RSS Feed for This PostCurrent Article

StarLogo–Programmable Modeling Environment

StarLogo is a programmable modeling environment for exploring the behaviors of decentralized systems, such as bird flocks, traffic jams, and ant colonies. It is designed especially for use by students.

In decentralized systems, orderly patterns can arise without centralized control. Increasingly, researchers are choosing decentralized models for the organizations and technologies that they construct in the world, and for the theories that they construct about the world. But many people continue to resist these ideas, assuming centralized control where none exists–for example, assuming (incorrectly) that bird flocks have leaders. StarLogo is designed to help students (as well as researchers) develop new ways of thinking about and understanding decentralized systems.

StarLogo is an extension of the Logo programming language. With traditional versions of Logo, you can create drawings and animations by giving commands to a graphic "turtle" on the computer screen. StarLogo extends this idea by allowing you to control thousands of graphic turtles in parallel. In addition, StarLogo makes the turtles’ world computationally active: you can write programs for thousands of "patches" that make up the turtles’ environment. Turtles and patches can interact with one another. For example, you can program the turtles to "sniff" around the world, and change their behaviors based on what they sense in the patches below. StarLogo is particularly well-suited for modeling complex decentralized systems–systems which traditionally have not been available to people without advanced mathematical or programming skills.

image


Trackback URL


Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.