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Project Description

The Ant Foraging Simulation program is based on the studies conducted on three species of ants native to North America, using three bait seeds of different colors. The seeds are placed at different directions within a specific radius from the nest of these species. The ants are observed as they collect the experimental seeds and other naturally occurring seeds in their environment.

The three species of ants observed are Pogonomyrmex desertorum, Pogonomyrmex maricopa and Pogonomyrmex rugosus. The number of seeds collected and the time it takes for them to collect a certain seed is recorded and used to calculate the Pile Seed Ratio (PSR) for each seed. The PSR is calculated by dividing the number of seeds collected with the time taken to collect the seeds. From the PSR we are able to calculate the Recruitment Ratio (RR) which is an indicator of which pile the ants focused on the most to collect seeds from.

An Agent Based Model called the Ant Foraging Simulator (AFS), was designed by Mr Kenneth Letendre ,one of Dr Moses's studentsto simulate the foraging habits of these ants mentioned above. Last summer i worked

on designing a program that would analyze the data generated by AFS, i called this program the Ant Foraging Simulator Analyzer(AFSA).Using the AFSA, i was able to calculate the PSR and RR from the data generated by the AFS. I also worked with Mr Letendre on modifying the AFS to run as many times as needed.

This summer I will:

  1. Design a new AFSA optimized to process multiple AFS runs by breaking them into seperate files before analysis, with a GUI interface.Previously the seperation was done manually.

  2. Carry out analysis on data generated by a new AFS model which takes site fidelity into consideration. Site Fidelity refers to the ability of the ants to return to a food site based on previous memory, as opposed to using pheromone trails. The previous model only took into account the use of pheromone trails.

  3. Create a GUI desktop and web version of the AFSA.