How is a server like a beehive? In more ways than you might expect. Reconnaissance bees use complex waggling dances to dispatch workers for nectar retrieval in a changing floral landscape. They're able to "rapidly shift foraging strategies to home in on the sweet spots of the moment," according to Bryn Nelson, who wrote about the connection for MSNBC.
Internet servers need to do the same kind of thing--they have to adapt to lulls and surges in traffic volume. Researchers applied the "honeybee communications system" to networked servers with surprising results.
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