Designing stigmergic systems requires knowledge that is not usually associated with designing Web sites or knowledge management systems. To cover any knowledge gaps, the references have been chosen to provide a brief introduction to essential subject areas.

The references are separated into various categories. The links to these categories are listed on the left. Each category has its own separate list of links, some of which present the information in pop up windows.

The categories are divided up as follows:


These references cover the basic concept of stigmergy and how it was originally conceived from the study of social insect colonies.

System explanations

Stigmergic systems are notoriously difficult to describe. These are reference to articles that attempt to describe their enigmatic nature.

Complexity and chaos

Stigmergy is about self-organization and emergence. It is impossible to appreciate these without a basic knowledge of chaos and complexity.These reference provide a starting point for this subject area

Agent technology

Creating stigmergic Web sites and knowledge management systems involves mixing a biological strategy with computer technology. These are not directly compatible, so agent technology is used to make them work together. These references provide a glimpse into this fascinating field. They also describe the way agent technology is used in stigmergic systems and the limitations of cognitive agents.

Biological mechanisms

Stigmergy is quite alien to the algorithmic world of computing. It is a strategy used by biological systems and only makes sense in this context. For this reason, a few articles are included to illustrate the way in which biological systems work.


Stigmergic systems are primarily about communicating information. These references cover theory and techniques of communication that are essentially associated with stigmergic systems.

Commercial considerations

Stigmergic systems cannot exist in a vacuum. They have to compete in a highly competitive, technological world of real people. So, references are included to cover the financial and commercial side of creating stigmergic systems

Search engines

Stigmergic systems are most appropriate in areas where information cannot be handled efficiently by search engines. These references are included so as to be able to identify these areas.