Complex Systems

Stochastic Self-organization Download PDF

Timothy D. Barfoot
Controls and Analysis, MDA Space Missions,
9445 Airport Road, Brampton, Ontario L6S 4J3, Canada

Gabriele M. T. D'Eleuterio
Institute for Aerospace Studies, University of Toronto,
4925 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Ontario M3H 5T6, Canada


Starting from a random initial predisposition, the creation of a common piece of information in a network of sparsely communicating agents is the first step towards showing how order can be built from the bottom up rather than imposed from the top down. The model used for this study has been termed stochastic cellular automata (SCA). We identify three important elements of self-organization using SCA: instability, averaging, and fluctuations, all of which have been identified in other nonlinear phenomena. From a practical point of view, a simple coordination mechanism for a group of autonomous agents or robots is provided.