A group of researchers from Keio University in Tokyo proved that the amoeba can solve the famous “traveling salesman problem” with close to the correct results. And how she does it, allows it, under certain conditions, overtake the speed of computing. Extremely intelligent creature called Physarum polycephalum.

The traveling salesman problem lies in the fact that you need to calculate the shortest route between the base and a few customers who need to travel and deliver their goods. It features the exponential growth of complexity with 4 buyers there are only 3 possible solutions, but with 6 customers, the number of options increases to 360. In General, the problem was solved in the 90-ies, and today we can get the result even for the millions of buyers that are in demand in international logistics.

The amoeba Physarum polycephalum is always hungry and afraid of sunlight. Scientists have created a sort of maze in the tank is 64 sectors, where the food is located, and the amoeba is placed in the center and needs to move to get to the food. Above the maze there is a lighting system which forms the light “barriers” on the way to the food. The neural network controls the illumination so as to leave in the shade for amoeba a specified number of targets and illuminate the path between them the brighter, the longer the distance. That is, the amoeba needs to find the shortest path between the objects to eat and avoid light.

It was found that the microorganism is almost always solves this problem perfectly accurate. And the speed of decision making increases linearly with the complexity of the task, although IT science the growth of computing operations in this case should grow exponentially. It’s hard to explain the position of science, so the experiments continue. Now ordered vials with architecture to simulate tens of thousands of objects-bird feeders – it is interesting to observe the behavior of an amoeba in this avalanche the complexity of the problem.

Source Phys.org