Failure of self-organizing systems

September 28, 2010 § 1 Comment

Via Self-Organizing Networked Systems, here’s a video of what happens when army ants accidentally start following each other in a circle, instead of heading towards food:

Apparently they can keep going until they die of dehydration.  How interesting.  I wonder if there are analogous failure modes for molecular self-organizing systems?

Additional references at The Ant Room.

Here’s an xkcd version: Operation Duckling Loop.

§ One Response to Failure of self-organizing systems

  • Chikuo says:

    Fish will also do Circular Mill.



    This movie was taken in my homeland Taiwan. Circular mill is somehow hard to break. Fish could be lured away by food, but would soon rejoin the milling group. The whole milling thing had lasted for about 1 month, until the owner finally decided to change the filter of the pond…

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