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Multiple object tracking is particularly challenging when many objects with similar appearances occlude one another. Most existing approaches concatenate the states of different objects, view the multi-object tracking as a joint motion estimation problem and search for the best state of the joint motion in a rather high dimensional space. However, this centralized framework suffers from a high computational load. We bring a new view to the tracking problem from a swarm intelligence perspective. In analogy with the foraging behavior of bird flocks, we propose a species-based particle swarm optimization algorithm for multiple object tracking, in which the global swarm is divided into many species according to the number of objects, and each species searches for its object and maintains track of it. The interaction between different objects is modeled as species competition and repulsion, and the occlusion relationship is implicitly deduced from the “power” of each species, which is a function of the image observations. Therefore, our approach decentralizes the joint tracker to a set of individual trackers, each of which tries to maximize its visual evidence. Experimental results demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of our method.