Portal design

The essence of the SEO project is a system whereby many web sites and experts work together to provide an information system based upon the way ant colonies share information.

Access to this system is by way of portals located on websites associated with the project.

Experts on the web

The system has no central organization. Organization is created locally at many independent portals, each of which combine selected components of the system to provide a unique access point for people to interact with the system both to create and interact with information carrying agents.

Complex self-organizing system

Although these portals can take many different forms, the current portal design for the SEO project consists of a Web page made up of four frames.

Structure of portal

The top frame is specific to the Web site hosting the portal. The other three frames tap into different parts of the system.

Technical note 1: Why frames?

The use of frames might seem rather odd, considering the many possibilities available to display the portal more aesthetically using CSS techniques. However, the portal isn't just a passive Web page, it is a critical organizing component of the system and has functional purposes beyond simply displaying information.

Each of the frames holds a web page, but these are not simply pages linked from another Web site, they are functional components of a virtual system. They are communicating objects within a wider, object oriented environment that has no definitive location.

This puts a different perspective on the arrangement of frames. They can be thought of as docking ports for different objects from a virtual system to visit and communicate with the portal; allowing users of the portal to interact with different parts of a complex, distributed information system.

Portal objects

Its not easy to imagine a system of many independent areas evolving separately, with the activity of the system appearing differently at different places...

...but think of a biological cell.

This can take many different forms according to which genes are expressed. This is the principle upon which these stigmergic systems are based.

More information on this project, technical details and information relating to the theory behind stigmergic systems can be accessed from the side panel and the menubar at the top of this page.