ARMIES SET TO SWARM

ARMIES SET TO SWARM The fighting force of the future won't be a tightly-structured, disciplined, hierarchical army. It'll be a swirling, speeding, polymorphous swarm, gathering into teams at a moment's notice, and breaking apart even quicker.A recent conference in Virginia delved deep into how militaries can harness the swarm. Dozens of presentations were given. And they were all pretty cool, judging from the materials online.Army intelligence officer Sean Edwards examined the military history of swarming -- from the Macedonians to the Mongols to the militias of Mogadishu; Dr. Van Parunak, of the Altarum Institute, showed how ants, wolves -- even taxi cabs -- provide insights into the swarming armies of the future; Dr Mario Gerla, of UCLA, described how swarms of unmanned vehicles might one day communicate with one another.PowerPoint slides from twenty or so of the presentations can be found here.

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