Is this “When doing something” sentence correct?

I was wondering if this sentence is okay:

The algorithm is inspired by the indirect local communication among the
individuals of a population of ants when (they are) searching for food

If I omit ‘they are’, does it remains correct? Can I replace ‘when’ with ‘while’ or ‘whereas’?


Yes, it’s correct after you remove “they are”. It’s understood from context that it’s the ants doing the searching.

“while” is just as correct and maybe very slightly more clear.

“whereas” doesn’t work here. It is used for contrast between things. For example

eagles are birds, whereas dogs are mammals”

Source : Link , Question Author : Víctor Martínez , Answer Author : Joe Pinsonault

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