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Comment: An interesting corollory (Score 5, Interesting) 148

by carburaettorr (#11854396) Attached to: Of Ants and Robots
This has been around in conventional AI for a while. There exists an optimization technique, which goes by the name of Ant Colony Systems (ACS) http://www.geocities.com/fastiland/Teaching/acs/sw arm.html. This technique uses the observed intuition that ants are often able to find the most optimal path between a food source and the nest without any global all knowing power telling them what it is. The way they do it is by leaving a trail of chemicals (Pheromones) whose odor persists for a while. A lot of ants play it safe and use the trail with the highest pheromone scent, however there are a few rebels who strike out a new path and few which prefer to take paths with lower pheromone concentrations. Thus with the expense of very few ants (agents) the colony as a whole is able to map out the most interesting parts of the state space with a loss of very few individuals and often able to get the most optimal paths. Needless to say this approach works best in bounded state spaces.

Just wanted to point out how stupid behavior and non-conformism at an individual level can often lead to a vibrant and healthy group and how it has been known to and exploited by computer scientists riding the Moore's law wave.....

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)

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