Humans value things depending on their expectations. Ants have a similar value judgement system. They can save a series of values in their memory, and compare their experiences to them, in order to evaluate an experience
Humans like things such as consumer goods more or less depending on whether they fulfil their expectations. The same holds true for ants. This could have implications for how colonies exploit their environment
It is natural to assume that small-brained insects are not capable of complex cognition, but this assumption may be wrong. Can insects learn concepts like 'the same' and 'different'? Can they evaluate their own memories? Do they use heuristics?
Once we have learned the rules individual ants follow, we want to know how this affects the colony as a whole. Using agent-based models, we explore how individual ant complexity results in adaptive colony-level behaviours.