Complex Adapative Systems

Swarm Leadership

atari-400National Geographic has a brief article about some interesting research at the University of Sussex.  The authors of this paper (irritatingly, behind a paywall and my University doesn’t have a subscription) suggest that swarm behavior may be disproportionately influenced by its most weakest, hungriest, or otherwise most desperate individuals.

This does suggest some interesting approaches for controlling (or subverting!) self-organizing systems.  I’m reminded of a paper I read recently by Franco Zambonelli, “Self-Management and the Many Facets of “Non-Self“, which suggests controlling swarm-inspired computing systems by introducing a (relatively smaller) number of manager agents that, by their actions, guide the overall collective behavior.

Photo Credit: CC-licensed image of a grackle swarm by Adam Baker