles of the higher-attine and leaf-cutting gardens appear particularly suited to digest fresh plant materials and to access nutrients from live cells without major...

  18. Sex allocation in fungus-growing ants: worker or queen control without symbiont-induced female bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel B.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2008-01-01

    The fungal cultivars of fungus-growing ants are vertically transmitted by queens but not males. Selection would therefore favor cultivars that bias the ants' sex ratio towards gynes, beyond the gyne bias that is optimal for workers and queens. We measured sex allocation in 190 colonies of six...... sympatric fungus-growing ant species. As predicted from relatedness, female bias was greater in four singly mated Sericomyrmex and Trachymyrmex species than in two multiply mated Acromyrmex species. Colonies tended to raise mainly a single sex, which could be partly explained by variation in queen number......, colony fecundity, and fungal garden volume for Acromyrmex and Sericomyrmex, but not for Trachymyrmex. Year of collection, worker number and mating frequency of Acromyrmex queens did not affect the colony sex ratios. We used a novel sensitivity analysis to compare the population sex allocation ratios...

  19. Impact of Interference Competition on Exploration and Food Exploitation in the Ant Lasius niger

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    Vincent Fourcassié

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Competition acts as a major force in shaping spatially and/or temporally the foraging activity of ant colonies. Interference competition between colonies in particular is widespread in ants where it can prevent the physical access of competitors to a resource, either directly by fighting or indirectly, by segregating the colony foraging areas. Although the consequences of interference competition on ant distribution have been well studied in the literature, the behavioral mechanisms underlying interference competition have been less explored. Little is known on how ants modify their exploration patterns or the choice of a feeding place after experiencing aggressive encounters. In this paper, we show that, at the individual level, the aphid-tending ant Lasius niger reacts to the presence of an alien conspecific through direct aggressive behavior and local recruitment in the vicinity of fights. At the colony level, however, no defensive recruitment is triggered and the “risky” area where aggressive encounters occur is not specifically avoided during further exploration or food exploitation. We discuss how between-species differences in sensitivity to interference competition could be related to the spatial and temporal predictability of food resources at stake.

  20. Ants Learn Aphid Species as Mutualistic Partners: Is the Learning Behavior Species-Specific?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Masayuki; Nakamuta, Kiyoshi; Nomura, Masashi

    2015-12-01

    In ant-aphid associations, many aphid species provide ants with honeydew and are tended by ants, whereas others are never tended and are frequently preyed upon by ants. In these relationships, ants must have the ability to discriminate among aphid species, with mutualistic aphids being accepted as partners rather than prey. Although ants reportedly use cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) of aphids to differentiate between mutualistic and non-mutualistic species, it is unclear whether the ability to recognize mutualistic aphid species as partners is innate or involves learning. Therefore, we tested whether aphid recognition by ants depends on learning, and whether the learning behavior is species-specific. When workers of the ant Tetramorium tsushimae had previously tended the cowpea aphid, Aphis craccivora, they were less aggressive toward this species. In addition, ants also reduced their aggressiveness toward another mutualistic aphid species, Aphis fabae, after tending A. craccivora, whereas ants remained aggressive toward the non-mutualistic aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, regardless of whether or not they had previous experience in tending A. craccivora. When ants were offered glass dummies treated with CHCs of these aphid species, ants that had tended A. craccivora displayed reduced aggression toward CHCs of A. craccivora and A. fabae. Chemical analyses showed the similarity of the CHC profiles between A. craccivora and A. fabae but not with A. pisum. These results suggest that aphid recognition of ants involves learning, and that the learning behavior may not be species-specific because of the similarity of CHCs between different aphid species with which they form mutualisms.

  1. Foraging strategies of the ant Ectatomma vizottoi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

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    Luan D. Lima

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Foraging strategies of the ant Ectatomma vizottoi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Foraging activity may be limited by temperature, humidity, radiation, wind, and other abiotic factors, all of which can affect energy costs during foraging. Ectatomma vizottoi's biology has only recently been studied, and no detailed information is available on its foraging patterns or diet in the field. For this reason, and because foraging activity is an important part of the ecological success of social insects, the present study aimed to investigate E. vizottoi's foraging strategies and dietary habits. First, we determined how abiotic factors constrained E. vizottoi's foraging patterns in the field by monitoring the foraging activity of 16 colonies on eight different days across two seasons. Second, we characterized E. vizottoi's diet by monitoring another set of 26 colonies during peak foraging activity. Our results show that E. vizottoi has foraging strategies that are similar to those of congeneric species. In spite of having a low efficiency index, colonies adopted strategies that allowed them to successfully obtain food resources while avoiding adverse conditions. These strategies included preying on other ant species, a foraging tactic that could arise if a wide variety of food items are not available in the environment or if E. vizottoi simply prefers, regardless of resource availability, to prey on other invertebrates and especially on other ant species.

  2. Asymmetric dispersal and colonization success of Amazonian plant-ants queens.

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    Emilio M Bruna

    Full Text Available The dispersal ability of queens is central to understanding ant life-history evolution, and plays a fundamental role in ant population and community dynamics, the maintenance of genetic diversity, and the spread of invasive ants. In tropical ecosystems, species from over 40 genera of ants establish colonies in the stems, hollow thorns, or leaf pouches of specialized plants. However, little is known about the relative dispersal ability of queens competing for access to the same host plants.We used empirical data and inverse modeling--a technique developed by plant ecologists to model seed dispersal--to quantify and compare the dispersal kernels of queens from three Amazonian ant species that compete for access to host-plants. We found that the modal colonization distance of queens varied 8-fold, with the generalist ant species (Crematogaster laevis having a greater modal distance than two specialists (Pheidole minutula, Azteca sp. that use the same host-plants. However, our results also suggest that queens of Azteca sp. have maximal distances that are four-sixteen times greater than those of its competitors.We found large differences between ant species in both the modal and maximal distance ant queens disperse to find vacant seedlings used to found new colonies. These differences could result from interspecific differences in queen body size, and hence wing musculature, or because queens differ in their ability to identify potential host plants while in flight. Our results provide support for one of the necessary conditions underlying several of the hypothesized mechanisms promoting coexistence in tropical plant-ants. They also suggest that for some ant species limited dispersal capability could pose a significant barrier to the rescue of populations in isolated forest fragments. Finally, we demonstrate that inverse models parameterized with field data are an excellent means of quantifying the dispersal of ant queens.

  3. Asymmetric Dispersal and Colonization Success of Amazonian Plant-Ants Queens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruna, Emilio M.; Izzo, Thiago J.; Inouye, Brian D.; Uriarte, Maria; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L.

    2011-01-01

    Background The dispersal ability of queens is central to understanding ant life-history evolution, and plays a fundamental role in ant population and community dynamics, the maintenance of genetic diversity, and the spread of invasive ants. In tropical ecosystems, species from over 40 genera of ants establish colonies in the stems, hollow thorns, or leaf pouches of specialized plants. However, little is known about the relative dispersal ability of queens competing for access to the same host plants. Methodology/Principal Findings We used empirical data and inverse modeling—a technique developed by plant ecologists to model seed dispersal—to quantify and compare the dispersal kernels of queens from three Amazonian ant species that compete for access to host-plants. We found that the modal colonization distance of queens varied 8-fold, with the generalist ant species (Crematogaster laevis) having a greater modal distance than two specialists (Pheidole minutula, Azteca sp.) that use the same host-plants. However, our results also suggest that queens of Azteca sp. have maximal distances that are four-sixteen times greater than those of its competitors. Conclusions/Significance We found large differences between ant species in both the modal and maximal distance ant queens disperse to find vacant seedlings used to found new colonies. These differences could result from interspecific differences in queen body size, and hence wing musculature, or because queens differ in their ability to identify potential host plants while in flight. Our results provide support for one of the necessary conditions underlying several of the hypothesized mechanisms promoting coexistence in tropical plant-ants. They also suggest that for some ant species limited dispersal capability could pose a significant barrier to the rescue of populations in isolated forest fragments. Finally, we demonstrate that inverse models parameterized with field data are an excellent means of quantifying the

  4. Asymmetric dispersal and colonization success of Amazonian plant-ants queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruna, Emilio M; Izzo, Thiago J; Inouye, Brian D; Uriarte, Maria; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L

    2011-01-01

    The dispersal ability of queens is central to understanding ant life-history evolution, and plays a fundamental role in ant population and community dynamics, the maintenance of genetic diversity, and the spread of invasive ants. In tropical ecosystems, species from over 40 genera of ants establish colonies in the stems, hollow thorns, or leaf pouches of specialized plants. However, little is known about the relative dispersal ability of queens competing for access to the same host plants. We used empirical data and inverse modeling--a technique developed by plant ecologists to model seed dispersal--to quantify and compare the dispersal kernels of queens from three Amazonian ant species that compete for access to host-plants. We found that the modal colonization distance of queens varied 8-fold, with the generalist ant species (Crematogaster laevis) having a greater modal distance than two specialists (Pheidole minutula, Azteca sp.) that use the same host-plants. However, our results also suggest that queens of Azteca sp. have maximal distances that are four-sixteen times greater than those of its competitors. We found large differences between ant species in both the modal and maximal distance ant queens disperse to find vacant seedlings used to found new colonies. These differences could result from interspecific differences in queen body size, and hence wing musculature, or because queens differ in their ability to identify potential host plants while in flight. Our results provide support for one of the necessary conditions underlying several of the hypothesized mechanisms promoting coexistence in tropical plant-ants. They also suggest that for some ant species limited dispersal capability could pose a significant barrier to the rescue of populations in isolated forest fragments. Finally, we demonstrate that inverse models parameterized with field data are an excellent means of quantifying the dispersal of ant queens.

  5. Interaction specificity between leaf-cutting ants and vertically transmitted Pseudonocardia bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Breum Andersen, Sandra; Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R.

    2015-01-01

    against the fungal parasite Escovopsis and possibly other pathogens. Panamanian Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants primarily associate with actinomycetes of the genus Pseudonocardia. Colonies are inoculated with one of two vertically transmitted phylotypes (Ps1 or Ps2), and maintain the same...... colonized ants irrespective of their colony of origin, but that the Ps2 phylotype, which was previously shown to be better able to maintain its monocultural integrity after workers became foragers than Ps1, reached a higher final cover when grown on its native host than on alternative hosts. The frequencies...

  6. Reproductive conflict in social insects: Male production by workers in a slave-making ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brunner, Elizabeth; Trindl, Andreas; Falk, Karl H.

    2005-01-01

    is expected to be less detrimental for colony efficiency than in related, nonparasitic species. Furthermore, as slave-making workers usually do not perform brood care and thus might have little power in manipulating sex allocation, they might be more strongly selected to increase their direct fitness...... by producing their own sons than workers in nonparasitic species. In this study we investigated worker reproduction in four natural colonies of the slave-making ant Polyergus rufescens, using highly variable microsatellite markers. Our results show that workers produce up to 100% of the males. This study thus...... presents the first direct evidence of an almost complete takeover of male reproduction by workers in ants....

  7. Commentary: Warring ants

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 27; Issue 2. Commentary: Warring ants: Lessons from Lanchester's laws of combat? Renee M Borges. Volume 27 Issue 2 March 2002 pp 75-78. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/jbsc/027/02/0075-0078 ...

  8. Fire Ant Allergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... venom in a fire ant sting will kill bacteria and some of your skin cells. This results in the formation of a blister that fills with a cloudy white material in about 24 hours. While this looks like a pus-filled lesion that should be drained, ...

  9. Symbiont-Mediated Host-Parasite Dynamics in a Fungus-Gardening Ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellner, Katrin; Kardish, M R; Seal, J N; Linksvayer, T A; Mueller, U G

    2017-12-28

    Group-living can promote the evolution of adaptive strategies to prevent and control disease. Fungus-gardening ants must cope with two sets of pathogens, those that afflict the ants themselves and those of their symbiotic fungal gardens. While much research has demonstrated the impact of specialized fungal pathogens that infect ant fungus gardens, most of these studies focused on the so-called higher attine ants, which are thought to coevolve diffusely with two clades of leucocoprinaceous fungi. Relatively few studies have addressed disease ecology of lower Attini, which are thought to occasionally recruit (domesticate) novel leucocoprinaceous fungi from free-living populations; coevolution between lower-attine ants and their fungi is therefore likely weaker (or even absent) than in the higher Attini, which generally have many derived modifications. Toward understanding the disease ecology of lower-attine ants, this study (a) describes the diversity in the microfungal genus Escovopsis that naturally infect fungus gardens of the lower-attine ant Mycocepurus smithii and (b) experimentally determines the relative contributions of Escovopsis strain (a possible garden disease), M. smithii ant genotype, and fungal cultivar lineage to disease susceptibility and colony fitness. In controlled in-vivo infection laboratory experiments, we demonstrate that the susceptibility to Escovopsis infection was an outcome of ant-cultivar-Escovopsis interaction, rather than solely due to ant genotype or fungal cultivar lineage. The role of complex ant-cultivar-Escovopsis interactions suggests that switching M. smithii farmers onto novel fungus types might be a strategy to generate novel ant-fungus combinations resistant to most, but perhaps not all, Escovopsis strains circulating in a local population of this and other lower-attine ants.

  10. Colony Collapse Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    In CCD, the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen, plenty of food and a few nurse bees to care for remaining immature bees and the queen. EPA and USDA are working to understand this problem.

  11. Colonial American Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeomans, Donald K.

    2007-12-01

    While a foundation of German scientific methods enabled the rapid growth of North American Astronomy in the nineteenth century, during the seventeenth and most of the eighteenth centuries, the colonial men of science looked only to the English mother country for scientific patronage and guidance. An essay on fundamental astronomy appeared in one of the annual colonial almanacs as early as 1656, telescopic observations were made about 1660 and the first original colonial astronomical work was published by Thomas Danforth on the comet of 1664. By 1671 the Copernican ideas were so espoused at Harvard College that a physics class refused to read a Ptolemaic textbook when it was assigned to them by a senior instructor. At least in the Cambridge-Boston area, contemporary colonialist had access to the most recent scientific publications from the mother country. Observations of the great comet of 1680 by the Almanac maker, John Foster, reached Isaac Newton and were used and gratefully acknowledged in his Principia. During the seventeenth century the colonial interest in astronomy was more intense than it was for other sciences but colonists still occupied a position in the scientific backwater when compared with contemporary European scientists. Nevertheless, the science of astronomy was successfully transplanted from England to North America in the seventeenth century.

  12. Towards a better understanding of the evolution of specialized parasites of fungus-growing ant crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Poulsen, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants have interacted and partly coevolved with specialised microfungal parasites of the genus Escovopsis since the origin of ant fungiculture about 50 million years ago. Here, we review the recent progress in understanding the patterns of specificity of this ant-parasite association......, covering both the colony/population level and comparisons between phylogenetic clades. We use a modified version of Tinbergen’s four categories of evolutionary questions to structure our review in complementary approaches addressing both proximate questions of development and mechanism, and ultimate...

  13. Ants use partner specific odors to learn to recognize a mutualistic partner.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaru K Hojo

    Full Text Available Regulation via interspecific communication is an important for the maintenance of many mutualisms. However, mechanisms underlying the evolution of partner communication are poorly understood for many mutualisms. Here we show, in an ant-lycaenid butterfly mutualism, that attendant ants selectively learn to recognize and interact cooperatively with a partner. Workers of the ant Pristomyrmex punctatus learn to associate cuticular hydrocarbons of mutualistic Narathura japonica caterpillars with food rewards and, as a result, are more likely to tend the caterpillars. However, the workers do not learn to associate the cuticular hydrocarbons of caterpillars of a non-ant-associated lycaenid, Lycaena phlaeas, with artificial food rewards. Chemical analysis revealed cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of the mutualistic caterpillars were complex compared with those of non-ant-associated caterpillars. Our results suggest that partner-recognition based on partner-specific chemical signals and cognitive abilities of workers are important mechanisms underlying the evolution and maintenance of mutualism with ants.

  14. Ants Use Partner Specific Odors to Learn to Recognize a Mutualistic Partner

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hojo, Masaru K.; Yamamoto, Ari; Akino, Toshiharu; Tsuji, Kazuki; Yamaoka, Ryohei

    2014-01-01

    Regulation via interspecific communication is an important for the maintenance of many mutualisms. However, mechanisms underlying the evolution of partner communication are poorly understood for many mutualisms. Here we show, in an ant-lycaenid butterfly mutualism, that attendant ants selectively learn to recognize and interact cooperatively with a partner. Workers of the ant Pristomyrmex punctatus learn to associate cuticular hydrocarbons of mutualistic Narathura japonica caterpillars with food rewards and, as a result, are more likely to tend the caterpillars. However, the workers do not learn to associate the cuticular hydrocarbons of caterpillars of a non-ant-associated lycaenid, Lycaena phlaeas, with artificial food rewards. Chemical analysis revealed cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of the mutualistic caterpillars were complex compared with those of non-ant-associated caterpillars. Our results suggest that partner-recognition based on partner-specific chemical signals and cognitive abilities of workers are important mechanisms underlying the evolution and maintenance of mutualism with ants. PMID:24489690

  15. Laccase detoxification mediates the nutritional alliance between leaf-cutting ants and fungus-garden symbionts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik; Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina

    2013-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants combine large-scale herbivory with fungus farming to sustain advanced societies. Their stratified colonies are major evolutionary achievements and serious agricultural pests, but the crucial adaptations that allowed this mutualism to become the prime herbivorous component...... of neotropical ecosystems has remained elusive. Here we show how coevolutionary adaptation of a specific enzyme in the fungal symbiont has helped leaf-cutting ants overcome plant defensive phenolic compounds. We identify nine putative laccase-coding genes in the fungal genome of Leucocoprinus gongylophorus...... cultivated by the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. One of these laccases (LgLcc1) is highly expressed in the specialized hyphal tips (gongylidia) that the ants preferentially eat, and we confirm that these ingested laccase molecules pass through the ant guts and remain active when defecated...

  16. A molecular phylogeny of Dorylus army ants provides evidence for multiple evolutionary transitions in foraging niche

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Schöning, Caspar; Vilhelmsen, Lars

    2007-01-01

    in the leaf-litter and some as conspicuous swarm raiders on the forest floor and in the lower vegetation (the infamous driver ants). Here we use a combination of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences to reconstruct the phylogeny of the Dorylus s.l. army ants and to infer the evolutionary transitions...... in foraging niche and associated morphological adaptations. RESULTS: Underground foraging is basal and gave rise to leaf-litter foraging. Leaf-litter foraging in turn gave rise to two derived conditions: true surface foraging (the driver ants) and a reversal to subterranean foraging (a clade with most......BACKGROUND: Army ants are the prime arthropod predators in tropical forests, with huge colonies and an evolutionary derived nomadic life style. Five of the six recognized subgenera of Old World Dorylus army ants forage in the soil, whereas some species of the sixth subgenus (Anomma) forage...

  17. Does cooperation mean kinship between spatially discrete ant nests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Procter, Duncan S; Cottrell, Joan E; Watts, Kevin; A'Hara, Stuart W; Hofreiter, Michael; Robinson, Elva J H

    2016-12-01

    Eusociality is one of the most complex forms of social organization, characterized by cooperative and reproductive units termed colonies. Altruistic behavior of workers within colonies is explained by inclusive fitness, with indirect fitness benefits accrued by helping kin. Members of a social insect colony are expected to be more closely related to one another than they are to other conspecifics. In many social insects, the colony can extend to multiple socially connected but spatially separate nests (polydomy). Social connections, such as trails between nests, promote cooperation and resource exchange, and we predict that workers from socially connected nests will have higher internest relatedness than those from socially unconnected, and noncooperating, nests. We measure social connections, resource exchange, and internest genetic relatedness in the polydomous wood ant Formica lugubris to test whether (1) socially connected but spatially separate nests cooperate, and (2) high internest relatedness is the underlying driver of this cooperation. Our results show that socially connected nests exhibit movement of workers and resources, which suggests they do cooperate, whereas unconnected nests do not. However, we find no difference in internest genetic relatedness between socially connected and unconnected nest pairs, both show high kinship. Our results suggest that neighboring pairs of connected nests show a social and cooperative distinction, but no genetic distinction. We hypothesize that the loss of a social connection may initiate ecological divergence within colonies. Genetic divergence between neighboring nests may build up only later, as a consequence rather than a cause of colony separation.

  18. Pattern recognition

    CERN Document Server

    Theodoridis, Sergios

    2003-01-01

    Pattern recognition is a scientific discipline that is becoming increasingly important in the age of automation and information handling and retrieval. Patter Recognition, 2e covers the entire spectrum of pattern recognition applications, from image analysis to speech recognition and communications. This book presents cutting-edge material on neural networks, - a set of linked microprocessors that can form associations and uses pattern recognition to ""learn"" -and enhances student motivation by approaching pattern recognition from the designer's point of view. A direct result of more than 10

  19. Symmetry breaking on density in escaping ants: experiment and alarm pheromone model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geng Li

    Full Text Available The symmetry breaking observed in nature is fascinating. This symmetry breaking is observed in both human crowds and ant colonies. In such cases, when escaping from a closed space with two symmetrically located exits, one exit is used more often than the other. Group size and density have been reported as having no significant impact on symmetry breaking, and the alignment rule has been used to model symmetry breaking. Density usually plays important roles in collective behavior. However, density is not well-studied in symmetry breaking, which forms the major basis of this paper. The experiment described in this paper on an ant colony displays an increase then decrease of symmetry breaking versus ant density. This result suggests that a Vicsek-like model with an alignment rule may not be the correct model for escaping ants. Based on biological facts that ants use pheromones to communicate, rather than seeing how other individuals move, we propose a simple yet effective alarm pheromone model. The model results agree well with the experimental outcomes. As a measure, this paper redefines symmetry breaking as the collective asymmetry by deducing the random fluctuations. This research indicates that ants deposit and respond to the alarm pheromone, and the accumulation of this biased information sharing leads to symmetry breaking, which suggests true fundamental rules of collective escape behavior in ants.

  20. Urban Infestation Patterns of Argentine Ants, Linepithema humile, in Los Angeles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smadar Gilboa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Infestations of buildings by Argentine ants, Linepithema humile (Mayr, were monitored on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. Foraging ant activity peaked during the hotter months of the year. The mean monthly maximum temperature, but not rainfall, positively correlated with indoor infestation frequency. Neither garden size nor the predominant groundcover vegetation correlated with the number of foraging ants at baits within gardens. Although the number of foraging ants outside a building varied over 40-fold, ant density in gardens did not predict the likelihood of infestation within the building. Also, the type of vegetative groundcover employed did not predict infestation frequency. There was, however, a significant negative relationship between the size of the garden outside of a building and the number of infestations. Given the large foraging area of L. humile workers, buildings next to small gardens may be infested simply because they lie within the “normal” foraging area of a colony. The best predictor of which rooms were infested within buildings was the presence of a water source. Thus providing water for ant colonies outside and away from buildings may be one method of integrated pest management to reduce the proclivity of ants to infest structures.