Simulate bioteams with StarLogo
If you want to play with PC-based simulations which introduce key bioteams concepts then its worth a visit to the MIT Starlogo site where under the PROJECTS section you can simulate the behaviour of bees, fireflies, slime, termites, rabbits, ants and boids (birdoids).
You must also first download (free) the Starlogo environment onto your computer.
StarLogo, is a programmable modelling environment designed to help model and explore the workings of decentralized systems, such as bird flocks, traffic jams, and market economies.
Simulations available include:
- See how bees can make honeycombs using simple behaviors
- Fireflies flash randomly then slowly start to blink together
- Slimemold cells aggregate into clusters using a chemical pheromone
- Termites follow simple instructions and pile up the woodchips
- A predator-prey system of rabbits and grass
- Ants gathering food and bringing it back to the nest
- A simulation of flocking birds (boids)
An excellent book which can be used in conjunction with the site and which explains the biological background to the simulations is Turtles, Termites and Traffic Jams - Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds, written by Mitchel Resnick and published by MIT Press
There is also a new version Starlogo TNG (The Next Generation) which allows 3-D simulations to be modelled and refined graphically rather than programmatically.
Bioteams Books Reviews
Belbin sees Bioteams as the next step. Dr R Meredith Belbin, regarded as the father of "team-role" theory and one of the worlds foremost experts on teams predicts that we will evolve into bioteam forms. In his book "The Coming Shape of Organisation" Belbin picks out five observations human teams need to learn from "a diminutive masterclass" of social insects such as bees, ants and termites.