Lévy flights search patterns of biological organisms

G. M. Viswanathan, V. Afanasyev, Sergey V. Buldyrev, Shlomo Havlin, M. G.E. Da Luz, E. P. Raposo, H. Eugene Stanley

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


We discuss recent findings suggesting that an inverse square probability density distribution P(ℓ)∼ℓ-2 of step lengths ℓ leads to an optimal random search strategy for organisms that can search efficiently for randomly located objects that can only be detected in the limited vicinity of the searcher and can be revisited any number of times. We explore the extent to which these findings may be dependent on the dimensionality of the search space and the presence of short-range correlations in the step lengths and directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-88
Number of pages4
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2001
EventProceedings of the IUPAP International Conference on New Trends in the Fractal Aspects of Complex Systems - Maceio, Brazil
Duration: 16 Oct 200020 Oct 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank CNPq, FAPEAL, NSF, and NIH for financial support.


  • Biological foraging
  • Lévy flights


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