The Computational Beauty of Nature
Computer Explorations of Fractals, Chaos,
Complex Systems, and Adaptation

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TERMITES Documentation



       termite - simulate a population of termites


       termite -help
              [-width  integer]  [-height integer] [-num integer]
              [-dense double] [-steps  integer]  [-seed  integer]
              [-inv] [-mag integer] [-term string]


       Simulate  a  population of termites which do a random walk
       while possibly carrying a wood chip.  Under normal circum-
       stances, the termites will self-organize and move the wood
       chips into piles without a global leader.   The  termites'
       behavior  is  dictated by the following set of rules: If a
       termite is not carrying anything  and  she  bumps  into  a
       chip,  then  she picks it up, reverses direction, and con-
       tinues with the random walk.  If she is  carrying  a  chip
       and  bumps into another, she drops her chip, turns around,
       and starts walking again.  Otherwise, she just does a ran-
       dom walk whether she is carrying a chip or not.


       -width integer
              Width of the plot in pixels.

       -height integer
              Height of the plot in pixels.

       -num integer
              Number of termites in population.

       -dense double
              Density of chips at start.

       -steps integer
              Number of simulated steps.

       -seed integer
              Random seed for initial state.

       -inv   Invert all colors?

       -mag integer
              Magnification factor.

       -term string
              How to plot points.


       The  walking  pattern  of  the  termites is not actually a
       strict random walk.   Instead,  at  each  time  step  they

       randomly  turn  -45, 0, or 45 degrees with equal probabil-


       No sanity checks are performed to make sure  that  any  of
       the options make sense.


       Copyright (c) 1997, Gary William Flake.

       Permission  granted  for any use according to the standard
       GNU ``copyleft'' agreement provided that the author's com-
       ments  are  neither  modified nor removed.  No warranty is
       given or implied.

Copyright © Gary William Flake, 1998-2002. All Rights Reserved. Last modified: 30 Nov 2002