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Chaos in flocks & schools of animals

  1. Jun 20, 2017 #1


    Staff: Mentor

    A documentary on chaos talked about the macro behavior of flocks of birds and schools of fish. They appear organized, but without central command. The documentary said that this is an example of complex behavior arising from simple rules plus chaos. It compared them to the Mandelbrot set arising from the simple rule ##z=z^2+c##

    My question: do we have examples of the simple rule discovered for any species?

    If yes, then we might be able to recreate that behavior with a simulation based on cellular automata and neural nets. Perhaps that too has already been done?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

  4. Jun 20, 2017 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    You want to consider emergence:

    I'm not sure that chaotic behavior is necessary.

    A definition I use because I dealt with lots of programmers: complex systems derived by iterating simple rules on a set of objects -- iterating a vast number of times.
    An example of emergence is John Conway's 'Game of Life' -- this is a great way to understand the concept, look at the graphics, first.
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