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Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in Internet |

Study finds ants and the Internet have much in common

Study finds ants and the Internet have much in common

Deborah Gordon, a professor of biology at Stanford has been studying for over 20 years. By observing the colonies of these insects in his laboratory, individuals noticed patterns in which the workers went out to look for food, and before it decided to call a colleague, professor of computer science Balaji Prabhakar.

Prabhakar, an expert in data transmission, initially found nothing unusual in the patterns of behavior of ants, but soon realized what was happening: “The next day I thought, it’s almost like the protocols discover how much bandwidth is available to transfer a file “he said. He added: “The algorithm used by ants to discover how much food was available is essentially the same as that of a TCP (Transmission Control Protocol).”

TCP is the algorithm that controls the data congestion on the Internet and is what has allowed a handful of internet users grow to billions of humans connected all the time.

Broadly TCP works as follows: A (where the data originated) passes data to B. When B receives the data packet, it sends a message of “received” to A. Apparently the workers do exactly the same when looking for food and the amount ants leaving the nest is the amount of food that is available.

Ants usually see exploring for food (those who walk alone) do not come home until he had found food, if they return quickly, more ants will work, if it takes in return, you may leave few ants or decided suspend the search. This is also the behavior of a secure protocol that you met and called “time-out” is when there is no response from a server.

Prabhakar wrote an algorithm to predict the behavior of ants, which is similar to that used to find the amount of bandwidth available and said, if he had made this discovery in the 70s, before the invention of the TCP These ants have influenced Internet design.

The “Anternet” (hormiganet), as scientists say it could help improve the performance of the Internet as they believe, the ants have evolved a lot and how they work well.

Link: Researchers discover the ‘anternet’ (Phys)

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