Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ants on a Plane

I know, I should be ashamed for that one.

If you ever felt like one of the “ants” in a Dave Matthews song while marching through Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, there might be something to it.

Southwest Airlines researchers trying to mimic the efficiency of marching ants tested a computer simulation at the airport in 2004, trying to get airplanes through the gates faster.

[read the rest of the article in the Arizona Republic]

Meanwhile, in Australia, researchers studying swarm behavior are finding:

A panicking crowd can be evacuated faster by placing certain types of obstacles in its path, according to Australian researchers who say we can learn from the masters of crowd control: ants.

Associate Professor Martin Burd from Monash University is using Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) to model the behaviour of panicking crowds.

[read the rest of the article]

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