Communication in social insects: sophisticated problem solving by small brains

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State: Public
Version: author
Serval ID
serval:BIB_0FD992A38BFD
Type
A part of a book
Publication sub-type
Chapter: chapter ou part
Collection
Publications
Title
Communication in social insects: sophisticated problem solving by small brains
Title of the book
Animal thinking: contemporary issues in comparative cognition
Author(s)
Grüter C.
Publisher
MIT Press
Address of publication
Cambridge, MA
ISBN
978-0-262-01663-6
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2011
Editor
Menzel R., Fischer J.
Series
Strüngmann Forum reports
Chapter
11
Pages
163-173
Language
english
Notes
Eighth Ernst Strüngmann Forum held Sep. 26-Oct. 1, 2010, Frankfurt am Main
Abstract
Collective intelligence allows groups of individuals to solve problems which otherwise could not be solved by a single individual. Insect workers have tiny brains, but by functioning as part of a self-organized colony, they find sophisticated solutions to vital organizational problems (e.g., finding a suitable new home or exploiting the best food sources in a changing environment). In consensus decision making, unanimity among workers is crucial. In contrast, combined decision making requires that different groups of workers within the colony chose different options. Communication and learning are often fundamental in collective decision making. However, as workers gain experience, communication may lose importance as an information source for workers. How social insects collectively solve problems parallels decision making in other biological sys- tems (e.g., neuronal networks), and investigation into social insect collective decision making has inspired new solutions to optimization problems in areas such as computer sciences and the organization of communication networks.
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21/02/2014 11:35
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20/08/2019 13:36
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