|Posted: February 22, 2006, 8:27 pm - IP Logged|
GA's are a way of searching a solution space in a few minutes, which could take years of computer time doing exhaustive search.
Another new method which is proving very fast is " Ant Colony Optimisation "
Ants might be able to run telecommunication networks better than humans.
Researchers have found that control programs based on the foraging behaviour of ants can keep data networks running more efficiently and cope with congestion better than many human alternatives.
They believe that other computational problems could also be tackled using algorithms or techniques derived from the behaviour of ants.
Already some companies are using the ant systems to do a better job of managing delivery networks and supply chains.
Individually, ants may be stupid, but put enough of them together and they manage to build nests, grow fungus as food, farm other insects, and even weave their own shelters.
When ants forage, they randomly wander the forest or jungle floor and lay a trail for nest-mates to lead them to a source of food. Many individual ants may discover different routes to the same food but the shortest path that leads to it will have the strongest concentration of pheromone, a chemical indicator laid down by the ants.
It will swiftly become the most popular path because it is the smelliest and easiest for the ants to spot and track.
"What they find in the environment is determined by what's done previously by other members of their colony," said Professor Dorigo."
There is a free ActiveX Control which demostrates these methods: