Distributed sensing and swarm sensing

Is this is a real field separate from all the things that looks similar to it? e.g.probability collectives (are they a thing?) and the nature-inspired algorithms people get disturbingly enthusiastic about (ant colonies, particle swarms, that one based on choirs…), and reliability engineering (Byzantine generals etc), …and quorum sensing? How about that?

Local versus global design

I’m particular interested in the constraints on what global organising can be done using local information. There are formal approaches to this, e.g. Wang and Rubenstein (2020) and more fun and even cheap ones like Mordvintsev et al. (2020).

Incentive design

Although this looks a little bit like collective decisions, I am thinking here of more incentive design-oriented questions. When we say “multi agent systems” there is usually a presumption that the individual agents are fairly simple, not whole human beings. Simpler still, distributed statistics is about algorithms that approximate or approach statistics in a distributed fashion. Special case, flocking. The barriers betwixt these are permeable.