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Bees Outsmart Computers

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posted on Oct, 24 2010 @ 07:05 PM
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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. The conundrum involves finding the shortest route that allows a travelling salesman to call at all the locations he has to visit. Computers solve the problem by comparing the length of all possible routes and choosing the one that is shortest. Bees manage to reach the same solution using a brain the size of a grass seed.


guardian

This is so fascinating. This problem solved faster by the bees then computers may not have the most practical applications, but imagine if we could figure out how they do it. What new ways of structuring computer programs, etc (I don't know much about computers) could be created to solve bigger problems? If we were to decode how bees do this what would the implications be?

I welcome anyone with knowledge or just a creative mind to tell me what problems you'd solve with a bee-computer, haha.




posted on Oct, 24 2010 @ 07:27 PM
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This is not new, you may know the expression "as the crow flies" Bee's can take a direct route, humans cannot always do that, but interesting nevertheless. This analogy has been used for all kinds of things for years, for instance when I children were in highschool I had to drive them to and from school. The driving distance was over two miles but "as the crow flies" it was a mile and three quarters and the school used the crow flies measurement, not fair.



posted on Oct, 24 2010 @ 07:34 PM
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Here's some deeper information into how this applies to computers:

Ant Colony Optimization



posted on Oct, 24 2010 @ 10:23 PM
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It just so happens that I was watching bees in my yard this spring. They were visiting many clover blossoms, and they absolutely were not minimizing flying distance. Maybe the bees in my neighborhood just have low IQs, or maybe they were just beginning to learn where the flowers were. I suspect the researchers may have been biased in favor of a preconceived conclusion.



posted on Oct, 24 2010 @ 10:30 PM
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reply to post by snusfanatic
 


Well bees have been around for millions of years they should know their way around and it seems to me that it should surprise nobody that they are experts at navigation. Now let's have them try to keep spam out of emails.



posted on Oct, 24 2010 @ 10:35 PM
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Originally posted by snusfanatic

I welcome anyone with knowledge or just a creative mind to tell me what problems you'd solve with a bee-computer, haha.


I don't think a bee-computer would work very well....too many bugs in the program.





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