[Thread Prev] [Thread Next]
On 15 Sep 2006 at 11:37, Gary McCallister wrote:
> I also have a program for how
> a mosquito finds its prey.
Chris Myers sent me the attached paper written by Seymour
Papert, it describes a "logomecium", and I found it very
similar to your mosquito project:
Consider a hypothetical student who has constructed a
simulation of tropism by programming a screen creature
(called a logomecium) to move toward another screen object
(the goal). The logomecium is able to detect whether the
goal is more to the left or to the right and its law of
motion is to move forward continuously making small
adjustments of heading in the direction detected. This kind
of construction comes up naturally in a variety of contexts
including biological simulations (from which the logomecium
gets its name), games (for example when one character
chases another) and some interesting geometric situations
(e.g. if the goal follows a path, say a circle, what does
the logomecium do?).
So far no PT, but at least an insight into another strand
of z I like to call "cybernetics" that includes building
physical as well as screen-based "creatures." But
probabilistic thinking comes into the picture when we
consider what happens if the logomecium encounters an
uncrossable (but transparent) obstacle. The solution that
is easiest to implement and can also lay claim to being
conceptually the richest consists of introducing a
probabilistic element into the behavior of the logomecium.
The logomecium's behavior using the random strategy can
fruitfully be compared with the computationally more
complex behavior of recognizing that it is blocked (which
it does not have to do for the random strategy to work) and
finding its way around the obstacle. The idea that obstacle
avoidance can have probabilistic and/or deterministic
components leads to looking at real creatures (e.g.
paramecia or flies or bees) and trying to determine whether
there is a probabilistic element in their behavior.
Whatever the outcome, there is room here for discussion
about the use of randomness as a powerful problem-solving
technique. It is not hard to elicit animated discussion
about the many ways in which "nature" has "used" this
technique. A teacher (or a text or an advice program) could
encourage individual students to undertake research
projects aimed at searching for situations where randomness
is useful as well as for situations in which randomness is
a nuisance to be overcome.
The following section of this message contains a file attachment
prepared for transmission using the Internet MIME message format.
If you are using Pegasus Mail, or any other MIME-compliant system,
you should be able to save it or view it from within your mailer.
If you cannot, please ask your system administrator for assistance.
---- File information -----------
Date: 27 Dec 2006, 14:19
Size: 104591 bytes.
Description: Binary data
Previous by thread:
Next by thread:
RE: mosquito project (was: Introduction)
To save an attachment to your computer, PC users should right-click (Mac users, click and hold the mouse button) on the link and then choose 'save target as' from the pop-up menu. A window will then pop up in which you can choose a location for the file.