Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Swarm

The behavior of flocks of birds and schools of fish fascinates me so much that, for recreation, I used to write little applications in attempts to simulate the behavior. I came up with various rules determining how fast each particle could turn, how much it could accelerate, what imaginary point it tried to follow, etc.

Thanks to The Loom, I've realized that one the experts on this sort of thing is Iain D. Couzin at Princeton's Collective Animal Behavior Laboratory. He has a cool and interesting web page here. Also, check out Carl Zimmer's NYT article on Couzin: From Ants to People, an Instinct to Swarm.


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