Swarm Intelligence- Marco Anzures

The topic of swarm intelligence is very interesting because it is a great example of how the biological world can tell us more about human interactions. A seemingly chaotic environment like an ant colony or bacteria growing in a dish actually have uniform systems of organization even though they lack central communication. I believe the modern day example given in class was the behavior of people when a stoplight breaks. Intitially there is confusion but over time, without any direct communication between drivers, a system of navigating the intersection in an organized manner is imposed. The application of this information is extremely broad. I’ve found applications in transportation infrastructure (i.e traffic jams), robotic intelligence, planetary mapping, and maybe unbeknownst to many of you in the creation of large fighting scences in movies. Movies such as Tim Burton’s Batman Returns and Lord of the Rings utilize “swarm intelligence” technology, developed by computer programmers and scientists to mimc this simplistic natural phenomenon, to create large battle scenes or scenes involving large numbers of individuals.
I brought this topic up because I thought it best exemplified how the natural world continues to provide us with ideas that have contributed to technological advancements. It appears to me that by just examining nature we have been able discover things previously unknown us. This topic has also evoked much philosophical and social debate because it has been shown that collective decisions are many times based on individual decision making. From this, huge groups of organisms and biological systems are run and organized, including humans. This simple, subconscious behavior is powerful when considering how feasible individual decision making is in provoking widespread change in our society today.
This article offers a little better view of what swarm intelligence can offer us moving into the future: http://www.bluetronix.net/press_beacon.htm


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