The simulation needs a Java-Plugin (1.3.x) installed for your internet browser. If you do not already have one installed, the browser will prompt you to
download the Plugin from “Sun”, who is the inventor of Java. Please download the JRE (=Java runtime environment) into a directory on your computer (e.g. “c:\temp”), execute the downloaded file for installation on
your system (double-click on the file). Afterwards you will be able to reload the simulation page. Maybe you will have to restart your browser to succeed.
Run the simulation
Please click here.
Description of the simulation
This simulation shows, how termites move randomly and pick up chips from the ground, when they accidentally run into one of these chips. After they picked up
a chip, they run around randomly. When they (again accidentally) run into another chip, they change their state to “dropping” and drop the chip on the next empty field (patch) they find.
This picture shows, how termites run around and move chips. We can interpret each single termite as
being a simple “finite state automaton”, like it is shown in the next figure:
At the long run, the virtual termites will build piles. In nature, these piles will be the base of arcs, like they
are often found within termite nests. Please note: Nature is 3-dimesional, our simulation is only 2-dimensional.
The slider density-of-chips sets the density of chips distributed randomly at the beginning
The slider number sets the number of termites that are used in the simulation
The sliders Puturn and turn-angle set the basic parameters of the random walk. Please note that the ants always perform simply a random walk.
- Check how the number of actors and of the chip density affect the sorting speed and result.
At the beginning:
After approx. 5000 steps:
The presented NetLogo simulation was written by:
Thomas Schmickl (2002), Department for Zoology, Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Austria, Europe, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Camazine S., Deneubourg J.-L., Franks N.R., Sneyd J., Theraulaz G. and Bonabeau E. (2001) Self-Organization in biological systems. Princeton
- Resnick M. (2000) Turtles, termites and traffic jams. MIT Press.
- Bonabeau E., Dorigo M. and Theraulaz G. (1999) Swarm intelligence. From natural to artificial systems. Santa Fee Institute studies in the
sciences of complexity. Oxford University Press