# Re: Bees solve NP-Hard problems! How?

```On 9/20/2012 11:27 PM, meekerdb wrote:
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```On 9/20/2012 8:17 PM, Stephen P. King wrote:
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```On 9/20/2012 9:50 PM, meekerdb wrote:
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```On 9/20/2012 6:25 PM, Stephen P. King wrote:
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```On 9/20/2012 12:09 PM, meekerdb wrote:
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```On 9/20/2012 12:22 AM, Stephen P. King wrote:
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`Any one up to explaining this:`
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http://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/se/38864.html

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What's to explain? The bees found the shortest route. Do you suffer from the misconception that NP-hard = insoluble? NP is just a description of how a computation scales. For the number of places bees visit it may be very easy to solve, even though the number of steps grows faster than polynomially with the number of places to visit.
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Brent
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Gee Brent,

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Leave it to you to miss the obvious. How did the computation occur for the bees? What the researches showed is that bees can figure out the solution and navigate it as they go from flower to flower. How does this happen?
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I didn't miss the obvious way to find out, which was to read the paper. They just tried different routes (which in computerese is called 'exhaustive search').
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Brent

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```    All of them?
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Yes, all of them. There were only four flowers to go to. And as Jason pointed out the bees didn't 'solve' the problem in the sense of always taking the shortest route - they only did so 40% of the time.
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Brent
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WELL! I was unable to read the abstract. So, the title of the article is a lie!
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Onward!

Stephen

http://webpages.charter.net/stephenk1/Outlaw/Outlaw.html

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