Ants Inspire System Engineers

An analysis of how ants quickly find new routes in a changing maze reveals techniques that could be useful to systems engineers.

An analysis of how ants quickly find new routes in a changing maze reveals techniques that could be useful to systems engineers. The research, reported in the Journal of Experimental Biology, shows that Argentine ants do not just retrace their steps when presented with a barrier —as might be expected. Instead, the ants begin a localized search that seems to take into account the direction in which they were planning to go. Because there are many network-management programs that mimic the search behavior of this ant species, systems engineers are taking notice and wondering what they can learn.

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