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Boids, developed by Craig Reynolds in 1986, is an artificial life application simulating the flocking behaviour of birds.

As with most artificial life simulations, Boids is an example of emergent behaviour; that is, the complexity of Boids arises from the interaction of individual agents (the boids, in this case) adhering to a set of simple rules. The rules applied in the simplest Boids world are as follows:

More complex rules can be added, such as obstacle avoidance and goal seeking.

The boids framework is often used in computer graphics, providing realistic-looking representations of flocks of birds and other creatures, such as schools of fish or herds of animals.

Boids work in a manner similar to cellular automata, since each boid "acts" autonomously and references a neighbourhood, as do cellular automata.

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