The Seekers are the result of my fascination with collective and swarm intelligence in the animal/insect world. The goal of each seeker is to locate an active gold mine (represented by yellow circles) and begin transporting the gold home (represented by the green square.) The goldmines shrink in size as they are depleted by the seekers. Depleted mines are replaced by new active mines which are spawned at a random location within the seekerspace.
There are three types of seekers:
A blue seeker can become purple in two ways:
Each time a seeker arrives at a gold mine it will transmit the location "telepathically" to a certain number of friends. If these friends are within a specified call radius they will become purple and begin transporting gold home.
The Seeker applet allows you to control the number of seekers, their telepathic call radius, the number of friends they will attempt to contact when they arrive at a mine, and the number of mines in the seekerspace. The parameters can be set my clicking and dragging the "handles" below the numbers they represent.
Play around. Click on the seekerspace to reset. If your computer can handle it, I recommend at least 20000 seekers with 5 mines.
Try setting the call radius around 200 (the width and height of the seekerspace is 400), with the number of friends set around 150. With these settings seekerswarms will begin to form, moving around the seekerspace devouring mines. These swarms are reminiscent of flocking birds or bee swarms. Emergence?
Some related links:
Widening the scope: