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Session S18 - Recent progress in non-linear PDEs and their applications

Monday, July 12, 19:00 ~ 19:50 UTC-3

Efficiency functionals for the Lévy flight foraging hypothesis

Enrico Valdinoci

University of Western Australia, Australia   -   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We consider a forager diffusing via a fractional heat equation and we introduce several efficiency functionals whose optimality is discussed in relation to the Lévy exponent of the evolution equation. Several biological scenarios, such as a target close to the forager, a sparse environment, a target located away from the forager and two targets are specifically taken into account. The optimal strategies of each of these configurations are here analyzed explicitly also with the aid of some special functions of classical flavor and the results are confronted with the existing paradigms of the Lévy foraging hypothesis. Interestingly, one discovers bifurcation phenomena in which a sudden switch occurs between an optimal (but somehow unreliable) Lévy foraging pattern of inverse square law type and a less ideal (but somehow more secure) classical Brownian motion strategy. Additionally, optimal foraging strategies can be detected in the vicinity of the Brownian one even in cases in which the Brownian one is pessimizing an efficiency functional.

Joint work with Serena Dipierro and Giovanni Giacomin.

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