Swarm Intelligence, a driving force in our ultra-connected world

Eric Monchalin

Vice-President, Head of Machine Intelligence at Atos and member of the Scientific Community

Purshottam Purswani

Chief Architect, Distinguished Expert and member of the Scientific Community

Do van Rijn

Bid Executive at Atos

Posted on: 5 February 2020

In the previous blog article in our series on Swarm Intelligence, we demonstrated how swarm algorithms can empower you to take the right decisions faster than competition.

Let’s now close our tour of the Swarm Intelligence schools and explore how automation can help generate top class value from our ultra-connected world.

The data tsunami is disrupting B2B and B2C businesses

Waves of disruptions emanating from the digital revolution are fundamentally transforming traditional industries in the Business to Consumer (B2C) word, impacting first the media industry and trade, and more recently most of the other sectors. Exploiting the data that this revolution brings about is the new Eldorado. However, the digital revolution in the Business to Business (B2B) world has not taken-off that early and has only recently started with the emergence of intelligent machines essentially defining Industry 4.0.

A recent example of digital B2B development is the so called “digital twin”. A digital twin is the digital representation of a complete industrial product or process, covering its whole lifecycle, accompanied by a virtual representation. Digital twins allow for design optimization, process control, lifecycle management, predictive maintenance, risk analysis and many other features. We recently concluded a digital twin project for power generation using wind turbines, where we created a digital representation of a wind turbine across its entire lifecycle, from design, manufacture through to operation. The digital twin improves the performance of the power generation as it provides insights that help drive decisions for optimal maintenance.

Other building blocks of the digital revolution under way in the B2B environment are edge computing, Big Data, industrial data platforms, High Performance Computing (HPC), blockchain and high speed networks like 5G. They are key enablers for transforming services and manufacturing and for reshaping entire sectors of the economy.

The rise of Swarm computing

A key element in the B2B area is the increasing number of intelligent devices at the edge, i.e. outside data centers. We are even now at the point where the collective computing capacity at the edge is surpassing the centralized capacity. This shift is challenging current vertical architectures, promoting centralized clouds as owning all the intelligence.

Going even further, we are seeing the emergence of large computing continuums as computing capabilities in the cloud and at the edge becoming increasingly intertwined. Just as we see swarms in nature acting as intelligent collectives, the individual computing capacity of the devices at the edge will be complemented and supplemented by their dynamic cooperation with other objects in swarm communities acting as an intelligent whole.

Relying on swarm capabilities, these continuums will display the following features:

  • highly resilient to external disturbances,
  • fault-tolerant internally,
  • self-optimizing the workload distribution,
  • and self-adaptive to task changes.


A unique top value analytics capability

It requires us to consider the perspective of self-control and swarm-like operating machines with data analysis and context-specific decision-making capabilities far exceeding the level of human performance. The Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing trends will take advantage of this, leading to digital landscapes which are both highly distributed and highly integrated through their connectivity features. The consequences are manifolds and we must carefully anticipate the benefits and the risks, including the legal, ethical and societal impacts.

Furthermore, Swarm Intelligence characteristics - resiliency, decentralized, self-repairing and scalability - offer immense opportunities to resolve complex problems or complete tasks through the cooperation of fully distributed elements sharing the same objective.

Is your company on track to create top value from your information assets and stand out from the competition?

Learn more with our next blog article: Communities, swarming in the virtual world.

Read the full blog series here:

  1. The rise of the Swarm Intelligence era
  2. Swarm intelligence as an innovation booster
  3. Swarm Intelligence promises to make our life and business easier

Anxious and excited to hear more? Read our white paper to get all you wish to know and even more.

Download the Swarm intelligence – White Paper

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About Eric Monchalin
Vice-President, Head of Machine Intelligence at Atos and member of the Scientific Community
Eric Monchalin is Vice-President, Head of Machine Intelligence at Atos. He’s responsible for solidifying new technological and business directions for the Big Data and Security Global Business Line. Eric’s career has been mainly built on numerous R&D positions in several companies, with experience in leading 100+ people organizations and managing multi tens millions Euros projects in international environments. He is a technology-minded person who values wide range of skills and technological knowledge focused on customer wishes to turn them into reality.

About Purshottam Purswani
Chief Technology Officer, Atos Asia Pacific and member of the Scientific Community
Purshottam is a chief architect with more than 20 years cross-industry IT experience in the Telecom, Manufacturing and financial sectors. In his 20 year experience, he has fulfilled a variety of roles including Enterprise architecture, IT management, and program management. Purshottam is now responsible for the strategy and driving innovation for customers. In his role, he displays thought leadership with regard to using business technology to address the current and future challenges faced by organizations. A member of the Atos Scientific Community and part of Atos Distinguished expert, Purshottam is very passionate and works on digital technologies around IoT, Cloud, Machine Learning, Blockchain and AI. He is married with 1 child, based out of Mumbai, India.

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About Do van Rijn
Bid Executive at Atos
As a Bid Executive at the Strategic Sales Engagements team of Atos in BTN, Do van Rijn is responsible for managing bid teams with the aim to acquire new profitable business. Together with the bid team, the challenge is how to differentiate Atos positively from the rest of the pack. This requires, apart from understanding the drivers and issues of the client deeply, thinking out of the box and seeing how new paradigms, like Swarm Intelligence, can be utilized for this purpose. In other words, it is about looking for opportunities which are truly transformational to the client.