In its most generic formulation, stigmergy (an optimization technique) is the phenomenon of indirect communication mediated by modifications of the environment.

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Stigmergy meets Jane Jacobs

The bringing of these two literatures together is long overdue. The British Journal of Criminology, Volume 61, Issue 2, March 2021, Pages 414–433: “Bringing the ‘many eyes’ theory of swarm intelligence into conversation with Jacobs’ (1961) notion of ‘eyes on the street’, we examine the impact social and mobile media may have on community crime…

Stigmergic behaviour and nodal places in residential areas: Case of post-socialist city Kharkiv in Ukraine

Here’s a recent paper citing Francis Heylighen who featured heavily in Ted and my Special Issue of Cognitive Systems Research – Human-Human Stigmergy. Chris and I, though, did mention in passing urban sprawl as a prominent instance of stigmergy twelve years ago. stigmergy opens broader possibilities for analysis of the development of the city, its networks and…

The hipster effect: Why anti-conformists always end up looking the same

In our paper Stigmergic Epistemology, Stigmergic Cognition we noted the phenomenon whereby swarm behavior runs the risk of a dysfunctional communal narrowing of attention that can be self-fulfilling. This phenomenon is validated by Jonathan Touboul in his revised paper freely available here. As Touboul rightly says, this phenomenon is found across all domains of collective intentionality…

The ant colony as a test for scientific theories of consciousness

This in Synthese freely available here. We introduce the Ant Colony Test (ACT) as a rigorous reverse test for consciousness. We show that social insect colonies, though disaggregated collectives, fulfill many of the prerequisites for conscious awareness met by humans and honey bee workers. However only a small fraction of neurons in the brain might be…

Cryptographic stigmergy

As someone who more or less tracks the various (theoretical and practical) applications of stigmergy this one here is a first. I faintly grasp the issues in blockchain and cryptocurrency so I’m curious as to what stigmergy might bring to my understanding. Correspondingly, I’m curious as to what those in blockchain-crypto circles think of stigmergy?…

A rhythm generator based on stigmergy

Interesting to see the theoretical inroads stigmergy is now making into the field of music. [t]he idea for this research is to create a new rhythmic generator technology. This system will be capable of generating multiple lines of percussion that sound natural. The synchronization will be self-organising and thus will be governed by a Stigmergic…