flock of birds LO21795

Bill Braun (medprac@hlthsys.com)
Tue, 01 Jun 1999 09:54:12 -0500

Replying to LO21774 --

Hi Arthur,

snip for space

>Reynolds' basic idea was to place a large collection of autonomous, birdlike
>agents - 'boids' - into a computer-generated environment full of walls and
>obstacles. Each boid followed three simple rules of behavior:
>1. It tried to maintain a minimum distance from other objects in the
>environment, including other boids.
>2. It tried to match velocities with boids in its neighbourhood.
>3. It tried to move toward the perceived centre of mass of boids in its

Thank you for your thoughts. As I reflected on your article it seemed that
there is one other variable involved, though I'm hesitant to call it a
rule. For the boids themselves, speaking concretely, they must be going
somewhere. Otherwise they would be at rest in some location.

(Depending on the loction, at rest they could comply with rules one and
two, and if you permit ambulation, maybe rule three.)

Perhaps another way to say it is that they must be airborne for the
flocking behavior to emerge. Is there some way to describe the variable
"why take flight in the first place"? And how (if at all) does this factor
into the analogy with human organizations?

Bill Braun

The Health Systems Group
- Physician Leadership Training
- Simulation Modeling for Healthcare


Bill Braun <medprac@hlthsys.com>

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