Search and Foraging: Individual Motion and Swarm Dynamics, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Search and Foraging

Individual Motion and Swarm Dynamics, 1st Edition

By Eugene Kagan, Irad Ben-Gal

Chapman and Hall/CRC

268 pages | 230 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-06-23
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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.


"The book is valuable reading both for teaching inspiration as well as for research insights into optimization, modeling, mathematical biology, and robot programming."

Zentralblatt MATH 1327

Table of Contents


Group Testing

Search and Screening

Games of Search


Goal and Structure of This Book

Methods of Optimal Search and Screening

Location Probabilities and Search Density

Search for a Static Target

Search for a Moving Target

Methods of Optimal Foraging

Preying and Foraging by Patches

Spatial Dynamics of Populations

Methods of Optimal Foraging

Inferences and Restrictions

Models of Individual Search and Foraging

Movements of the Agents and Their Trajectories

Brownian Search and Foraging

Foraging by Lévy Flights

Algorithms of Probabilistic Search and Foraging

Coalitional Search and Swarm Dynamics

Swarming and Collective Foraging

Foraging by Multiple Foragers in Random Environment

Modeling by Active Brownian Motion

Turing System for the Swarm Foraging

Remarks on Swarm Robotic Systems for Search and Foraging




A Summary appears at the end of each chapter.

About the Authors

Eugene Kagan is a senior lecturer in the Department of Industrial Engineering at Ariel University and an advisor in the Department of Mathematics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His research interests include dynamical systems theory, applied probability, and robotics.

Irad Ben-Gal is a professor and the chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering at Tel Aviv University. His research interests include applied probability, machine learning and information theory applications to industrial and service systems as well as business analytics applications.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Operations Research
MATHEMATICS / Arithmetic