Drawing by Ants

My paper Pherographia: Drawing by Ants appears in the current volume and issue of Leonardo Journal (Vol.43, issue 2). Here is the abstract:

ABSTRACT: This paper addresses the hypothetical relationship of photography and so-called pheromone maps created by an artificial life system that simulates an ant colony and causes its activity to evolve based on the contours of images. Pheromone—used by ants to communicate via the environment—is also simulated, and from the communication and interaction of the swarm with the environment (an image) there results a kind of drawing made with the simulated pheromone. Since ants are able to detect the edges of the image, the outcome is a sketch that resembles the original image, as with old camera obscura drawings. This text explores the observable traits shared by the photographic process and the swarm’s pheromone maps. The theme is discussed in the context of the emergent artificial art research field; recent theoretical advances that link swarm intelligence and cognitive sciences are also addressed.

Carlos M. Fernandes

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Carlos M. Fernandes was born in Luanda in 1973 and lives in between Lisbon, Portugal, and Granada, Spain. He graduated (Technical University of Lisbon, 1998) in Electrotechnics Engineering and owns a master degree in the same field since 2002 (Technical University of Lisbon). He is currently pursuing a Ph.d. on Bio-inspired Computing. From 2001 to 2005 he was an assistant at Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal. (He is also a photographer and photography teacher.) Bio-inspired Computing is his major field of research: Genetic Algorithms, Estimation of Distribution Algorithms, Ant Colony Optimization, Particle Swarm Optimization and other metaheuristics. He is particularly interested in the hybridization of Bio-inspired Computing techniques with Self-Organization, Self-Organized Criticality Models and diversity maintenance strategies. In the present, Dynamic Optimization Problems are his mains target for applying such techniques. website: www.carlosmfernandes.com email: c.m.fernandes.photo@gmail.com

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