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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 3 (1999), Issue 1, Pages 15-23

Emergence of collective behavior in a system of autonomous agents

1lnternational Solvay Institutes for Physics and Chemistry, C.P. 231, Boulevard du Triomphe, Brussels B-1050, Belgium
2Theoretishe Natuurkunde, University of Brussels (V. U.B.), Belgium
3Departamento de Fisica, Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo, Vitoria, ES 29060-900, Brazil
4Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna 141980, Russia

Received 4 February 1999

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We study the properties of emergent collective behavior in a system of interacting autonomous agents. The system evolves in time according to two rules of communication, one from interactions between agents and another one from interactions of the agents with an additional agent which evolves in time in a periodic and stable manner. The application of these two rules is decided by a prescribed probability distribution. We analyze the emergence and the efficiency (coordination) with which collective patterns are constructed in time as a function of the parameters of the system.