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Lilian Ricaud - Stigmergy: ants, self-organization & large scale collaboration

Stigmergy is a mechanism of indirect coordination between agents or actions. The principle is that the trace left in the environment by an action stimulates the performance of a next action, by the same or a different agent. In that way, subsequent actions tend to reinforce and build on each other, leading to the spontaneous emergence of coherent, apparently systematic activity. Stigmergy is a form of self-organization. It produces complex, seemingly intelligent structures, without need for any planning, control, or even direct communication between the agents. (- Wikipedia)

Social insects societies such as ants or termites and human systems such as the web, free/open source softwares development or Wikipedia all exhibit stimergic collaboration.

In this talk we'll explore the notion of stigmergy, have a look the principles that allow it to emerge and what we can learn from them.