Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-v

Contents

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p. vii

List of Illustrations

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p. ix

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Preface

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p. xi

The ideas in this book grew in conversations and collaborations with many people, and I would especially like to thank (listed in the sequence in which I met them): John Gregg, Richard Lewontin, Simon Levin, Fred Adler, the late Lincoln...

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1. The Ant Colony as a Complex System

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pp. 1-13

Ants are more than a hundred million years older than humans, and they cover the land surface of the planet. Probably people have always watched ants, and probably they have always asked the same question: How can ants get anything done...

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2. Colony Organization

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pp. 14-44

We don’t know much about ant behavior for three reasons: there are so many different kinds of ants, it’s hard to figure out what an ant is doing, and not many people have looked. Ants are an enormously diverse group. About 11,000 species...

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3. Interaction Networks

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pp. 45-74

The rest of this book explores the idea that an ant responds to its pattern of interactions, and so the behavior of ant colonies is the result of networks of interactions. Because of the many applications of distributed processes in engineering, and the...

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4. Colony Size

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pp. 75-95

The behavior of a network depends on its size. The size of an ant colony determines how often ants meet and how many different individuals each ant encounters. Ant species differ greatly in the size at which the colony is mature and ready to...

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5. Relations with Neighbors

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pp. 96-120

Scaling up, we can consider the relations among colonies as a network of interactions. Colonies interact directly when ants of each colony meet, and they interact indirectly when one colony uses a resource that the other also might use. The...

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6. Ant Evolution

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pp. 121-140

The evolution of the ants is the story of how colony social organization has developed, expanded, and diversified in response to plants. The earliest ant fossils, from more than 130 million years ago,1 resemble their wasp ancestors in many...

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7. Modeling Ant Behavior

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pp. 141-146

Suppose that we want to build a general model of ant behavior as a way of summarizing what we know about how ant colonies are organized. Of course, there is no such thing as generic ant behavior. Different species of ants do the same...

Notes

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pp. 147-163

Index

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pp. 165-167