The Living Thing / Notebooks : Distributed sensing and swarm intelligence

Is this is a real field separate from all the things that looks similar to it? e.g. particle systems, and 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?

When we say “multi agent systems” there is usually a presumption that the individual agents are fairly simple

Links to those themes: