AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fifth International FLAIRS Conference

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Ant Hunt: Towards a Validated Model of Live Ant Hunting Behavior
Yu-Ting Yang, Andrew Quitmeyer, Brian Hrolenok, Harry Shang, Dinh Bao Nguyen, Tucker Balch, Terrance Medina, Cole Sherer, Maria Hybinette

Last modified: 2012-05-16

Abstract


Biologists seek concise, testable models of behavior for the animals they study. We suggest a robot programming paradigm in which animal behaviors are described as robot controllers to support a cycle of hypothesis generation and testing of animal models. In this work we illustrate that approach by modeling the hunting behavior of a captive colony of Aphaenogaster cockerelli, a desert harvester ant. In laboratory animal experiments we introduce live prey (fruit flies) into the foraging arena of the colony. We observe the behavior of the ants, and we measure aspects of their performance in capturing the prey. Based on these observations we create a model of their behavior using Clay, a Java library developed for coding hybrid controllers in a behavior-based manner. We then validate that model in quantitative comparisons with the live animal behavior.

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