The Emergence of Swarm Intelligence
The behavior of animals in a swarm used to be seen as almost magical. Some early scientists even thought that swarms of insects, schools of fish, and flocks of birds could produce their wonderfully coordinated movements only through some sort of extrasensory perception, or perhaps through the development of a group consciousness that required each animal to sacrifice its individuality and become a puppet of that consciousness.
Animal behaviorists, informed by the science of complexity, have now proved that swarm behavior does not need such outré explanations. It emerges naturally from simple rules of interaction between neighboring members of a group, as happens with a wave generated by a crowd of spectators ...