Search and foraging: Individual motion and swarm dynamics

Eugene Kagan, Irad Ben-Gal

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Since the start of modern computing, the studies of living organisms have inspired the progress in developing computers and intelligent machines. In particular, the methods of search and foraging are the benchmark problems for robotics and multi-agent systems. The highly developed theory of search and screening involves optimal search plans that are obtained by standard optimization techniques while the foraging theory addresses search plans that mimic the behavior of living foragers. Search and Foraging: Individual Motion and Swarm Dynamics examines how to program artificial search agents so that they demonstrate the same behavior as predicted by the foraging theory for living organisms. For cybernetics, this approach yields techniques that enable the best online search planning in varying environments. For biology, it allows reasonable insights regarding the internal activity of living organisms performing foraging tasks. The book discusses foraging theory as well as search and screening theory in the same mathematical and algorithmic framework. It presents an overview of the main ideas and methods of foraging and search theories, making the concepts of one theory accessible to specialists of the other. The book covers Brownian walks and Lévy flight models of individual foraging and corresponding diffusion models and algorithms of search and foraging in random environments both by single and multiple agents. It also describes the active Brownian motion models for swarm dynamics with corresponding Fokker–Planck equations. Numerical examples and laboratory verifications illustrate the application of both theories.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages237
ISBN (Electronic)9781482242102
ISBN (Print)9781482242096
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


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