Chalmers Conferences, 9th European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology

The optimal foraging game
Vlastimil Kivan

Last modified: 2014-06-09


In a multi-prey environments, the optimal foraging theory predicts a foragers diet that encounters two or more prey types
sequentially. The predictions are based on maximization of a generalized multi-prey Holling type II functional response. The
results predict that the most profitable prey type will always be included in the predators diet. The other, less profitable prey
types will either be included, or excluded from the diet. This result is known as the 0-1 rule of the optimal foraging theory.
In my talk I will discuss how these results can be obtained in context of the game theory. In particular, I will discuss how a
functional response can be derived using decision trees. Solutions of the foraging game are then sought in the form of an agent
normal form. In particular, I provide some conditions under which the solution of the optimal foraging theory coincides with
the Nash equilibrium of the foraging game. I will show examples where predators can encounter prey types simultaneously, or
the predator requires a positive recognition time to identify the type of prey encountered.

R. Cressman, V. Krivan, J. S. Brown, J. Garay: Game-theoretic methods for functional response and optimal foraging behavior,
Plos One, 2014.