Deborah Gordon, a researcher from Stanford has hit the headlines with her latest discovery of co-relation between the behavior of harvester ants and the design of internet.
Ants and the internet, the analogy seems li’l berserk. John Nash, in late 1940’s was working on quite a similar concept where he was trying to derive a game theory from flight of pigeons although it’s a different story that he didn’t get as successful.
As per Gordon route taken by ants to hunt for food is similar to the Internet’s Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).
If TCP observes little bandwidth in the initial packets, it will throttle data transmission, similar behavior was discovered in the ant kingdom. For instance, if harvesters’ ants find time lag by the initial ones sent for food, which here happens to be the bandwidth, it will send less foragers for the same destination.
Ants have discovered an algorithm that we know well, and they’ve been doing it for millions of years, said Balaji Prabhakar, one of the researchers behind the discovery.
The foraging activity gives us glimpse into their world of networking, the ants interact with no central control and as far as the location of food is concerned, the spatial information too is zero. Yet these social insects are able to carry out the dynamical networks effectively.