The Ant Foraging Simulation program is based on the studies conducted on three species of ants
native to North America, using three experimental 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.
This summer I will be:
1) Running the AFS program to calculate PSR and RR values to compare to field values
using an Ant Foraging Simulation Analysis program (AFSA).
2) Making the AFS scalable. Scalability in terms of making room to easily change
parameters that simulate conditions in the real world mirroring field observations and
also to test theories we might not be able to test in real life.
3) Making the AFSA Portable and Simple to use. Portability in terms of it being able to run
on any Operating System platform. Simple for any one not a Computer Science major to
use and apply to a Simulation other than AFS.