Stigmmetry Prints from Patterns of Circles

Gary Greenfield
Proceedings of Bridges 2012: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2012)
Pages 291–298


Stigmergy is a form of self-organization that is brought about by indirect coordination of agents or actions. Urbano proposed a model based on stigmergy for simulating the nest formation of the species T. albipennis that occurs from collecting virtual grains of sand. By making different colonies of the species sensitive to different colors of virtual sand grains, Urbano produced what he called "sand paintings". We exploit this technique by carefully assigning centers, radii, and colors to colonies in such a way that the stigmergy model self-organizes a uniform density distribution of virtual sand grains into sand paintings that exhibit various types of color preserving, and color reversing, symmetry. We call these algorithmic, computer-drawn compositions "stigmmetry prints".