Organizing Data: A model from nature

When Tocsin Data gathers information from multiple sources it can get difficult to determine how to organize that data.

Many times there are false positives within the data set that are gathered, even when a specific keyword or phrase is searched for, it can lead to unexpected results.

Filtering results becomes more difficult as the internet and pool of sources expands for example, a simple search for blood type information might result in non-medical results such as the name of a heavy metal band, which in turn can end up causing a AI based system to start producing results in Metallurgy!

The solution to this can be found in nature.

Messor Ants are a genus of harvester ants that have a very simple set of instructions for organization which we can mimic in programming our search protocols. The method these ants use can be called “gather and dump”. Each worker wanders the area seeking food and supplies until it encounters an object deemed useful, it than gathers this item and wanders again until it encounters another of the same type and dumps it’s package at the same location. This is repeated continuously by that class of worker, resulting in a complex organization of supplies by very simple rules.

Data seen on the internet by humans is very limited to what is actually there, even within a known object such as an image. However, the contents of an image can contain several other data points that can aid in the sorting of the image into different piles of gathered data.

A human being manually sorting an group if images, even using tags found in exif information, might place two images of flowers into the same box, but an AI just sees data, and might place 99% of flower images in one box, and 1% in another. That action might indicate that the second pile of flower images contain strange data, such is used in steganography.

By removing human induced filters, and allowing a Messor like process, new gleems of information can be found, and better sorting into new categories can be created.

For more inspiration see: Foraging behavior in the ant genus Messor

– Dan Foscarini

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