The algorithm of life

How the biological world is inspiring Computer Science to solve complex human problems

When it comes to solving problems, Computer Science is remarkably effective. It’s the reason, for example, that any readily available navigation system can identify, almost instantly, the shortest path from A to B.

Particularly complex problems, however, can occasionally throw up roadblocks, and it’s in these cases that biology still holds the answers.

Mother Nature’s already developed creative solutions to many complex problems. So Computer Science researchers at the University of Adelaide have been taking a close look at her “notes”.

Their analysis of a wide range of biological systems has revealed some fascinating mechanisms and methods that they’ve been able to successfully translate into highly effective algorithms.

And in this engaging presentation, Dr Frank Neumann will explain how they were found, how they work, and how large – based on performance testing in wind farms and team track cycling – their impact promises to be.

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Dr Frank Neumann is a Senior Lecturer in the University of Adelaide’s School of Computer Science, where he leads a research group on biologically inspired computing. He has also coordinated a similarly focused group at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Informatics.

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