Beaten by a honeybee?

Computer has been accused of being slower than Chacha Chaudhary brain. Well, this accusation is slightly misplaced. In the time of Chacha Chaudhary, computer really was way too slow. But, he is not so smart anyway (Why would he marry a lady who is 3 times bigger than him?).

But a honeybee seems to outperform computers. Apparently, bees are able to solve a much celebrated “traveling salesman problem” in minutes for which a supercomputer might take months to years. The insects learn to fly the shortest route between flowers discovered in random order, effectively solving the “travelling salesman problem” , said scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Dr Nigel Raine, from Royal Holloway’s school of biological sciences, said: “Foraging bees solve traveling salesman problems every day. They visit flowers at multiple locations and, because bees use lots of energy to fly, they find a route which keeps flying to a minimum.

Well almost all the natural phenomenon somehow try to minimize the energy consumption. Simulated annealing is a class of algorithm which evolved from this fact. And this approach is quite awesome. Its time we should turn to nature to figure out more elegant algorithms. Well, one must not accuse computers. It is as slow as it is taught to be. The problem always lies with the algorithms.

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About Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.
This entry was posted in Animal Kingdom and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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