Forma, Vol. 18 (No. 2), pp. 83-95, 2003
Original Paper

Self-organizing Formation Algorithm for Active Elements

Kenichi Fujibayashi1*, Satoshi Murata1, Ken Sugawara2,3 and Masayuki Yamamura1

1Department of Computational Intelligence and Systems Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama, Kanagawa 226-8502, Japan
3The Graduate School of Information Systems, The University of Electro-Communications, Tyofu, Tokyo 182-8585, Japan
*E-mail address:

(Received January 20, 2003; Accepted March 20, 2003)

Keywords: Self-organizing Formation, Virtual Spring, Triangular Lattice, Combination, Probability

Abstract. In this paper, we propose a novel method of self-organizing formation. It is assumed that elements are not connected to each other, and they can move in continuous space. The objective is to arrange elements in certain spatial pattern like a crystal, and to make the outline of the group in desired shape. For this purpose, we proposed a method by using virtual springs among the elements. In this algorithm, an element generates virtual springs between neighbor element based on information how many other elements exist in neighborhood with a certain radius. Although the elements interact locally only by virtual springs, and they do not have global information at all, they form a shape much larger than the sensory radius. By simulation study, we confirmed convergence to a target shape from a random state in very high probability. This kind of algorithm gives a new principle of self-organizing formation, and its simplicity will be useful for design of self-assembling nano machines in future.

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