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To test their algorithm, the researchers designed and built a system of 'smart pebbles' — cubes about 10 millimeters to an edge, with processors and magnets built in.

Self-sculpting sand

New algorithms could enable heaps of ‘smart sand’ that can assume any shape, allowing spontaneous formation of new tools or duplication of broken mechanical parts.

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A new algorithm spreads information (red) much more efficiently in networks characterized by sparse connections between densely interlinked clusters.

Breaking bottlenecks

A new algorithm enables much faster dissemination of information through self-organizing networks with a few scattered choke points.

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Collective memory

An MIT project provides a way to preserve information in constantly changing networks, without resorting to a shared server.

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