Agar: An Animal Construction Kit

Agar is a system I built as part of my SM degree work at the Media Lab. It provided a set of objects (world, creatures, sensors, actions, and behaviors) for creating simulations of animal behavior. The behaviors are specified in terms of agents, or small units of behavior. Agar's main example was a simulation of ant food-foraging behavior.

The best description of Agar is in my MS Thesis, Agar: An Animal Construction Kit (1988). Unfortunately this version does not have illustrations.

Agar itself is available in two forms:

Agar's notable distinctions include:

Here's a picture of Agar's simulated ant world. The ants are hunting food and bringing it back to their nest (circle), while marking the route with a chemical trail.

ant world

And here's a picture of the network of agents and sensors that makes up a single ant "brain".

ant controller network