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Monday, December 06, 2004


Okay, well this is an extensive enough topic. I was hoping for a starting point to have some screen shots up of my interactions with Netlogo, but it wasn't meant to be. But what an interesting modeling system. I tried out the flocking birds, the slime creatures, the ants, the termites, and others. It was interesting also to adjust the parameters within each.

My initial thoughts were, "Well, if the system works well (that is, self-organization occurs and patterns emerge) under the default settings, I wonder what happens when I go to the extremes." So I adjusted the number of participants. I found that when there were too few, self-organization could not occur because there was not enough interaction between characters; and when there were too many, there was not enough time for self-organization to occur because the resources would be exhausted too soon. Both were intersting phenomena. So, an assumption is that in the real-world with learning hoping to occur among these interactions, there must also be this happy medium between too many and too few participants within a given community.

The rules also jumped out at me as being vitally important. This seems intuitive, yet it is not as easy as it may seem. See, the self-organization of the group cannot occur (and less so, cannot occur predictibly) without some simple rules. It is by following these rules that the individuals self-organize. So, my guess is that, again, there is a happy medium with rules. Too few rules and no organization occurs; too many rules and the organization would be smothered.

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