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Emergence 2009: Langton's Ant VIII


Biology 361 = Computer Science 361
Bryn Mawr College, Spring 2009


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Download/view: LangtonMod.nlogo


The model I have created is an attempt to move beyond what I was able to do last week. It is also a modification of Langton's Ant. Whereas Langton's Ant starts out in seemingly random patterned movements and progresses into straight lines and then random patterns, this model starts out fairly structured and symmetrical. This model continues with symmetrical patterns, but quickly proceeds into seemingly random patterns. Even though there seems to be no symmetrical pattern and the model appears to become more complex, the same rules are operating. If you slow down the speed at which the turtles are moving, it soon becomes clear that the turtles are not moving randomly. Although the patches and the patterns that are being displayed seem to have lost the initial patterns of symmetry, the turtles are moving in a very precise and symmetrical fashion.

This model highlights to a degree, the principles that we have been focusing on for the last few weeks, that simple rules and interactions can yield things that appear to be complex.

Furthermore, this is also deterministic model, and thus illustrates deterministic processes since the exact same thing happens every single time you re-start the model from the same point.


Models created using NetLogo.


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