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Welcome to Wikipedia. Everyone is welcome to contribute to the encyclopedia, but when you add or change content, as you did to the article Gaia hypothesis, please cite a reliable source for the content of your edit. This is particularly important when adding or changing any facts or figures and helps maintain our policy of verifiability. Take a look at Wikipedia:Citing sources for information about how to cite sources and the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. It may seem stupid, but citing sources prevents frauds from pulling fast ones on us, and it helps those that don't fully understand the article's contents. Thanks, Ian.thomson (talk) 01:11, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Please do not add or change content without verifying it by citing reliable sources, as you did to Swarm intelligence. Before making any potentially controversial edits, it is recommended that you discuss them first on the article's talk page. Please review the guidelines at Wikipedia:Citing sources and take this opportunity to add references to the article. Thank you. Epipelagic (talk) 01:51, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
It is not "obvious" brains are an example of swarm behaviour. Citations are certainly needed if you want to make such a radical assertion. The other examples, which you say are uncited, are discussed and fully cited further down the article. It is usual to omit citations in the lead when they are provided in the main body of an article. But your assertion is not supported further down in the article. Nor will you find any mention in the main article swarm behaviour.
You say the definition given for swarm intelligence supports your contention, but the definition says swarm behaviour typically arises in "a population of simple agents or boids interacting locally with one another and with their environment. The agents follow very simple rules, and... there is no centralized control structure dictating how individual agents should behave..." Brains are structured differently and include areas of centralised control. They are typically modelled as artificial neural networks. Mathematicians have recently found that some mathematical techniques used in particle swarm optimisation can be used to force solutions from otherwise intractable local problems within a neural network. Apart from that, you won't find support for your position in the academic literature, unless a landslide breakthrough has just occurred in our understanding of swarms and brain function. --Epipelagic (talk) 03:59, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
- Okay. But this essay of random speculations you offer is not a reliable source. The author is a web developer, and defines himself as an "intense, hyperconnected, and mildly obsessive social-media generalist" trying to "add a fun new twist" to things. He doesn't seem to have written academic papers on anything. He also seems confused in his understanding of what a swarm is. Swarms are about the way collectives of animals or simple agents move. Brain cells don't normally migrate. He likens the brain to slime mold, but slime mold, like bacteria, does behave as a swarming entity in its early development, whereas brains don't. I'm not saying that swarm models can't be usefully applied to brain functioning, just that it is not "obvious" and doesn't seem to be an active research area. From the point of view of an encyclopaedia, the way to establish that swarm models have been used successfully to explain some aspect of brain functioning, is to find reliable sources.
- Btw, new messages on talk pages should be placed at the bottom of the page, and not the top. And you should signoff by typing four tildes, ~~~~, at the end of your messages. --Epipelagic (talk) 22:26, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
- Swarming behaviours can be associated with embryogenesis, and with microorganisms generally if they come collectively together, as with spawn or plankton. Basically, swarm patterns tends to emerge whenever a number of moving "particles" interact with each other. And dropping down to an even smaller scale, this is exactly what happens in thermodynamics, when you look at it from the point of view of statistical mechanics. Thus, one of the simplest and most illuminating swarm models (self-propelled particles), used to model fish schools and bird flocks, also models ferromagnetic behaviour. --Epipelagic (talk) 04:08, 2 June 2011 (UTC)