ers) is born “smart” enough to connect
easily with the global network. This is possible because at the core
of this worldwide infrastructure we call the Internet is a set of
shared communication standards, procedures and formats called
protocols. However, when in the early 1970s, the first four-nodes
of the ARPANET became fully functional things were a bit more
complicated. Exchanging data between different computers (let
alone different computer networks) was not as easy as it is today.
Finally, there was a reliable packet-switching network to connect
to, but no universal language to communicate through it. Each
host, in fact, had a set of specific protocols and to login users
were required to know the host’s own ‘language’. Using ARPANET
was like being given a telephone and unlimited credit only to find
out that the only users we can call don’t speak our language.
during the last 100 years and particularly with respect to the development of ARPA & ARPANET and the tools which Tim Berners Lee utilised to establish the World Wide Web as ME•WE know and understand [IT] today.
algorithm desert ants use to regulate foraging is like the
Traffic Control Protocol (TCP) [updated with correct spelling] used
to regulate data traffic on the internet.
Both ant and human networks use positive feedback: either from
acknowledgements that trigger the transmission of the next data
packet, or from food-laden returning foragers that trigger the exit
of another outgoing forager.
This research led some to marvel at the ingenuity of ants, able to
invent systems familiar to us: wow, ants have been using internet
algorithms for millions of years!
( WIRED, too, flirted with the concept of “anternet”
in its Jargon Watch column last year.)