Evolution based approaches to generating solutions to complex problems, have some drawbacks. They tend to require a great deal of computing resources, such as processer time and data space. A different approach called “Ant Colony Optimization” requires much less time and number crunching for certain types of problems. The ants use cooperation rather than competition, and have been successful in applications from air traffic control, to real time internet data routing.
Here’s a link to a video that covers the algorithm in detail, including the equations used, and some of the experiments that were performed with real, living ants.
Here are a couple other sites on ant colony optimization.