Introduction to StarLogo

Welcome to StarLogo!

OpenStarLogo 2.22 released June 8, 2006
StarLogo TNG Version 1.0 released July 2008

NEW! We've just released a new branch of StarLogo entitled StarLogo TNG. StarLogo TNG introduces a graphical programming language and a 3D world. Check it out on its own website.

NEW! As of June 2006, StarLogo has been released under an open source license under the name OpenStarLogo. OpenStarLogo has its own website at There you will find the latest downloads of both source code and binaries. We hope to create (and help support) a community of developers who will continue this line of StarLogo, while we emphasize StarLogo TNG development. OpenStarLogo includes all of the features of StarLogo 2.21 and a few bonuses (key commands for buttons, and the ability to lock the interface elements in place). This site will remain as a source of StarLogo information, and will be periodically refreshed with the latest developments from OpenStarLogo.

StarLogo is a programmable modeling environment for exploring the workings of decentralized systems -- systems that are organized without an organizer, coordinated without a coordinator. With StarLogo, you can model (and gain insights into) many real-life phenomena, such as bird flocks, traffic jams, ant colonies, and market economies.

In decentralized systems, orderly patterns can arise without centralized control. Increasingly, researchers are choosing decentralized models for the organizations and technologies that they construct in the world, and for the theories that they construct about the world. But many people continue to resist these ideas, assuming centralized control where none exists -- for example, assuming (incorrectly) that bird flocks have leaders. StarLogo is designed to help students (as well as researchers) develop new ways of thinking about and understanding decentralized systems.

StarLogo is a specialized version of the Logo programming language. With traditional versions of Logo, you can create drawings and animations by giving commands to graphic "turtles" on the computer screen. StarLogo extends this idea by allowing you to control thousands of graphic turtles in parallel. In addition, StarLogo makes the turtles' world computationally active: you can write programs for thousands of "patches" that make up the turtles' environment. Turtles and patches can interact with one another -- for example, you can program the turtles to "sniff" around the world, and change their behaviors based on what they sense in the patches below. StarLogo is particularly well-suited for Artificial Life projects.

The information on these pages pertains to StarLogo 2.2.

We would be thrilled to hear how you are using StarLogo.  Please send your comments and ideas to

StarLogo is developed at Media Laboratory and Teacher Education Program, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, with support from the National Science Foundation and the LEGO group.

Look for our book Adventures in Modeling, published by Teachers College Press. It introduces educators and students to designing, creating, and investigating models.

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