Event Detail Information
CANCELLED - ICMT Seminar: "Stochastic Recruitment Leads to Symmetry-Breaking"
When an ant colony is faced with two identical equidistant food sources, the foraging ants are found to concentrate more on one source than the other. Analogous symmetry-breaking behaviours have been reported in various population systems, (such as queueing or stock market trading) suggesting the existence of a simple universal mechanism. Past studies have neglected the effect of demographic noise and required rather complicated models to qualitatively reproduce this behaviour. I will show how including the effects of demographic noise leads to a radically different conclusion. The symmetry-breaking arises solely due to the process of recruitment and ceases to occur
for large population sizes. The latter fact provides a testable prediction for a real system.