feedback organization

randomly connected binary network

This randomly connected binary network is the first in a series of experiments with self-organization. At progressive intervals, binary nodes (switches which have only two states, lit or unlit) are created and connected to each other at random.

figure a. typical network of switching nodes.


Nodes are coupled to each other in such a way that the activity of each node is governed by the prior activity of those nodes connected to it. The 'switching rule' that determines the state of the node is simple: an odd number of adjacently lit nodes switches the node 'on', while an even number switches the node 'off'.



figure b. some connections appear to extend beyond the node. this is a result of lines scaling proportionally with their parental node
As the network slowly grows, arbitrary connection modulus begins to trigger lighting events. Some lighting events are instantaneous, ending only moments after beginning. Other lighting events lock into steady, sometimes alternating states. Most lighting events fall into waving patterns of random activity.

The network simulation can be started and stopped. In this version, interactivity with individual nodes is not possible.

Further iterations on this self-organizing system produce some astonishing results. See versions two, three, four, five, and six.

August 5, 2001

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