Collective Intelligence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Collective intelligence is a group of agents acting as a single cognitive unit to solve problems, make decisions, and carry out other complex tasks. Collective intelligence emerges from local interactions among a large number of individuals, none of whom acts as a leader or central controller. Although especially well-described in the social insects, it is found throughout the natural world, from the complex behavior of bacterial communities to the coordinated motion of fish schools and bird flocks. These biological examples have in turn inspired engineers to develop artificial robot collectives and decentralized computational algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Animal Behavior
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780080453378
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Cognition
  • Collective decision-making
  • Communication
  • Consensus
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Nest site selection
  • Nonlinear systems
  • Positive feedback
  • Quorum sensing
  • Rationality
  • Recruitment
  • Social foraging
  • Social insects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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