Absence of jamming in ant trails: Feedback control of self-propulsion and noise

Chaudhuri, Debasish and Nagar, A (2015) Absence of jamming in ant trails: Feedback control of self-propulsion and noise. Physical Review E, 91 (1). pp. 1-5. ISSN 1539-3755

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We present a model of ant traffic considering individual ants as self-propelled particles undergoing single-file motion on a one-dimensional trail. Recent experiments on unidirectional ant traffic in well-formed natural trails showed that the collective velocity of ants remains approximately unchanged, leading to the absence of jamming even at very high densities [John et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 108001 (2009)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.102.108001]. Assuming a feedback control mechanism of self-propulsion force generated by each ant using information about the distance from the ant in front, our model captures all the main features observed in the experiment. The distance headway distribution shows a maximum corresponding to separations within clusters. The position of this maximum remains independent of average number density. We find a non-equilibrium first-order transition, with the formation of an infinite cluster at a threshold density where all the ants in the system suddenly become part of a single cluster.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Chaudhuri, DebasishUNSPECIFIED
Item Type: Article
Additional Information: We thank Debashish Chowdhury of IIT-Kanpur for valuable comments, and a critical reading of the manuscript. D.C. thanks MPI-PKS Dresden for hospitality, where a substantial part of this work was done.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Feedback control; Jamming Average numbers; Control mechanism; First order transitions; Headway distribution; Infinite clusters; Non equilibrium; Self-propelled particles; Threshold density
Subjects: Physics
Divisions: Department of Physics
Depositing User: Team Library
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2015 09:09
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2017 10:56
URI: http://raiith.iith.ac.in/id/eprint/1341
Publisher URL: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.91.012706
OA policy: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/1539-3755/
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