Self-Organization in Biological Systems:

Self-Organization in Biological Systems:

by Scott Camazine, Nigel R. Franks, James Sneyd, Eric Bonabeau
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691116245

ISBN-13: 9780691116242

Pub. Date: 08/28/2003

Publisher: Princeton University Press

The synchronized flashing of fireflies at night. The spiraling patterns of an aggregating slime mold. The anastomosing network of army-ant trails. The coordinated movements of a school of fish. Researchers are finding in such patterns—phenomena that have fascinated naturalists for centuries—a fertile new approach to understanding biological systems:

Overview

The synchronized flashing of fireflies at night. The spiraling patterns of an aggregating slime mold. The anastomosing network of army-ant trails. The coordinated movements of a school of fish. Researchers are finding in such patterns—phenomena that have fascinated naturalists for centuries—a fertile new approach to understanding biological systems: the study of self-organization. This book, a primer on self-organization in biological systems for students and other enthusiasts, introduces readers to the basic concepts and tools for studying self-organization and then examines numerous examples of self-organization in the natural world.

Self-organization refers to diverse pattern formation processes in the physical and biological world, from sand grains assembling into rippled dunes to cells combining to create highly structured tissues to individual insects working to create sophisticated societies. What these diverse systems hold in common is the proximate means by which they acquire order and structure. In self-organizing systems, pattern at the global level emerges solely from interactions among lower-level components. Remarkably, even very complex structures result from the iteration of surprisingly simple behaviors performed by individuals relying on only local information. This striking conclusion suggests important lines of inquiry: To what degree is environmental rather than individual complexity responsible for group complexity? To what extent have widely differing organisms adopted similar, convergent strategies of pattern formation? How, specifically, has natural selection determined the rules governing interactions within biological systems?

Broad in scope, thorough yet accessible, this book is a self-contained introduction to self-organization and complexity in biology—a field of study at the forefront of life sciences research.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691116242
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/28/2003
Series:
Princeton Studies in Complexity Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
560
Sales rank:
1,049,864
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.06(d)

Table of Contents

Explanation of Color Plates vii
Prologue: Aims and Scope of the Book 2
Part I. Introduction to Biological Self-Organization 5
Chapter 1. What Is Self-Organization? 7
Chapter 2. How Self-Organization Works 15
Chapter 3. Characteristics of Self-Organizing Systems 29
Chapter 4. Alternatives to Self-Organization 47
Chapter 5. Why Self-Organization? 63
Chapter 6. Investigation of Self-Organization 69
Chapter 7. Misconceptions about Self-Organization 88
Part II. Case Studies 93
Chapter 8. Pattern Formation in Slime Molds and Bacteria 95
Chapter 9. Feeding Aggregations of Bark Beetles 121
Chapter 10. Synchronized Flashing among Fireflies 143
Chapter 11. Fish Schooling 167
Chapter 12. Nectar Source Selection by Honey Bees 189
Chapter 13. Trail Formation in Ants 217
Chapter 14. The Swarm Raids of Army Ants 257
Chapter 15. Colony Thermoregulation in Honey Bees 285
Chapter 16. Comb Patterns in Honey Bee Colonies 309
Chapter 17. Wall Building by Ants 341
Chapter 18. Termite Mound Building 377
Chapter 19. Construction Algorithms in Wasps 405
Chapter 20. Dominance Hierarchies in Paper Wasps 443
Part III. Conclusions 483 Chapter 21. Lessons, Speculations, and the Future of
Self-Organization 485
Notes 495
References 497
Index 525

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