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Collective action selection in social insect colonies

James Marshall, Collective action selection in social insect colonies. Bryson et al. (eds) Modelling Natural Action Selection: Proceedings of an International Workshop. ISBN 1-902956-40-9, pp. 143–145. July 2005. No electronic version available.


Action selection is a problem that is faced not only by individual organisms, but also by collectives of organisms. Colonies of social insects are highly integrated units that frequently perform optimal collective action selection in a decentralised manner. Social insect colonies provide very accessible model systems for studying the mechanisms underlying such action selection processes. This paper discusses models of two action selection mechanisms in insect colonies, and speculates as to the potential for comparing action selection in such colonies to action selection in individuals.

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