Swarm behaviour, or swarming, is a collective behaviour exhibited by animals of similar size which aggregate together, perhaps milling about the same spot or perhaps moving en masse or migrating in some direction. As a term, swarming is applied particularly to insects, but can also be applied to any other animal that exhibits swarm behaviour. The term Flocking is usually used to refer specifically to swarm behaviour in birds, Herd Ing to refer to swarm behaviour in quadrupeds, shoaling or Schooling to refer to swarm behaviour in fish. Phytoplankton also gather in huge swarms called blooms, although these organisms are algae and are not self-propelled the way animals are. By extension, the term swarm is applied also to inanimate entities which exhibit parallel behaviours, as in a robot swarm, an earthquake swarm, or a swarm of stars. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarm_behaviour


see also Hive Mind, Stigmergic

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