Exploration - Exploitation trade-off features a saltatory search behaviour

Dimitri Volchenkov, Jonathan Helbach, Marko Tscherepanow, Sina Kuḧnel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Searching experiments conducted in different virtual environments over a gender-balanced group of people revealed a gender irrelevant scale-free spread of searching activity on large spatio-temporal scales. We have suggested and solved analytically a simple statistical model of the coherent-noise type describing the exploration-exploitation trade-off in humans ('should I stay' or 'should I go'). The model exhibits a variety of saltatory behaviours, ranging from Lévy flights occurring under uncertainty to Brownian walks performed by a treasure hunter confident of the eventual success.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Issue number85
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013


  • Exploration-exploitation trade-off
  • Lévy foraging hypothesis
  • Virtual environments


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