Knowledge centers

Potentially, one of the most promising applications to explore with stigmergic systems is the creation of Kempelen Boxes focused on particular niche subject areas.

Attractor sites

Note: the advantages of having a Web site that contains a Kempelen Box for a particular subject area are only too obvious: it attracts people interested in the subject. If the source is of high quality, the site will be recommended by word of mouth, by email and in Internet discussion forums and news groups. It would also rank high in search engine results. If the chosen subject area is compatible with the products or services of the hosting company, it would attract the kind of visitors the business needs to be noticed by. A Kempelen Box can also be used as a magnet to attract potential employees in a particular area of skill or expertise.

It is the high potential value of these Kempelen Boxes that make them ideal for the focus of our current research projects.

The basic form of a stigmergic system Kempelen Box is illustrated in the diagram below. The link 'Kempelen Box' in the top menu provides a working example.

The general idea is that specialists in a particular specialist field - represented by agents - point to sources of information they personally recommend.

This system is self-organizing because the agents and the information they carry are not contained within a conventional database. They are organized within an instance of a virtual database, which 'grows' around them as a result of visitor interaction.

The following illustration outlines the way in which these Kemplelen Boxes work.

Kempelen Box

Note: a non-technical explanation of the way these knowledge centers work in practice is demonstrated in the top menu link 'SEO project'. This provides a simple example of how agent technology, stigmergy and evolutionary processing can be applied to a group of people who are sharing bookmarks.