Sunday, February 8, 2009

Leaf Cutters - line cutters or traffic experts?

I hate driving on the highway. Well, maybe not the high way, but perhaps the people driving on the highway. Possibly my angers with driving on the highway pertain to the people driving in my area. The worst part about being in the Cleveland area and driving on the highway is driving through construction and/or in the snow. The blog I read on WIRED science was about how ants manuever through "traffic" in and out of their ant hills.

I really liked the post because they talked about how they could make algorithms of ant traffic movements. They also talked about how they attempted for years to make the ants get into traffic jams, but failed miserably. Food carriers take preference when entering the any hill, and all others make way for what is most important - their nutrition. Also what was noted was that if ants were to act like we do in traffic, that they would end up in pile ups and grid iron locks a lot more than we do.

Regardless, I'm personally not interested in studying ants, nor am I interested in watching them walk for a living. What I am interested in how do the ants pertain to our traffic? They mention to say they have a model of the ant's traffic, but I really think they fail to break it down and explain how could we possibly make our driving easier? Since the ants do such a great job at it, it would be nice to see how we could make our traffic scenarios easier.


  1. This is interesting because I just saw something on the news this morning about the same exact subject. They compared the traffic of ants not only to car traffic, but to that of the foot traffic in the ancient egyptian times. Maybe if Americans picked up on the whole round-about thing that is used in Great Britain, traffic would be a lot smoother. I actually saw one up in Michigan.

    I too, would not want to watch ants run around and observe their traffic. It would probably strain my eyes.

  2. I think that this article is very interesting. I have seen other programs on ants on the discovery channel and the important goal is the colony. I don't think that having the goal of taking care of the colony will work in our society. My reasoning is that personal mentality in most people is to take of self.