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Emerging Behavior of Artificial Intelligence


From the time immemorial masses have witnessed inspiration of nature for researchers in many
different ways. Consider case of ants, individual ant is quite simple insect with limited memory
and it is just capable of performing simple actions. However when an ant colony is considered, it
expresses a complex collective behavior providing intelligent solutions to problems like carrying
large items, forming bridges and finding the shortest routes from the nest to a food source etc.
that is a single ant has no global knowledge about the task it is performing instead the ant's
actions are based on local decisions and are usually unpredictable. The intelligent behavior
naturally emerges as a consequence of the self-organization and indirect communication
between the ants. This type of behavior is usually called Emergent Behavior or Emergent
Intelligence. Such study provides many important techniques that can be used in the
development of distributed artificial intelligent systems. Self-improving systems are a promising
new approach to developing artificial intelligence. We need not just a logical understanding of
the technology but a deep sense of the values we cherish most. With both logic and inspiration
we can work toward building a technology that empowers the human spirit rather than
diminishing it. The focus of the paper is discussion of the very recent concept called emergent
intelligence as a branch of artificial intelligence.

Keywords: AI, TSP, EI, GA.

Emergent behavior

Sometimes a system with many simple components will exhibit a behavior of the whole that
seems more organized than the behavior of the individual parts. Consider the intricate structure
of a snowflake. Symmetric shapes within the crystals of ice repeat in threes and sixes, with
patterns recurring from place to place and within themselves at different scales. The shapes
formed by the ice are consequences of the local rules of interaction that govern the molecules of
water although the connection between the shapes and the rules is far from obvious. After all
these are the same rules of interaction that cause water to suddenly turn to steam at its boiling
point and cause whirlpools to form in a stream. The rules that govern the forces between water
molecules seem much simpler than crystals or whirlpools or boiling points yet all of these
complex phenomena are called emergent behaviors of the system.

Linking emergent behavior to intelligence theory

It would be very convenient if intelligence were an emergent behavior of randomly connected

neurons in the same sense that snowflakes and whirlpools are the emergent behaviors of water
molecules. It might then be possible to build a thinking machine by simply hooking together a
sufficiently large network of artificial neurons. The notion of emergence would suggest that
such a network once it reached some critical mass would spontaneously begin to think. This is a
seductive idea since it allows for the possibility of constructing intelligence without first
understanding it. Understanding intelligence is difficult and probably a long way off. The
possibility that it might spontaneously emerge from the interactions of a large collection of
simple parts has considerable appeal to a would-be builder of thinking machines.

Practical side

Unfortunately as a practical approach to construction the idea tends to be unproductive. The

concept of emergence in itself neither offers guidance on how to construct such a system nor
insight into how it would work. There has been a renewal of interest in emergent behavior in the
form of neural networks and connectionist models spin glasses and cellular automata and
evolutionary models. The reasons for this interest have little to do with philosophy in one way or
the other, but rather are a combination of new insights and new tools. The insights come
primarily from a branch of physics called "dynamical systems theory." The tools come from the
development of new types of computing devices. Just as in the 1950's we thought of intelligence
in terms of servomechanism, and in the 60's and 70's in terms of sequential computers, we are
now beginning to think in terms of parallel machines. This is not a deep philosophical shift, but it
is of great practical importance since it is now possible to study large emergent systems

Defining Emergent computing and related disciplines

Emergent Computing has become more topical in the last few years and has recently been
categorised as a research field in its own right. The history of the field lies primarily in Artificial
Intelligence, Numerical Methods and Complexity Theory all of which have contributed in no
small part to Emergent Computing. Emergent Computing is sometimes described as highly
complex processes arising from the cooperation of many simple processes' i.e. high-level
behaviour resulting from low- level interaction of simpler building blocks.


Some social systems in Nature can present an intelligent collective behavior although simple
individuals with limited capabilities compose them. The intelligent solutions to problems
naturally emerge from the self-organization and indirect communication of these individuals.
These systems provide important techniques that can be used in the development of distributed
artificial intelligent systems. The collective behavior of ants has been attracting my attention for
some time. It's really interesting and curious how a colony composed by simple individual ants
can show such fascinating results. It is suitable for path finding and memory representation. It is
known that the ability of ants in finding the shortest route between the nest and a food source can
be used to solve graph problems such as the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) so it can be also
applied to simple graph search.
One example of emergent behavior that has been studied over recent years is that of 'flocking'. In
a 'flock of birds' the flock is a dynamic entity consisting of hundreds (or thousands) of
individuals. The flock constantly changes shape and direction but maintains overall cohesion.
Using cellular automata and treating each bird in the flock as an autonomous agent with simple
local rules controlling agent behavior relative to closest neighboring birds, a system can be
constructed where the overall behavior of the collective agents reflects the behavior of the real

Research areas (Which and why)

Nature has inspired researchers in many different ways. Airplanes have been designed based on
the structures of birds' wings. Robots have been designed in order to imitate the movements of
insects. Resistant materials have been synthesized based on spider webs. After millions of years
of evolution all these species developed incredible solutions for a wide range of problems.
Biologically inspired systems have been gaining importance and it is clear that taking advantage
of the examples that Nature offers can develop many other ideas.

The following are the key areas that need special concern:

• Evolving higher order intelligence and evolving classifier systems

• Particle swarm optimization in microwave backscattering data and metaheuristics in which a

decentralized design leads to emergent phenomena

• Fuzzy coalitions in game playing

• Self-organized and self-optimization in dynamic networks and chemical programming

• Predictive modelling in financial networks and statistical modelling frameworks

• Evolvable hardware using a multi-cellular organism approach

• Emergent development in the walking behaviour of a robot

• Agent based modelling of viral infection and network emergence in the immune system
• Collaborative online development of modular intelligent agents and emergent intelligence in
competitive multi-agent systems.

Related fields

Genetic Algorithms provide an adaptive optimization technique based on the natural process of
evolution. A population of individuals representing possible solutions for a given problem is
submitted to the Darwinian principle of "survival of the fittest" over consecutive generations.
The most successful individuals will propagate their characteristics through genes that will be
recombined in the creation of new individuals. As the population evolves adapting to their
environment through mutation and natural selection, better results can be obtained.

Since the agents are created at the beginning with random characteristics it is possible that they
are not adapted to a specific environment and it could take too much time for a good result to
emerge or they could even not find a solution. The performance of the system can be incredibly
improved by applying the Genetic Algorithms concepts of selection, crossover, and mutation.
Genetic algorithm is active area of research of Artificial Intelligence. Numerical Methods and
Complexity Theory have also contributed in no small part to Emergent Computing as the
optimization and communication and interaction are also very important.

Characteristics in multi agent system

Consider multi agent systems the size of the population is controlled by the natural selection. In
larger environment, the agents will take more time before they get lost because there are more
possible routes to be chosen if TSP (Traveling Salesman Problem) is considered for example. If
they don't get lost they won't be excluded of the population. This means the population will
naturally grow in larger environments. There is no central decision in such systems. The
information is distributed among the agents and also the environment.

If one of the agents is accidentally lost the system will continue to work and the end result will
not be affected. This property qualifies the system as robust. The system is also adaptive. On
drawing graphs of such emergent behavior of agents if during a simulation an edge of the graph
is suddenly removed or even if a new one is created the system can rapidly readapt to the
modified environment and a new route will emerge.


System could be used in applications that involve real-time unknown environments for example
robot exploration of unknown environments. No prior knowledge is required Search algorithms
rapidly increase the memory usage as the problems get more complex. The agents that were used
to simulate the ants in the ant colony example have only a relative limited memory and thereby
the system is not much affected by the complexity of the problem.

Emerging Intelligence can also be used in Real Time Strategy games. The units can be designed
to perform simple local actions in order to keep a low computational cost and the intelligence
would emerge as a consequence of the self-organization of the colony of units. The Genetic
Algorithms could be applied to select and evolve good units so as the player learns new
strategies the game would becomes more intelligent too.


Recent increased interest in this topic is illustrated by the many international conferences and
workshops aimed at Emergent Computing, Emergent Properties, Complexity and Co-Evolution
to name but a few. Building systems with behaviour more than the sum of its parts attracts
methodologies and techniques from a number of disciplines mathematical and computational
techniques that underpin the area of Emergent Computing are worth noticing. These include
examples such as classifier systems, neural networks, biological immune systems, autocatalytic
networks, adaptive game theory, chaos theory, general nonlinear systems and artificial life. The
Emergent Computing paradigm both explores and relies upon biologically and socially inspired
systems, in which complex behaviour at the global level emerges in a non-linear manner from
large numbers of low-level component interactions.
Building software systems, using this component methodology offers many advantages for
solving complex problems since the algorithmic complexity is achieved through software that is
simple and flexible compared to conventional software development techniques The Emergent
Computing is influenced by and borrows heavily from other disciplines and one of the most
prolific symbioses has been that with Biology. Systems Biology has provided many bio-inspired
approaches, (Biomimetic models and methods) giving rise to emergent properties. Neural
networks (from the biological 'neuron' operation) which form the basis of many clustering,
classification and learning systems provide one of the earliest examples.


The main idea behind such systems is the intelligent behavior that can emerge as a consequence
of the self-organization of a collection of simple individuals. Like in biologically inspired
system, multi-agents and genetic algorithms etc. All these ideas when used together to compose a
graph search algorithm in order to provide a good source of information from theory to practice.

The ant colony model, flocks and the Genetic Algorithms are just few concerned fields and
techniques. Most authors and researchers use different approaches that are usually specific to a
given problem. The main idea in almost all such systems is to use the techniques as close as
possible to the natural biological system. Although the optimization may not be fully exhausted
it is an easy way to understand the concept behind the AI tools.

On Line Help


• wikipedia for emergent intelligence.