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A High Level Stigmergic Programming Language

  • Zachary Mason
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4222)

Abstract

Terrestrial social insects build architecturally complex nests despite their limited sensors, minimal individual intelligence and the lack of a central control system. [3] Many of the nest structures emerge as a response of the individual insects to pheremones, which the insects themselves can emit.[2] The work in [4] extrapolated from social insect building behavior to a system where the behavior of homogenous swarms of virtual agents could be designed to build simple structures. Like termites, these agents have no memory and limited sensors, and the macroscopic structure emerges from their interactions with their immediate environments. This paper presents Stigcode, a swarm programming language that permits more complex structures to be more conveniently specified. A StigCode program is a description of a target structure that is compiled into a set of reactions to pheremone concentrations for the swarm agents. Though not Turing-Universal, StigCode provides a syntax for defining re-usable, composable design elements. In keeping with the entomorphic theme, In the manner of ant and termite nests, StigCode architectures can do limited self-repair

Keywords

stigmergy swarm intelligence stigmergic programming ant algorithms self-organization 

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References

  1. 1.
    Boneabeau, Theraulaz, Deneubourg, Franks, Rafelsberger, Joly, Blaco: A model for the emergence of pillars, walls and royal chambers in termite nests Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London (1997)Google Scholar
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    Bruinsma, O.H.: An analysis of building behaviour of the termite Macrotermes subhyalinus Ph.D. Dissertation, Landbouwhogeschool (1979)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Grasse, P.: Termitologia, Tome II - Fondation des societies construction. Masson, Paris (1984)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mason, Z.: Programming Stigmergy - Using Swarms for Construction Artificial Life VIII (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Werfel, J., Bar-Yam, Y., Nagpal, R.: Building Patterned Structures with Robot Swarms. In: Proc. IJCAI (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zachary Mason
    • 1
  1. 1.Efficient Frontier Inc.Mountain View

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