Scrum: Subsumption Architecture and Emergent Behavior
- Yesterday I posted an article on the birth of Scrum that generated
some questions on Rodney Brooks' subsumption architecture. See
One could argue that Agile processes emerge architectures by building
the simplest possible thing and evolving into more complex behavior
by implementing close connection of developers to code, pre-organized
patterns of behavior, simple refactoring techniques, no central
control, no shared representation, and short daily meetings with face
to face communications.
This sounds remarkably similar to the University of Michigan AI Lab
Cliff Notes on Rodney Brooks:
Brooks reasons that the Artificial Intelligence community need not
attempt to build "human level" intelligence into machines directly
from scratch. Citing evolution as an example, he claims that we can
first create simpler intelligences, and gradually build on the
lessons learned from these to work our way up to move complex
Brooks' Subsumption architecture was designed to provide all the
functionality displayed by lower level life forms, namely insects.
Using a common house fly as an example, Brooks claims that creatures
at this level of intelligence have attributes such as close
connection of sensors to actuators, pre-wired patterns of behavior,
simple navigation techniques, and are "almost characterizable as
deterministic machines". The Subsumption architecture provides these
capabilities through the use of a combination of simple machines with
no central control, no shared representation, slow switching rates
and low bandwidth communication.
Anyway, for those who had questions on Brooks concepts, the links are
now posted on my Scrum site.