Kent State University (KSU) Award 2007 [image][text]
FED Mentoring Press Releases 2006 [pdf]
OH August 3, 2003 -
Bluetronix Awarded $750K to Improve Wireless Communications Using
ants lead the march towards future advances in wireless communications
technology? The Military may believe so. Bluetronix, Inc.
was recently awarded by the Defense Department a $750K SBIR Phase
2 contract for the development of a Mobile Intelligent Routers using
swarm intelligence for mobile ad-hoc network applications. The unique
thrust of their research involves developing and applying swarm
intelligence algorithms designed by Bluetronix to find optimized
routing solutions in wireless military ad-hoc networks.
swarm intelligence is a radical shift from the conventional method
of information transmission. Centralized control is moved to decentralized
control and distributed intelligence. The main advantages of a network
using this routing approach are enhanced efficiency, increased robustness,
and scalability up to hundreds of thousands of nodes. Also they
would be potentially less susceptible to break downs and glitches
by using emergent spontaneous self-organizing strategies and tactics,"
replies Bluetronix President Mark Heiferling.
inspired algorithms such as swarm originated with the study of ant
colonies. A colony of ants finds new food sources by sending out
foragers who explore the surroundings more or less at random. If
it finds food, a forager will return to the colony, laying a pheromone
trail as it goes - a trail that other ants can use to follow back
to the food.
successful forager does not know the most direct way back to the
colony, and there is a risk that it may send its colleagues on a
circuitous route to the food. Another forager might subsequently
find a better route - but how would others know to take it in preference?
Shorter trails are more regularly refreshed with new pheromone,
and are more likely to stay marked than long trails. In this way,
the ants have the ability to select the best route through stigmergy,
their own indirect communications.
applications of this research reach beyond the battlefield. Swarm
intelligence can help businesses find solutions to problems that
elude ordinary top-down analysis. For example, how the late arrival
of a single package can derail an entire supply chain, or why adding
a lane to a highway can often worsen traffic jams. Southwest Airlines
has used swarm to develop a more efficient model of cargo handling,
saving the company $2 million a year in labor costs. Heiferling
says the firm is currently analyzing potential markets that have
is developing many wireless innovations and intelligent computing
over the last several years using swarm intelligence. For example,
the firm created wireless solutions for rural areas by providing
router-to-router interconnectivity via swarm. Bluetronix is developing
hardware miniaturization with this technology for wireless networks
on Warfighters for the Air Force.