Tuesday, August 09, 2011

History Makes a Difference: Bees and Levy Flight

Once, long ago, I was good at math.  No longer.  But I still have a soft spot for math-like writing.  Here's a Technology Review post on the math describing how bees search for nectar sources.  It's something called "Levy Flight", described as:
The most effective way to comb an area is to search it at random using jumps that vary in length according to a power law.
But new research has shown while that works for cases where you just have nectar sources spread out in space, if you introduce a third variable, a predator, the pattern is changed as the bees adjust their flight patterns to avoid the predator.  In short: history makes a difference.

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