A stochastic model of social interaction in wild house mice

Authors: Nicolas Perony, Barbara Koenig and Frank Schweitzer

Proceedings of the European Conference on Complex Systems 2010 (2010)

Abstract

We investigate to what extent the interaction dynamics of a population of wild house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) in their environment can be explained by a simple stochastic model. We use a Markov chain model to describe the transitions of mice in a discrete space of nestboxes, and implement a multi-agent simulation of the model. We find that some important features of our behavioural dataset can be reproduced using this simplified stochastic representation, and discuss the improvements that could be made to our model in order to increase the accuracy of its predictions. Our findings have implications for the understanding of the complexity underlying social behaviour in the animal kingdom and the cognitive requirements of such behaviour.