Date of this Version
Mathematical and Computer Modelling 33 (2001), pp. 597–607.
Simple behavioral rules, or “rules of thumb,” which lead to behavior that closely approximates an optimal strategy, have generated a lot of recent interest in the field of foraging behavior. In this paper, we derive rules of thumb from a stochastic simulation model in which the foragers behave optimally. We use a particular biological system: the patch leaving behavior of a parasitoid. We simulate parasitoids whose patch leaving behavior is determined by a stochastic dynamic programming (SDP) model, while allowing parasitoids to make mistakes in their estimation of host density when arriving in a patch We use Cox’s proportional hazards models to obtain statistical rules of thumb from the simulated behavior. This represents the first use of a proportional hazard approximation to generate rules of thumb from a complex optimal strategy.