Virtual experience of complex dynamics emerging in a social particle swarm model by sonification

Conference Date
Lyon, France
Date Published
September 2017
Conference Date: 2017, Vol. 14, Pages 388-395.
(doi: 10.7551/ecal_a_066)
© 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license
Article PDF (1.48 MB)

Researchers in the field of artificial life or complex systems grapple with abstract, complex and large data sets in general. We believe that virtual experience based on sonification (the transformation of data relations into perceived relations in an acoustic signal) has great potential to understand the dynamics in complex systems. We focus on the complex dynamics emerging in a social particle swarm model closely related to social psychology, and realize virtual experience of it by audio spatialization, in which major/minor chords, consonance/dissonance, and high/low pitches are utilized to represent the emotional meaning of the social relationships. The evaluation experiment shows that an experiencing person can grasp the social relationships and their dynamics in a two-dimensional space, including cooperation, exploitation and a cyclic process of formation and subsequent collapse of clusters, by feeling a bright, dark or unstable atmosphere created by interactions of sounds.