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Bioinspir Biomim. 2007 Dec;2(4):S182-97. Epub 2007 Oct 16.

From honeybees to Internet servers: biomimicry for distributed management of Internet hosting centers.

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Computing Laboratory, University of Oxford, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QD, UK.


An Internet hosting center hosts services on its server ensemble. The center must allocate servers dynamically amongst services to maximize revenue earned from hosting fees. The finite server ensemble, unpredictable request arrival behavior and server reallocation cost make server allocation optimization difficult. Server allocation closely resembles honeybee forager allocation amongst flower patches to optimize nectar influx. The resemblance inspires a honeybee biomimetic algorithm. This paper describes details of the honeybee self-organizing model in terms of information flow and feedback, analyzes the homology between the two problems and derives the resulting biomimetic algorithm for hosting centers. The algorithm is assessed for effectiveness and adaptiveness by comparative testing against benchmark and conventional algorithms. Computational results indicate that the new algorithm is highly adaptive to widely varying external environments and quite competitive against benchmark assessment algorithms. Other swarm intelligence applications are briefly surveyed, and some general speculations are offered regarding their various degrees of success.

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