anemotaxis - directional search on a plane.


anemotaxis [-display host:display.screen] [-visual visual] [-window] [-root] [-delay number] [-distance number] [-sources number] [-searchers number] [-fps]


The program demonstrates a search algorithm designed for locating a source of odor in turbulent atmosphere. The odor is convected by wind which has a constant mean direction and fluctuations around it. The searcher is able to sense the odor and determine local instantaneous wind direction. The goal is to find the source in the shortest mean time. Some animals face this task to find mates, food, home etc. They exhibit very particular, zigzagging search trajectories.

This is modeled as a search on a discrete two-dimensional lattice. The source releases particles that drift with constant velocity in one direction and walk randomly in the other direction. The searcher knows if it hit a particle, and if so, particle’s position one time step earlier (local wind direction). The program paints sources and particles released by them as well as trajectories of searchers who are trying to capture the sources.


-visual visual
 Specify which visual to use. Legal values are the name of a visual class, or the id number (decimal or hex) of a specific visual.
-window Draw on a newly-created window. This is the default.
-root Draw on the root window.
-delay number
 Per-frame delay, in microseconds. Default: 20000 (0.02 seconds.).
-distance number
 Max initial distance to the source . 10 - 250. Default: 40.
-sources number
 Max number of sources. Default: 25.
-searchers number
 Max number of searchers. Default: 25.
-fps Display the current frame rate and CPU load.


DISPLAY to get the default host and display number.
 to get the name of a resource file that overrides the global resources stored in the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.


X(1), xscreensaver(1)


Copyright © 2004 by Eugene Balkovsky. Permission to use, copy, modify, distribute, and sell this software and its documentation for any purpose is hereby granted without fee, provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation. No representations are made about the suitability of this software for any purpose. It is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.


Eugene Balkovsky

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