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LinuxMall.com: What’s Bugs Got to Do With It?

“”I am currently achieving the first half of my Ph.D. thesis at
the ULCO University (France), and I am working on how ‘ant-like’
cooperation can improve other classes of algorithms. Our computer
laboratory is partly equipped with Linux PCs and GPL (General
Public License) software tools,” says Oliver Roux. “I have written
the ANTabu algorithm for the Quadratic Assignment Problem under the
Linux environment, using the PVM library for the distributed part
of it. This work was greatly eased by the low cost of such systems,
allowed frequent updates of both machines and software, and
provided the network compliance of Linux. I guess that we could not
have funded such a research work within the traditional framework
of proprietary systems and softwares (not to say the purchase of a
supercomputer).””

“Roux also has been using his Linux gear to work on
algorithms based, in part, on ant behavior research, and [to]
refine application management in distributed clusters.
“Many
scientific studies, including our works, show that there is at
least one other benefit of distributing applications:
cooperation.””

“By bringing the nodes together in a mode of ant-like efficiency
for difficult combinatorial optimization problems, such as the
Quadratic Assignment Problem, Roux says that he and his group have
learned a great deal. “We have shown that adding cooperation
between each node of the cluster through a passing of information
that is inspired by the way ants communicate, out-matches the
traditional ‘brute force’ method involving independent computers.
We can sketch this ant-like search process by saying that a good
solution gradually emerges from the information that is put in
common by every ‘ant-processor.'””

Complete
Story