Deborah M. Gordon

Collective behavior is the outcome of a network of local interactions. Here, I consider collective behavior as the result of algorithms that have evolved to operate in response to a particular environment and physiological context. I discuss how algorithms are shaped by the costs of operating under the constraints that the environment imposes, the extent to which the environment is stable, and the distribution, in space and time, of resources. I suggest that a focus on the dynamics of the environment may provide new hypotheses for elucidating the algorithms that produce the collective behavior of cellular systems.