Graduation Year

2006

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Mathematics

Reader 1

Andrew J. Bernoff

Reader 2

Chad M. Topaz (UCLA)

Abstract

In this work, I seek to model swarms of fruit flies, drosophila melanogaster, whose flights are characterized by straight flight segments interrupted by rapid turns called saccades. These flights are reminiscent of Levy-distributed random walks which are known to lead to efficient search behavior. I build two types of model for swarms of foraging fruit flies, whose behavior depends on swarm density and chemoattractant concentration, using rules inspired by experimentally observed flight patterns. First I will present a Lagrangian model where the path of each individual fly is tracked. I will also consider an Eulerian model where the fruit fly density evolves as a function of time and position in space. I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the two models and the relationship between them.

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