Made by Brian Lai, Brian Walsh and Eric Wang

Created: September 28th, 2014

Pseudocode Algorithm:

//position people at the outskirts of the desired area

hoptimer = 5 
//everyone starts off  hopping

movingforward = true
//everyone starts moving forward

Timer on

while timer > 0 and timer  < 120:

    if hoptimer > 0           //hop for 5 seconds max, and once those 5 
                              //seconds have passed start walking
        hopping = true
        walking = false
        hopping = false
        walking = true

    if touchedBoundary = true //if you reach the boundary, 
                              //reverse direction, but not body position
        movingforward = !(movingforward)

    if touchedOther = true    //if you collide with someone, 
                              //turn 90 degrees to the left
       hoptimer = 5           //if you touch, reset the hopping timer
Click to Expand

For this project, we decided to make a very simple algorithm in order to focus on the principles of emergence. As individuals, we are given very simple tasks that would be relatively simple to carry out, and the pattern would be extremely predictable. One only needs to focus on their own timers and a 2 dimensional movement, causing indeterminacy and entropy to be kept at a low level. 

The key is when we add more people to the activity. Of course, just adding more people into the same limited space is bound to create more entropy, but this alone does not encompass the emergent behavior. With more people performing the activity, even our thinking before our actions changes drastically. We begin to become more aware of out surroundings, and out method of approach to the activity changes. Without even planning beforehand, instead of a focus on complete accuracy and following the algorithm, our minds automatically switched to a focus of how we will be interacting with each other. If we're going to collide with someone, we must control how hard we collide with someone. If we are jumping while the collision happens, we must make sure to not step on each other. Small behavioral concerns are not apparent in any individual by themselves, but as a group, these decisions and concerns become very apparent - an emergent behavior. 

As for the two different locations, we wanted to vary the entropy/indeterminacy of the activity by changing the shape and terrain of the boundaries that we set, and also the terrain. At Schenley, we set the boundary as a small equilateral triangle on a slight incline, seeing how things change when people are given a regular shape, but uneven terrain (it affects the way in which we hop and move). At the number garden, we wanted to give people an irregular boundary, but also even terrain. In addition, since the platform was raised we noticed different behaviors from each individual, each leaning towards caution (for fer of falling off of the side), changing the dynamic of how people collide.