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The Internet Science Technology

Fruit Flies Hold the Key To Faster Computing 45

hapworth writes "Dr. Ziv Bar-Joseph, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon, may have found the key to faster computing in the form of fruit flies. While computer scientists have long struggled with determining optimal communications paths in digital environments, Bar-Joseph believes the answer can be found by studying the biological make-up of fruit flies: 'Determining how to select a [Maximal Independent Set] is difficult and has been under scrutiny for many years. It turns out that fruit flies solve a similar problem. During brain development, a process called Sensory Organ Precursor [SOP] selection occurs,' he says. 'As in computer networks, some cells (SOP) in the brain will become local leaders (MIS) and convey information from the environment to neighboring cells.'"
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Fruit Flies Hold the Key To Faster Computing

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  • Re:suicide (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <> on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:36AM (#35596632) Journal

    I think I shall jump off a cliff. Thoughts?

    I think you should throw your arms out wide when you jump. That way we'll find out if fruits fly, though the result would be more natural selection than Sensory Organ Precursor selection .

    Interesting how prophetic Terry Pratchett was with his Discworld Hex computer though, which was also insect-driven. I wonder if this new one will have a GBL as well?

  • by Mathinker ( 909784 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:38AM (#35596640) Journal

    The kinds of physical processes which drive these kinds of biological solutions are good at arriving at local optima, but are unlikely to find the global optimum which is considered to be the exact solution to the problem, as soon as the size of the problem outstrips the scale of the physical processes used to solve it. OTOH, when porting the physical paradigm to the (virtual) world of computing, it is much easier to scale the now-virtual solution processes than it would be for nature to solve the larger problem. So it still could very well lead to an interesting heuristic for arriving at good approximations to the global optimum.

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