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Active Inferants: An Active Inference Framework for Ant Colony Behavior

Friedman, DA; Tschantz, A; Ramstead, MJD; Friston, K; Constant, A; (2021) Active Inferants: An Active Inference Framework for Ant Colony Behavior. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience , 15 , Article 647732. 10.3389/fnbeh.2021.647732. Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper, we introduce an active inference model of ant colony foraging behavior, and implement the model in a series of in silico experiments. Active inference is a multiscale approach to behavioral modeling that is being applied across settings in theoretical biology and ethology. The ant colony is a classic case system in the function of distributed systems in terms of stigmergic decision-making and information sharing. Here we specify and simulate a Markov decision process (MDP) model for ant colony foraging. We investigate a well-known paradigm from laboratory ant colony behavioral experiments, the alternating T-maze paradigm, to illustrate the ability of the model to recover basic colony phenomena such as trail formation after food location discovery. We conclude by outlining how the active inference ant colony foraging behavioral model can be extended and situated within a nested multiscale framework and systems approaches to biology more generally.

Type: Article
Title: Active Inferants: An Active Inference Framework for Ant Colony Behavior
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2021.647732
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2021.647732
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2021 Friedman, Tschantz, Ramstead, Friston and Constant. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: T-maze, active inference, ants, behavioral modeling, collective behavior, eco-evo-devo, foraging, stigmergy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131527
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