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In this paper we show the applicability of ant colony optimisation (ACO) techniques for pattern classification problem that arises in tool wear monitoring. In an earlier study, artificial neural networks and genetic programming have been successfully applied to tool wear monitoring problem. ACO is a recent addition to evolutionary computation technique that has gained attention for its ability to extract the underlying data relationships and express them in form of simple rules. Rules are extracted for data classification using training set of data points. These rules are then applied to set of data in the testing/validation set to obtain the classification accuracy. A major attraction in ACO based classification is the possibility of obtaining an expert system like rules that can be directly applied subsequently by the user in his/her application. The classification accuracy obtained in ACO based approach is as good as obtained in other biologically inspired techniques.