Stigmergy is a mechanism of indirect coordination between agents or actions. The principle is that the trace left in the environment by an action stimulates the performance of a next action, by the same or a different agent. In that way, subsequent actions tend to reinforce and build on each other, leading to the spontaneous em
Remove all the pieces from a chess board except for one knight. Then try to move the knight across all 64 squares of the board, touching each once. This so-called "knight's tour" is very difficult to achieve for a single person, but mathematicians have calculated that there are a mind-boggling number of ways to pull it off.
Ever notice how ant colonies so successfully explore and exploit resources in the world … to find food at 4th of July picnics, for example? You may find it annoying. But as an ecologist who studies ants and collective behavior, I think it’s intriguing — especially the fact that it’s all done without any central control.