Collected by Brad Cox in anticipation of using
Swarm as the basis of a course, Computational Modeling of Social Systems (LRNG792).
Since I resigned from GMU, I'm no longer maintaining this page..
Also see Echo for another evolutionary
simulator that might be used in this course.
Note from Kevin Drennan 12/15/99:
Chris Langton is no loger at SFI but has started www.swarm.org.
Nelson Minar is no longer here as well. If I remember, he went back to school for his doctorate. Swarm code is still being developed at SFI. Probably best to write Alex Lancaster here at SFI for precise information (email@example.com) about the division between SFI work on Swarm and swarm.org work.
Simulation System A tool for studying complex systems is being developed
by Chris Langton, Nelson Minar, Roger
Burkhart of the Santa Fe Institute.
Swarm is a general purpose software platform for the study of complex adaptive
systems. In the Swarm system the basic unit of simulation is the ``swarm,'' a collection
of agents executing a schedule of events. Swarm accommodates multi-level modeling
approaches in which agents can be composed of swarms of other agents in nested hierarchies.
Swarm schedules support hierarchies of time management yielding a natural model of
concurrency and a straightforward path to parallel implementation. Swarm is currently
under development; an alpha version is expected in early 1995, a beta version in
the summer of '95, and a full, public domain release in the fall of '95.
- Santa Fe Institute
- The Santa Fe Institute is a private, independent, multidisciplinary research
and education center, founded in 1984. Since its founding SFI has devoted itself
to creating a new kind of scientific research community, pursuing emerging syntheses
in science. Operating as a small, visiting institution, SFI seeks to catalyze new
collaborative, multidisciplinary research, to break down the barriers between the
traditional disciplines, to spread its ideas and methodologies to other institutions,
and to encourage the practical appliations of its results.
- The Swarm Multi-Agent Simulation System (no valid link is available) by Roger Burkhart
- Swarm is a general-purpose package for simulating concurrent, distributed artificial
worlds. It is being developed by the artificial life group at the Santa Fe Institute
to provide a general architecture for problems that arise in a wide variety of disciplines
ranging from physics to biology to economics. Many of these problems possess a common
structure that consists of large numbers of autonomous agents interacting in the
context of some environment. Computer simulation is an essential tool to study the
global and adaptive behavior that can emerge in such complex systems.
- Swarm Web Pages Newer version
than the one below
- Swarm is a software package for complex systems being developed at The Santa
Fe Institute. Swarm is intended to be a useful tool for researchers in a variety
of disciplines, especially artificial life. The basic architecture of Swarm is the
simulation of collections of concurrently interacting agents: with this architecture,
we can implement a large variety of agent based models. Our initial target is Unix
machines running GNU Objective C and X windows: the source code will be freely available.
Swarm is currently in development and alpha testing: we have sample simulations and
have begun to give code to selected researchers. The current plan is to generally
release a beta version on June 1 (in time for ECAL), and have the official 1.0 release
at the end of the summer. We are not giving out copies of the old Swarm prototype
or alpha versions to the general public: the June 1 beta will be the first public
release. If you are interested in keeping up with progress on Swarm, check back on
this Web page or subscribe to our mailing lists.
- Swarm by Santa Fe Institute (no valid link is available)
- The primary goal of the Swarm simulation system is to save researchers from having
to deal with all of the computer science issues involved in the implementation of
concurrent, distributed artificial worlds. Swarm provides a wide spectrum of ``generic''
artificial worlds populated with ``generic'' agents, a large library of design and
analysis tools, and a kernel to drive the simulation. These artificial worlds can
vary greatly in their properties, from 2-D spatial worlds in which agents move about
to graphs representing telecommunication networks through which static agents trade
messages and commodities. Whatever the specific ``physical'' characteristics of the
universe of discourse, Swarm provides a general, uniform framework allowing researchers
to concentrate on their specific system of interest, to directly compare scientific
results with other users of Swarm, and to eliminate wasteful duplication of basic
simulation functions from model to model.
Simulators and Their Applications Howard Gutowitz; Santa Fe Institute
- Artificial Life (Alife) is a rapidly growing field of scientific research linking
biology and computer science. It seeks to understand how life-like processes can
be embodied in computer programs. Advances in this area promise to illuminate fundamental
questions both in biology ("What is life?") and in Computer Science ("How
to make robust and adaptable computer programs?"). Much of the work in artificial
life is directed toward building computer simulations of artificial creatures and
the artificial worlds in which they live. This report surveys major efforts in this
area, with attention to developments likely to lead to practical applications in
the short to middle term. This document is intended to be at once a critical introduction
to the field and a resource guide for those who wish to explore further. postscript
and ascii versions of this doc
Radically Bottom-Up Approach: Tierra
- Tierra is the most advanced platform for the study of the evolution of artificial
organisms at the level of the genome. It was developed by Tom Ray of the University
of Delaware and the ATR Human Information Processing Research Laboratories in Kyoto
( see Sec 6.2). Tierra aims to provide an environment in which darwinian evolution
can proceed within a computer, without explicit direction or intervention from a
as a Model Organism: MANTA
- Ants are to artificial life as Drosophilia are to genetics. Each is a model organisms
which serve its respective disciples as a universal test-beds for theories and methods.
There are thus many examples of Alife simulators devoted more or less exclusively
to the modeling of the behavior of ant colonies. Ants occupy a central place in artificial
life due to their relative individual simplicity combined with their relatively complex
group behavior. Ant colonies have evolved means of performing collective tasks which
are far beyond the capacities of their constituent components. They do so without
being wired together in any specific architectural pattern, without central control,
and in the presence of strong intrinsic noise. Ants can create architectural structures
dynamically when and where they are needed, such as trails between nest and food
sources, or "living bridges" when swarms of ants migrate in the rain-forest.
For further information on the biology of ants, see the landmark book [HW90].
- The Latent Energy Environments (LEE) package of Fillipo Menzcer and Rik Belew
of the University of California, San Diego, combines several of the themes developed
above: neural networks, genetic algorithms, and autonomous agents. Further, it continues
in the direction charted by MANTA: to connect the physics of an artificial environment
to the behavior of the artificial organisms which live within this environment.
General-Purpose Simulator: Swarm
- The Santa Fe Institute's Swarm project is aimed at the development of
a fully general-purpose artificial-life simulator. The primary goal of the Swarm
simulation system is to save researchers from having to deal with all of the computer
science issues involved in the implementation of concurrent, distributed artificial
worlds. Swarm provides a wide spectrum of ``generic'' artificial worlds populated
with ``generic'' agents, a large library of design and analysis tools, and a kernel
to drive the simulation. These artificial worlds can vary greatly in their properties,
from 2-D spatial worlds in which agents move about to graphs representing telecommunication
networks through which static agents trade messages and commodities. Whatever the
specific ``physical'' characteristics of the universe of discourse, Swarm provides
a general, uniform framework allowing researchers to concentrate on their specific
system of interest, to directly compare scientific results with other users of Swarm,
and to eliminate wasteful duplication of basic simulation functions from model to
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