Department of Computer Science | Institute of Theoretical Computer Science | CADMO

Theory of Combinatorial Algorithms

Prof. Emo Welzl and Prof. Bernd Gärtner

Mittagsseminar (in cooperation with M. Ghaffari, A. Steger and B. Sudakov)

Mittagsseminar Talk Information

Date and Time: Tuesday, December 06, 2016, 12:15 pm

Duration: 45 minutes

Location: CAB G51

Speaker: Fabio Banfi

Ant-Inspired Density Estimation via Random Walks

We will present the paper "Ant-Inspired Density Estimation via Random Walks" by Musco, Su, and Lynch (2016). We know that ants can estimate the density of their population to perform several important tasks. The central question of this work is: how can they achieve this accurately by only sampling the density of their local environment over time? We present a simplified model of ants performing a round-based random walk on a torus which allows studying the problem from a theoretical perspective. In each round, every ant updates a counter which keeps track of the total number of collisions with other ants so far. It is easy to show that this counting leads to an unbiased estimate of the density if the ants are uniformly distributed at the start of the process. The main result of the paper is that the estimate is concentrated around its expectation. In this talk, we will expose some of the novel techniques introduced by the authors to prove the main result.

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