X27.00014. Universal scaling laws of interaction time distribution in honeybee and human social networks

Presented by: Sang Hyun Choi


Compared to the heavy-tailed inter-event time distribution which reflects collective emergent properties, the duration of interaction events has received less attention but may reflect the variability in the interaction behavior. Here we report measurements of trophallaxis and face-to-face event durations of honeybees show that its distribution is heavy-tailed as in human face-to-face interactions. We derive the power-law form by viewing the termination of an interaction as a particle escaping over an energy barrier. The variability within the population is represented by the distribution of barrier heights determined by extreme value theory. We find a universal scaling law connecting the exponent in the interaction time distribution to that in the barrier height distribution, which is verified by both honeybee and human data. Although less prominent than in humans, individual differences in honeybee interactivity, which are usually overlooked, are confirmed. Our work shows how individual differences can lead to universal patterns of behavior that transcend species and specific mechanisms of social interactions. *This work was partially supported by National Institutes of Health Grant R01GM117467.


  • Sang Hyun Choi
  • Vikyath D Rao
  • Tim Gernat
  • Adam Hamilton
  • Gene Robinson
  • Nigel Goldenfeld


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