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Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
One of the most popular existing models for task allocation in ant colonies is the so-called threshold-based task allocation model. Here, each ant has a fixed, and possibly distinct, threshold. Each task has a fixed demand which represents the number of ants required to perform the task.1Thestimulusanant receives for a task is defined as the demand of the task minus the number of ants currently working at the task. An ant joins a task if the stimulus of the task exceeds the ant’s threshold.A large body of results has studied this model for over four decades; however, most of the theoretical works focuses on the study of two tasks. Interestingly, no work in this line of research shows that the number of ants working at a task eventually converges towards the demand nor does any work bound the distance to the demands over time.In this work, we study precisely this convergence. Our results show that while the threshold-based model works fine in the case of two tasks (for certain distributions of thresholds); the threshold model no longer works for the case of more than two tasks. In fact, we show that there is no possible setting of thresholds that yieldsmore »