Flux-Density Traffic Diagrams of Foraging Ants Suggest Absence of Jamming even Under External Perturbations
A traffic flux-density diagram consists in a graph were the flux of moving particles (like cars or pedestrians) is plotted as a function of the particle density. In conventional traffic, the presence of a decreasing branch in such diagram means jamming (i.e., particles are crowded so they cannot move anymore or move very slowly). We have measured and constructed a flux-density diagram for trails of foraging ants of the species Atta insularis. Our diagrams do not show a decreasing branch, indicating that ants do not reach the jammed state during foraging. Moreover, the jamming-free scenario persists even when the foraging trail is perturbed by abducting ants.
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