Bee-Inspired Algorithm

bee-1575236_640.jpgA Vancouver-based startup called Routific has developed a smart-route optimization algorithm based on the way bees search for nectar.

Bees have scouts that go out to forage for nectar, which basically means they explore a lot of different types of flowers over long distance in order to find nectar. As soon as one scout discovers a patch of flowers and returns with good quality nectar, it does a waggle dance in order to attract other bees. Then, these other bees go and explore that flower patch more closely.

This bee-behavior served as an inspiration for Routific, which has developed an algorithm that applies that concept to the world of logistics. Essentially, based on this concept, the algorithm figures out how many delivery vehicles can most optimally deliver packages to consumers. So consumers would be flowers while trucks would be the bees.

In a scenario with 2,000 different addresses and a fleet of 50 trucks, making an optimal delivery order can be very complex. In a case like this, the algorithm asks the computer to handle the searching task: CPU acts like a bee with many areas to explore, so when one area looks to be more promising, that CPU does a waggle dance – in other words, it gathers attention of the other CPU power to direct more resources to that specific area. This way, Routific can find optimal routes or routes that are close to optimality extremely quickly.



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