Human beings suffer from a "centralized mindset"; they would like to assign the coordination of activities to a central command. But the way social insects form highways and other amazing structures such as bridges, chains, nests (by the way, African fungus-growing termites have invented air conditioning) and can perform complex tasks (nest building, defense, cleaning, brood care, foraging, etc) is very different: they self-organize through direct and indirect interactions.
In social insects, errors and randomness are not "bugs"; rather, they contribute very strongly to their success by enabling them to discover and explore in addition to exploiting. Self-organization feeds itself upon errors to provide the colony with flexibility (the colony can adapt to a changing environment) and robustness (even when one or more individuals fail, the group can still perform its tasks).
With self-organization, the behavior of the group is often unpredictable, emerging from the collective interactions of all of the individuals. The simple rules by which individuals interact can generate complex group behavior. Indeed, the emergence of such collective behavior out of simple rules is one the great lessons of swarm intelligence.
А потом это разворачивается в сторону управления роутингом в сетях или даже управления беспилотными самолетами (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAVs).
Тake UAVs, for example. Right now you need several human operators to control a single UAV. This is not scalable and it won't work if you want to have thousands of UAVs flying over a country. The ratio has to be at least inverted: you want a single human operator to handle a group of UAVs. How do you achieve that? By empowering the UAVs more. Swarm intelligence provides the guidelines to design such a decentralized system.
Везде одно и то же -- и в коммуникации, и в организации движения, и в экономике...