Benefits of “The Restart”: What Nature Can Teach Us
Restarting happens often in the natural world and has many benefits, according to Dr. Shlomi Reuveni of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Chemistry.
“If until now, we thought that restarting a process is counterproductive and a waste of resources, we now know that restarting can help us finish processes quicker and with greater efficiency,” he says.
Reuveni, a graduate of TAU’s Adi Lautman Program for Outstanding Students, recently published a series of studies on the applicability and effectiveness of resetting—or restarting—across multiple scientific disciplines, with his interdisciplinary research group. In one of the studies, the team proved mathematically that resetting is effective in optimizing processes or overcoming challenges in conditions of high uncertainty. For example, when an animal searches for hidden food, returning home periodically can increase the effectiveness of the search.
Resetting provides a fresh start, which is often required to optimize random processes that involve elements of chance, he explains; this is true in a wide spectrum of phenomena in the natural world from the functioning of enzymes—the engines responsible for our bodily functions—to animal survival.