Collaborative search on the plane without communication Conference Paper uri icon


  • We use distributed computing tools to provide a new perspective on the behavior of cooperative biological ensembles. We introduce the Ants Nearby Treasure Search (ANTS) problem, a generalization of the classical cow-path problem [10, 20, 41, 42], which is relevant for collective foraging in animal groups. In the ANTS problem, k identical (probabilistic) agents, initially placed at some central location, collectively search for a treasure in the two-dimensional plane. The treasure is placed at a target location by an adversary and the goal is to find it as fast as possible as a function of both k and D, where D is the distance between the central location and the target. This is biologically motivated by cooperative, central place foraging, such as performed by ants around their nest. In this type of search there is a strong preference to locate nearby food sources before those that are …

publication date

  • July 16, 2012