Internet Servers Doing the Buzz Shuffle - The Effects
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In order to fully grasp what this project is capable of, we must look at what some of its pioneers have already done. Greg Tovey, the co-director of Georgia Tech's Center for Biologically Inspired Design, initially wanted to use bee colony optimization to help progress in the field of robots, specifically how to control groups. He ended up studying with bee researcher Thomas Seeley.
Years later, Sunil Nakrani, an Oxford University computer science graduate, told Tovey about the Internet server allocation program. “He just started to explain his problem and I immediately saw a superficial resemblance between what he was describing and honeybee communication,” Tovey said.
The results of Tovey and Nakrani's project have shown much promise, increasing hosting company's revenues by 4 to 20 percent. The whole idea of using bee colony optimization is brilliant in its simplicity. The bees know exactly where to get their information, the dance floor, and the instructions are by no means vast and complex. So implementing this rule set to optimize Internet server efficiency became an easy and capable venture. Tovey said, “it (the server problem) wouldn't be such a difficult problem if you knew in advance what the traffic was going to be like.”
One positive side effect of the project was that it reduced electricity costs for hosting companies. When a large percentage of forager bees stay in reserve for whatever reason, it is much like a computer in sleep mode. Energy costs have been reduced from 15 to 20 percent so far.
We've learned a lot today about bees and how they've contributed to the growth of modern technology. If it's taught us anything, it's that nature and technology can coexist. Technology doesn't need to grow at the expense of nature, in fact that wouldn't just be bad for us, but it would be doing technology a disservice. So the next time you go outside, put down your fancy cell phone or media player, and appreciate the world itself for what it's given us.
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