Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Patterns in the Sky

Found this picture in the album taken on a visit to the Colosseum at Rome, Italy in December 2007.

Yes, it is a flock of birds swarming in the sky . Flocks of birds try to eliminate wind drag as much as possible when they travel through the air. The twisting and whirling that birds do changes the way the air moves over and under their wings, and therefore has an effect on how well the birds move through it. It is noticed that there is no leader in this sequence of movement - it's a collective effort. The same is noticed with fish, bees and ants. Out of the collective effort of the birds emerges a pattern.

Wiki's definition of emergence: In philosophy, systems theory and science, emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Emergence is central to the theories of integrative levels and of complex systems.

Cu, PostDoc Fellow, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, got me interested in this through his seminar. An intersting example he showed was about the traffic movement at junctions in India without the traffic lights. :)

The concept today is applied in the world of business and people management. In computer science, this area of research is called Swarm Intelligence and is being applied extensively in the area of robotics and networks. Man learning from nature.

1 comment:

Kam said...

Synergy well defined.