Monday, October 25, 2010

Bees as Travelling Salesmen

Bees can solve complex mathematical problems which keep computers busy for days, research has shown.

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.(1)

Maybe this is because computers aren't very smart ? And chess - aka Big Blue - isn't that complex a game after all.

1'Bees' tiny brains beat computers, study finds- UK Guardian

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