Natures wonders: ant foraging algorithims (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 16:04 (1678 days ago) @ David Turell

Ants follow patterns with individual interactions when a colony is foraging:

"Ants in particular excel at collective search, automatically tailoring their search strategy to efficiently cover large areas of ground. Gordon has found parallels between the algorithms ant colonies use for foraging and the man-made ones that underlie the Internet. Given how long ants have been solving these kinds of problems, Gordon hopes that she will uncover new algorithms that will ultimately make large-scale computing networks cheaper and more efficient.

"For example, ants are really good at collective search; a group of ants can cover the search area thoroughly without any central control. They do it through simple interactions, just touching antennae. When many ants are in a small space, they meet often and tend to take a convoluted path that keeps them stuck in one place. When few ants are in a large space, they don't meet that often. They stretch out their paths and cover more ground."

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