Skip to main content

Hi, I'm Mariano Guerra, below is my blog, if you want to learn more about me and what I do check a summary here: or find me on twitter @warianoguerra or Mastodon

Sorting like an ant

Edited from the transcript for readability:

Ants actually have a really cool grouping algorithm. One of the things that they do is they keep their larva sorted by age and frequently things will happen where the larva get disordered because they had to move the colony or something, but they do it through just seemingly random behavior, they just randomly walk around pick up larva and put them down and over time they end up perfectly sorted and they investigated this and what they found out was that if they found a larva in an area giving off a particular scent and that area has none of that scent around it they'll tend to pick it up and if they happen to be carrying a larva with a particular scent and they get into an area that's high in that scent from other larva they'll tend to put it down and basically those simple rules over time will sort amazingly efficiently.

From Will Wright's Dynamics for Designers