An anonymous reader writes "From optimizing truck delivery routes to inspiring nerve-cell-based cognition models, ant intelligence has arrived. From the Economist: 'In 1992 Dr. Dorigo and his group began developing Ant Colony Optimisation (ACO), an algorithm that looks for solutions to a problem by simulating a group of ants wandering over an area and laying down pheromones. ACO proved good at solving travelling-salesman-type problems. Since then it has grown into a whole family of algorithms, which have been applied to many practical questions. ... Ant-like algorithms have also been applied to the problem of routing information through communication networks. Dr. Dorigo and Gianni Di Caro, another researcher at IDSIA, have developed AntNet, a routing protocol in which packets of information hop from node to node, leaving a trace that signals the "quality" of their trip as they do so. Other packets sniff the trails thus created and choose accordingly. In computer simulations and tests on small-scale networks, AntNet has been shown to outperform existing routing protocols."