Footpaths in the stuff swamp
Dron, J., Boyne, C.W. and Mitchell, R. (2001) Footpaths in the stuff swamp In: WebNet 2001 World Conference on the WWW and Internet Proceedings, 23-27 Oct 2001, Orlando, FL, USA.
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In this paper we consider stigmergy (loosely, the effect of communication through the environment) in relation to the Internet, especially with regard to Web-based learning. We begin by examining ways in which stigmergy occurs on the Web, before going on to describe its use in the construction of our continually evolving system, CoFIND (Collaborative Filter In N Dimensions). CoFIND’s purpose is to replace the role of a traditional teacher in structuring and selecting learning resources. It attempts to achieve this through a process of stigmergy and natural selection, leading to a degree of self-organisation brought about through the independent actions and interactions of its individual users. We discuss some of the issues raised and attempt to explain some of its success as well as account for its failings.
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