How do we quantify division of labor? We review several fields (sociology, landscape ecology, statistics, information theory, and biogeography) that have been cognizant of these questions and been somewhat successful at answering them. We review fourteen indices for quantifying division of labor, sensu lato, which can be categorized into four families: Shannon's index/entropy, Simpson's index, geometric mean, and standard/absolute deviation (including coefficients of variation). We argue that those indices using matrix inputs will simultaneously quantify the interplay between all individuals and all tasks and will thus best capture the essence of division of labor.

, , ,
Insectes Sociaux
Department of Biology

Gorelick, R, & Bertram, S.M. (2007). Quantifying division of labor: Borrowing tools from sociology, sociobiology, information theory, landscape ecology, and biogeography. Insectes Sociaux (Vol. 54, pp. 105–112). doi:10.1007/s00040-007-0923-z