Termitizer is a digital behavioural simulation program, based on the movement and construction patterns of termites. The building behaviour of Macrotermes sp. is regulated by different stimuli, but pheromones take the most important part. The role of these phoromones especially in the behaviour of Macrotermes subhyalinus has been studied in physical experiments by O. H. Bruinsma.
Distribution of the Trail and Cement Pheromones
Within Termitizer, the behaviour of a varying number of agents is defined through the simulation of pheromones, especially the trail pheromone and the cement pheromone. The self-organised system is a combined dynamic model and growth model, controlling the movement of the agents as well as their construction activities.
The results of the construction behaviour are similar to those found in the experiments of O. H. Bruinsma: A generation of ‘building sites’ at certain distances, which eventually result in the formation of towers, arches and vaults. After 2000 iterations specific paths have been formed, and the construction sites have been placed around those at intervals covering the area to be enclosed.
The project was carried out in collaboration with Dr. Daniel Holt.