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Stigmergy is a mechanism of indirect coordination between agents or actions.[1] The principle is that the trace left in the environment by an action stimulates the performance of a next action, by the same or a different agent. In that way, subsequent actions tend to reinforce and build on each other, leading to the spontaneous emergence of coherent, apparently systematic activity. Stigmergy is a form of self-organization. It produces complex, seemingly intelligent structures, without need for any planning, control, or even direct communication between the agents. As such it supports efficient collaboration between extremely simple agents, who lack any memory, intelligence or even individual awareness of each other.[1] History[edit] The term "stigmergy" was introduced by French biologist Pierre-Paul Grassé in 1959 to refer to termite behavior. Stigmergy is now one of the key[4] concepts in the field of swarm intelligence. Stigmergic behavior in lower organisms[edit] Applications[edit]


Stigmergic Simulations Here are some terrific stigmergic simulations by architectural student Yang Chenghan that I chanced across: The first is a 3D simulation deploying 45-70 agents (source code) The second a 2D simulation deploying 20-30 agents (source code) Here are some great synthetic stigmergic stills Yang has created. Collective Intelligence in Social Insects It wasn't so long ago that the waggledance of the honey bee, the nest-building of the social wasp, and the construction of the termite mound were considered a somewhat magical aspect of nature. How could these seemingly uncommunicative, certainly very simple creatures be responsible for such epic feats of organisation and creativity? Over the last fifty years biologists have unravelled many of the mysteries surrounding social insects, and the last decade has seen an explosion of research in fields variously referred to as Collective Intelligence, Swarm Intelligence and emergent behaviour. Even more recently the swarm paradigm has been applied to a broader range of studies, opening up new ways of thinking about theoretical biology, economics and philosophy. It turns out that not only might we, as multi-cellular organisms, be composed of swarms, but so could our societies, economies and perhaps even our minds. In the Beginning

A Community for Scientific Information Solving the division of labour problem using and evolved heterogeneity (abstract) (2008) James, E. Noble, J. The use of Swarm Intelligence to generate architectural form Swarm modelling. The use of Swarm Intelligence to generate architectural form. Pablo Miranda Carranza Dipl ArchMSc CECA University of EastLondon Holbrook rd Stratford London E15 3EA Pierre-Paul Grassé Pierre-Paul Grassé Pierre-Paul Grassé (November 27, 1895, Périgueux (Dordogne) – July 9, 1985) was a French zoologist, author of over 300 publications including the influential 52-volume Traité de Zoologie. He was an expert on termites. Biography[edit] Education[edit] M/C Journal: "Stigmergic Collaboration: The Evolution of Group Work" Introduction 1The steady rise of and the Open Source software movement has been one of the big surprises of the 21st century, threatening stalwarts such as Microsoft and Britannica, while simultaneously offering insights into the emergence of large-scale peer production and the growth of gift economies. 2Many questions arise when confronted with the streamlined efficacy and apparent lack of organisation and motivation of these new global enterprises, not least “how does this work?” Stigmergic collaboration provides a hypothesis as to how the collaborative process could jump from being untenable with numbers above 25 people, towards becoming a new driver in global society with numbers well over 25,000. Stigmergic Collaboration

stickmergy philadelphia PENNSYLVANIA suckerPUNCH: describe your project. so SUGITA / dwight ENGEL / dale SUTTLE: Stickmergy is built by two competing but dependent agent-based systems. The first uses the interaction of its agents, or people, to define spaces in the building. People of different intentions are attracted to each other and together define programmatic spaces at a point in time. Emergence in stigmergic and complex adaptive systems: A formal discrete event systems perspective Volume 21, March 2013, Pages 22–39 Stigmergy in the Human Domain Edited By Margery J. Doyle and Leslie Marsh The home of stigmergic systems This site was set up in 2001 to provide a record of the thinking behind the development of stigmergic systems. In 2004, work on new projects was halted in order to re-assess the theory in light of the new thinking coming out of neurological research. Brain imaging techniques were revealing that the functioning of the human brain is totally different from the way it had been envisaged in the twentieth century. The old ideas, based upon systems theory and computer technology, were rapidly being replaced by a far superior theoretical model based upon new concepts of dynamic, complex systems. The implications for information technology are far reaching and it was decided that the next step forward should be to encompass all further work within these new theoretical frameworks. To this end, work has now started on practical examples to be developed in the stigmergic environment known as Second Life.

swarm urbanism Some inspiration from kokkugia… From the project Swarm Urbanism… “Agency operates through two main processes within this proposal: firstly by using design agents to self-organise urban matter and secondly encoding intelligence into urban elements and topologies.” “Agents within this system are not generic, instead there is an ecology of agent systems which interact, each set of agents programmed with their own desires and information.” There are two key points here that they use to relate a swarm model to urban phenomena. First, the interaction between agents and their landscape. A search engine for social networks based on the behavior of ants Research at Carlos III University in Madrid is developing an algorithm, based on ants' behavior when they are searching for food, which accelerates the search for relationships among elements that are present in social networks. One of the main technical questions in the field of social networks, whose use is becoming more and more generalized, consists in locating the chain of reference that leads from one person to another, from one node to another. The greatest challenges that are presented in this area is the enormous size of these networks and the fact that the response must be rapid, given that the final user expects results in the shortest time possible. In order to find a solution to this problem, these researchers from UC3M have developed an algorithm SoSACO, which accelerates the search for routes between two nodes that belong to a graph that represents a social network. Multiple applications

Novel stigmergy structures in the Internet The vast messaging structure called the Internet harbors many self-organizing multicellular digital structures. More evolve every year. And multitudes of "single cell" devices, PCs, laptops, iPod/Pad/Phones, Android smart phones, and various sensor and effector devices communicate with the many digital stigmergy structures discussed below. Trees cocooned by spiders could reduce malaria risk Seil Collins, reporter (Image: Russell Watkins/DFID) Covered in spiders' webs, these cocooned trees in Sindh, Pakistan, are an unexpected result of floods that hit the region in 2010. To escape from the rising waters, millions of spiders crawled up into trees.

A mind-boggling sculpture that crawls with a mind of Its own Someday, not too long from now, you could be walking through a park and pass by a metal structure that looks a lot like a modernist jungle gym. But it's not a playground, at least, not really. Rather, this geometric form is a moving piece of architecture that responds to both you and its surroundings like a stray animal might. This strange reality, a time when the structures around us act less like traditional buildings and more like living, thinking organisms, isn't too far away. In fact, if all goes according to William Bondin's plan, this could be the case as soon as 2015.