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This paper describes the work of an objective framework designed to be used in the parallelization of a set of related algorithms. As a concrete application a parallel ant colony optimization algorithm (ACO) for the travelling salesman problem (TSP) is presented. The idea behind the system we are describing is to have a reusable framework for running several sequential algorithms in a parallel environment. The algorithms that the framework can be used with have several things in common: they have to run in cycles and the work should be possible to be split between several "processing units". The parallel framework uses the message-passing communication paradigm and is organized as a master-slave system. The ACO for TSP implemented by means of the parallel framework proves to have good performances: approximately linear speedup and low communication cost.