Love this HTML5 practical demonstration of how three simple rules with minor variables can create chaos and, eventually, order in a hypnotic succession of random states.
I first saw this simulation presented by the awesomeJared Tarbell at a Flash on the Beach conference a few years ago. I’ve not seen it since so I thought I’d share the concept using canvas as it’s a fascinating thing to watch unfold. Essentially, the rules which the “ants” obey (and the way they interact with bits of “food”) do not suggest any form of collaboration or group intelligence. They are simply acting on a set of responses based on their own unique position and circumstance within the contained system. But as the “ants” begin to change their environment (the placement of food), the chances of collision change and begin to favour a gathering of food items in certain spaces. Allowed to run for enough time and all the food is gathered into one place.
Again, all credit to Jared and his inspirational work.
We were chatting about how it could also be the most awesome encryption key too. Millions of random decisions made in a visual form.