Researchers from Macquarie University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology revealed how tropical weaver ants make collective decisions in uncertainty. Published in PNAS, the study focused on Oecophylla smaragdina ants, forming chains to explore new areas without knowing the outcome. Ants modulate their time in the chain based on proximity to the ground, capping colony-level investment.
The findings have implications for animal group decision-making and could inspire collective decision-making approaches in human societies. The study's model aligns with self-organization, showcasing sophisticated group behavior arising from simple individual rules. This research may also aid in swarm robotic applications and multiagent system engineering.
Carlesso, Daniele, Justin M. McNab, Christopher J. Lustri, Simon Garnier, and Chris R. Reid. "A Simple Mechanism for Collective Decision-making in the Absence of Payoff Information." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 120, no. 29 (2023): e2216217120.