Perceptual Control Theory, or PCT, asserts that the function of behavior is the control of perception. Perceptions are controlled when they are brought to and kept near dynamically specified internal reference levels despite the effects of other variables that tend to disturb those perceptions. Control systems behave purposefully, setting goals, taking action to bring about those goal states, and taking further action to maintain those states against opposing forces. On this site you can learn about perceptual control theory and access links to related web sites.
Bo Wang is developing a Java simulation that adds e. coli-style reorganization to Bill Powers' Crowd demonstration. To run the simulation, click here. (NOTE: If a window pops up asking you to install the Chinese language pack, just click on the "cancel" button.) You can view instructions for the simulation and download the Java applet by visiting Bo's webste.
The Control Systems Group has provided seed money to begin developing robotic agents that will serve as testbeds for architectures based on Perceptual Control Theory (PCT). Our initial project is a hexapod robot to provide an embodied, situatated version of the " Archy" bug computer simulation by Richard Kennaway. Other projects may follow (e.g., a robotic "little-man" demo similar to Rodney Brooks' "Cog"). [NOTE: Constraints on time and energy have prevented me from developing this project further at the present time.]