Many physical and biological systems display phase transitions, where a slight change in a parameter greatly changes the behavior of the system; and bistability, where for a certain range of this parameter either of two phases can be obtained, depending on initial conditions. We suggest the presence of these phenomena in a model of foraging honeybees. The eventual number of foragers depends in a complex way on the bee concentration and on the scouting rate. The results hold relevance for other multi-agent systems with potential jumps in system behavior or efficiency, depending on agent concentration.
This content is only available as a PDF.
© 2008 Massachusetts Institute of Technology