Phase transitions in stigmergic territorial systems

Alexandro Heiblum Robles, Luca Giuggioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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A mechanism to generate spatially segregated territories in two dimensions consists of individuals depositing their own marks and avoiding foreign ones. This form of environment-mediated interaction, called stigmergy, makes the emerging spatiotemporal territory dynamics quite rich. Short-lived marks produce rapidly morphing and highly mobile territories. Long-lived marks yield slow territories with a narrowly defined shape distribution. The change in territory mobility depending on the time for which individual marks remain active is accompanied by a liquid-hexatic-solid transition akin to the Kosterlitz-Thouless melting scenario.
Original languageEnglish
Article number042115
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
Early online date8 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Animal territoriality
  • phase transitions
  • ecology
  • territorial random walk

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