Normalized mutual entropy in biology

Quantifying division of labor

Root Gorelick, Susan M. Bertram, Peter R. Killeen, Jennifer Fewell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Division of labor is one of the primary adaptations of sociality and the focus of much theoretical work on self-organization. This work has been hampered by the lack of a quantitative measure of division of labor that can be applied across systems. We divide Shannon's mutual entropy by marginal entropy to quantify division of labor, rendering it robust over changes in number of individuals or tasks. Reinterpreting individuals and tasks makes this methodology applicable to a wide range of other contexts, such as breeding systems and predator-prey interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-682
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume164
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2004

Fingerprint

labor division
entropy
Biological Sciences
predator-prey relationships
rendering
self organization
predator-prey interaction
reproductive strategy
breeding
methodology

Keywords

  • Division of labor
  • Entropy
  • Information theory
  • Task specialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Normalized mutual entropy in biology : Quantifying division of labor. / Gorelick, Root; Bertram, Susan M.; Killeen, Peter R.; Fewell, Jennifer.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 164, No. 5, 11.2004, p. 677-682.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gorelick, Root ; Bertram, Susan M. ; Killeen, Peter R. ; Fewell, Jennifer. / Normalized mutual entropy in biology : Quantifying division of labor. In: American Naturalist. 2004 ; Vol. 164, No. 5. pp. 677-682.
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