Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Swarm intelligence

A new theory, which I found extremely interesting, is referring to Swarm intelligence (SI) defined as the collective behaviour of decentralized, self-organized systems, natural or artificial. The concept is employed in work on artificial intelligence. The expression was introduced by Gerardo Beni and Jing Wang in 1989, in the context of cellular robotic systems. SI systems are typically made up of a population of simple agents interacting locally with one another and with their environment. The inspiration often comes from nature, especially biological systems. The agents follow very simple rules, and although there is no centralized control structure dictating how individual agents should behave, local, and to a certain degree random, interactions between such agents lead to the emergence of "intelligent" global behaviour, unknown to the individual agents.
Is this phenomenon new? The “swarms of men” have always existed. But in the past, people could recognize a swarm only after the swarm has shown itself, today people group because they recognize the strength of being a group. The “swarm of men” phenomenon is booming nowadays. The “the horizontal web, the peer-to-peer” success is one example where digital contents are shared among individuals. The information available for all without limits and costs. Not by chance, totalitarian government such in the Nazism period were controlling the information and made large use of the Radio. Today China and Iran are trying to control internet to limit natural groups creation.
All the changes in the human groups have always being influenced by the relationship with the authority. Men in the last centuries needed a “dominus”, a leader. Before the French revolution the authority was given, nowadays, it is not only a matter of democracy but of understanding who select the “dominus” and how. One of the most democratic institution of the past were the English Trade Unions in the 800’. The leader was elected based on the strengths of their believes and the abilities to communicate them. In the digital era, the leader definition is much more complex and may also not exist as a unique and clear entity.


  1. Hi. I just started a swarm-intelligence-Blog. I try to build up an internet-community-research-center (ICRC ;). Till now in german. Take a look

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