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Wrapping up some ecology concepts

June 18, 2008

Recently there are quite many biological theories that are used to explain the web 2.0 phenomena.

I have been fascinated in elaborating the niche ideas and these other biological ideas seem to be moving into their places in this ecological learning theory i have in mind.

About a year ago i was reading about hive mind idea for explaining collective intelligence and global mind.

..we see sophisticated, elegant, convenient communications software arise “from nowhere,” made of thousands and thousands of carefully ordered code

The major components of a Hive Mind are:

* Communication
* Visibility
* SharedAwarenessSystem
* Commitment

Just recently Petri Kola explained at seminar the concept of swarms as a very useful one to explain behaviour in microblogging sites.

At summerschool I was talking with Tobias about foraging behaviours that seemed quite promising and fitting into the ecology framework of learning in web 2.0.

Wikipedia says that:
Foraging theory predicts that the foraging options that deliver the highest payoff, should be favored by foraging animals because it will have the highest fitness payoff.
There are many versions of optimal foraging theory that are relevant to different foraging situation. These include:
* The optimal diet model, which describes the behavior of a forager that encounters different types of prey and must choose which to attack
* Patch selection theory, which describes the behavior of a forager whose prey is concentrated in small areas with a significant travel time between them
* Central place foraging theory, which describes the behavior of a forager that must return to a particular place in order to consume its food, or perhaps to hoard it or feed it to a mate or offspring.

The patch selection theory seems to be connected with ‘leaving traces’ ideas from the swarm behaviour. The ‘central place foraging’ idea has a connection with niche formation through fitness landscapes.

There is a paper in press:
Chaos, Solitons & Fractals
Volume 38, Issue 1, October 2008, Pages 277-292
Collective motion of a class of social foraging swarms
Bo Liu, Tianguang Chua, Long Wanga and Zhanfeng Wanga

The general understanding in biology is that the swarming behavior is a result of an interplay between a long-range attraction and a short-range repulsion between the individuals.
In the course of foraging the swarm individuals may also be affected by a nutrient profile (or an attractant/repellent), i.e. attraction to the more favorable areas or repulsion from the unfavorable areas of the attractant/repellent profile.

The results show that the members of a quasi-reciprocal swarm will aggregate and eventually form a cohesive cluster of finite size for different profiles.
All the swarm individuals can converge to more favorable areas of the profile and diverge from unfavorable areas under certain conditions.
More complex self-organized oscillations may occur in the systems.

Graham was mentioning also the rhizomic networks idea i have liked before, that might fit into the scheme.

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One comment

  1. […] Wrapping up some ecology conceptsAt summerschool I was talking with Tobias about foraging behaviours that seemed quite promising and fitting into the ecology framework of learning in web 2.0. Wikipedia says that: Foraging theory predicts that the foraging options that … […]



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