The birds and the bees (and fish)
There are many animals that exhibit flocking behaviour, including humans. This is an attempt to recreate that behaviour using three simple rules:
- Separation - avoid crowding neighbors (short range repulsion)
- Alignment - steer towards average heading of neighbors
- Cohesion - steer towards average position of neighbors (long range attraction)
So what are the uses except for making pretty (but intensive) screensavers? Well I guess a similar, but probably more complex, simulation could be used to see how crowds of people react in certain situations. I can't for the life of me find the source, but I remember reading that putting a pillar in the middle of a doorway can speed up entry and exit of a tube station, as it forces commuters to line up. At present however, it just makes for a pretty video.