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Online games: a novel approach to explore how partial information influences human random searches.


ABSTRACT: Many natural processes rely on optimizing the success ratio of a search process. We use an experimental setup consisting of a simple online game in which players have to find a target hidden on a board, to investigate how the rounds are influenced by the detection of cues. We focus on the search duration and the statistics of the trajectories traced on the board. The experimental data are explained by a family of random-walk-based models and probabilistic analytical approximations. If no initial information is given to the players, the search is optimized for cues that cover an intermediate spatial scale. In addition, initial information about the extension of the cues results, in general, in faster searches. Finally, strategies used by informed players turn into non-stationary processes in which the length of e ach displacement evolves to show a well-defined characteristic scale that is not found in non-informed searches.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5216393 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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